A viral GIF has sparked an online debate among viewers over whether or not you can hear it.
Ordinarily, any arguments made about GIFs — an animated image format that stands for “Graphics Interchange Format” — have to do with the pronunciation of the word more than the image itself (is it a “hard g” or a “soft g?”).
But a recent GIF making the rounds on social media has some users claiming they can actually “hear” the action taking place in the animation. The moving image of telephone wires playing “jump rope” with each other has people saying that they can hear a loud “thud” when one of them lands in the picture.
What do you think? Check out the GIF below, and decide for yourself.
Hi there, yeah, for some reason people like cropping my name off the bottom pic.twitter.com/ekcOWeQNbR— HappyToast ? (@IamHappyToast) December 4, 2017
The image itself was actually created in 2008 by Twitter user HappyToast, but it's getting significant attention today for causing people to think they’re hearing things as they watch it.
If you do hear a noise, there’s a scientific reason behind it. The phenomenon is called “synesthesia...a neurological condition in which a person experiences ‘crossed’ responses to stimuli,” according to Psychology Today. In other words, because your visual senses see something that you'd expect to make a huge noise, your brain interprets that noise for you.
So if you hear a sound, don’t worry, you’re not losing your mind. According to Complex, one unofficial Twitter poll found that 70 percent of respondents said they heard the noise, so it's completely normal to hear something. Around 23 percent said they didn’t hear anything.
The brain is an amazing thing to study. Between this image, which is able to produce the illusion of sound in the mind, and the fabled “dress” that took the nation by storm almost three years ago, one has to wonder which neurological peculiarity will go viral next.