The Yanny vs. Laurel headsplitter is so yesterday. There’s a new mind-blower in town, and this time, quite incredibly, what you hear is supposed to depend on what you’re thinking about.
The battling words are “brainstorm” and “green needle.” Sure enough, an audio clip of the words seems to vacillate between the two choices — or even “brain needle” and “green storm.”
The whole thing is supposed to function on the same principles as the Yanny and Laurel puzzler: A change in pitch and individuals’ sensitivities to certain pitches push them into one “camp” or another.
The word “brainstorm” is stronger in lower frequencies, and “green needle” is stronger in higher ones. It’s also important that the audio quality not be particularly crisp.
In this case, apparently, the selections are so closely balanced along the pitch line that a thought might be enough to nudge a listener one way or the other — as long as the brain is “primed” to think of the options.
Reddit user “squidjeep” originally posted the video clip of the toy that emits the sounds, calling it “black magic fuckery.”