An internet conundrum similar to the "is this dress white and gold or blue and black" that surfaced in 2015 has begun making the rounds, and people cannot agree on the colors of the clothes shown (photo below).
BuzzFeed posted a picture of a Nike brand tank top and running shorts, along with sequined flip-flops. The tank top and running shorts appear to be solid gray with teal accents, but some people have claimed they see the clothes as pink and white.
"I'm so confused because when I looked at it this morning on my iPhone it was definitely pink and white, but now on my desktop at work it's for sure grey and teal," wrote one commenter on the BuzzFeed story. "This is the only one of these that's ever changed for me."
Other commenters offered that while they logically understand that the clothes are likely teal and gray, they also allow themselves to see pink and white.
"IN WHAT WORLD ARE PEOPLE SEEING PINK AND WHITE?!?" explained another commenter. "Okay, I get it. It's another 'dress.' And sure the items in real life may be pink and white but the picture, as it was taken in that lighting, is 100% teal and grey."
The "dress" referenced in the comment was a viral sensation that divided the internet between who saw the colors of the dress and white and gold or blue and black. A definitive answer seemed elusive, leaving the internet to squabble over its true colors.
The human eye is trained to see the "true" color of an object rather than the illuminant being projected onto it, notes Wired. In dimly lit settings, the brain is less capable of separating the "real" color of the object from the illuminant.
And because humans have evolved to see in daylight, the changing colors during the day have adapted our eyes to see colors based on the environment we see them in.
"What's happening here is your visual system is looking at this thing, and you're trying to discount the chromatic bias of the daylight axis," explained Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist who studies color and vision at Wellesley College. "So people either discount the blue side, in which case they end up seeing white and gold, or discount the gold side, in which case they end up with blue and black."
As for the Nike clothes in the BuzzFeed article, the original poster admits they're gray and teal. A vote among readers was held and the pink and white cohort did little to convince others to join -- just 4 percent saw it their way.