The mystery behind the dress that broke the Internet


Remember the dress that broke the Internet?

The one that spawned arguments and memes and had social media raging over whether it was blue and black or gold and white?

Speaking at the University of Western Australia’s 2015 International Year of Light Lecture Series, Lions Eye Institute managing director Professor David Mackey explained how the nature of light was largely responsible for the difference of opinion.

“When I saw a printed version of the dress in a dull area of a cafe, with a bright light outside, I actually saw black and blue, but here [in the auditorium]I see gold and white,” he said.

“Colour is actually an illusion, as it is reliant on the brain to interpret what colour we see.

“The physical properties of light—the hue, saturation and brightness—are the main things that influence colour.”

To put it simply, the colours around an object and the amount of light on it can change our perception.

“If you’ve been outside in a bright environment, or inside in a dark environment, if you look at something, you’ll actually see it differently based on how dark adapted you are,” Professor Mackey said.

Did you see black and blue or gold and white?


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