By now, you’ve all seen that weird photo of an ugly blue-and-black dress that looks like an ugly white-and-gold dress to a lot of people. The reason isn’t entirely clear, although explanations that have been offered include lighting, forms of color-blindness, or serious moral failings on the part of those jerks who see an ugly blue-and-black dress when the picture clearly shows an ugly white-and-gold one.
But there’s a whole new wrinkle to the debate. A new photo was posted online late Friday, and it may be even more bizarre than the original. Fully 70% of the people who see this image see an ugly blue-and-black dress similar to the one that started all this foolishness. But 30% see something completely different.
What do you see?
Unlike the original, science is pretty clear about the reasons people see this image differently. Those who perceive a 40-pound kettlebell do so because they’ve experienced such a device before, and they understand how using a kettlebell can make them stronger and more able to tackle activities like obstacle course races. The other 70% don’t have that experience, so upon seeing such an unfamiliar sight, their brains do a bit of trickery to convert the image into something that falls within their experience—generally a sad, ugly blue-and-black dress that they really shouldn’t wear.
“In short, people who see a kettlebell are much cooler than people who see that stupid, ugly blue-and-black dress,” said Jennifer Markintosh, head of science at the Central California Institute of Science. “I’d say about 47% cooler. Or 61%, if they actually run obstacle course races.”
A spokesperson for the ugly blue-and-black dress had no comment.