Chloe Feldman, the woman who started a worldwide debate on social media this week about whether people heard “Yanny or Laurel” in a short audio clip says she’s managed to track down the original source of the recording — who, as it turns out, is a young high school freshman. The short sound clip, which sounds like “Yanny” or “Laurel” depending on who’s listening, has been played upwards of 22 million times since Feldman posted it to Twitter, racking up nearly 200,000 likes and 85,000 retweets. The debate also stirred up comparisons to “The Dress,” which went viral in February 2015 after social media users discovered that some people saw it as black and blue, while others saw it as white and gold.
What do you hear?! Yanny or Laurel pic.twitter.com/jvHhCbMc8I
— Cloe Feldman (@CloeCouture) May 15, 2018
“I posted it on Twitter. I didn’t think much of it,” recalled Feldman, 21, in an interview with Inside Edition. “I woke up the next morning to all these mentions and tweets from celebrities and different news outlets and I saw this tweet basically blew up.”
Shocked by the interest, Feldman did some digging and unearthed the maker of the original clip — 15-year-old Katie Hetzel. Hetzel explained to her that she discovered the odd phenomenon while playing words aloud using Vocabulary.com for a school project.
“I heard ‘Yanny’ and I knew that wasn’t one of my vocab words,” said Hetzel. “So I had my friend … listen to it, and he heard ‘Laurel.'”
Hetzel then posted the recording to Instagram, which later led to Feldman’s viral Twitter post. Hetzel said she realized that her discovery had become a viral sensation on Tuesday — which, as it so happened, was also her birthday.
“It’s just crazy,” said the teenager.
Watch Inside Edition’s interview with Feldman below.
And in the following video from Good Morning America, T.J. Holmes explains the phenomenon that led to different people hearing such vastly different interpretations of the same piece of audio.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) May 17, 2018
Read the full story at Inside Edition.