To say that the Internet went nuts over this photo would be something of an understatement. Posted to Tumblr a few days ago, the unassuming dress pic has divided us almost evenly between those who see it as blue and black, and those (the best team, amirite?) who can't understand how anyone can see anything other than gold and white. It's gold and white, dammit!
But, as we learn from the latest episode of AsapSCIENCE, both teams are right, because our eyes are all acting in the same way. If a colour is being presented to us in a shadowy context, our brains will try to compensate for that. So if we see a brownish colour in a shadowy context, our brains will overcorrect, and we may end up perceiving it as much lighter, or even orange, as a result. They've got a really great example of this in the video above.
What's interesting about the dress picture is that we can't see much of what's surrounding the dress, so our brain automatically makes some assumptions. For those of us who see the dress as white, our brains might be interpreting the dress as being in a slightly blue-lit room, which could happen if it's being hung near a window with bright blue sky shining through. But the brains of people who see it as black and blue? Well, I hate to say it, but the explanation for what they see actually sounds a little smarter. I'll let the guys at AsapSCIENCE explain in the video above.