Commentaries and the power of social media can take a simple idea to tour the world in a couple of hours. That’s what happened to Caitlin McNeil, a Scottish musician that has uploaded on Tumblr a photo asking her friends about the color of a dress which has a confusing color for some. The post has reached famous artists such as Taylor Swift, who entered the game in no time and has Tweeted about it on her personal profile.
The caption of the photo has been saying the following: “guys please help me — is this dress white and gold, or blue and black? Me and my friends can’t agree and we are freaking the f*** out.”
By the time BuzzFeed posted the questions to its readers, under the curious title “What Colors Are This Dress”, the number of views has risen up to 21 million. Taylor Swift hasn’t been the only one who chose to post aswell about the issue, but also other celebrities, sportspeople and millions others have joined in.
The argumentation given by McNeill, who performs in the band Canach on a small wedding that has taken place on a Scottish island called Colonsay, has been collected by the Business Insider. The musician said that one of her two closest friends were getting married and the mother of the bride took a photo of the dress in order to send it to her daughter. The fiance of the girl however, disagreed on the color and that’s where it all began.
Some of the people see it as being golden an white, while others see a dress colored in navy and black. There were some cases in which people have stated that they see the dress as being copper and grey. 75 percent of the people who has been surveyed has seen the dress gold and white, but in fact it surely is navy and black.
The explanation is scientific and it has to do with the two different cells that sense light in someone’s eyes. The retina is compromised of rods and cons. Rods see shapes, not color and are more sensitive to light, whereas cones are less sensitive to light and more to color. High school biology lessons have taught us that in darkness, we see better because of the rods and not of the cones. There are three sizes of cones that are colored in red, blue and green. As a conclusion, the differences of coloring, navy/black, white/gold has to do with the number of cones or rods that someone has and also the lighting in the room. On the other hand, the pigment called rhodopsin is used by the rod cells in order to detect color. The pigment is particularly sensitive to low light but is bleached by higher light levels and it needs some time to take it from the start, about 45 minutes. As a consequence, a dress that is found in a lighter room will be seen in one way at the beginning and then, if the person stays in a darker room for half an hour, it will see the dress in other colors when he comes back into the light.
Image Source: Slate