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Nobody Can Agree, What Color Is This Freaking Dress?

Okay, so here’s the deal, this picture of a dress was posted to Tumblr yesterday with the caption, “guys please help me – is this dress white and gold, or blue and black? Me and my friends can’t agree and we are freaking the f–k out.”

Ever since then the internet has been going bonkers with some saying the dress is blue and black while others demand that it’s white and gold. What colors do you see?

What color is this dress?
What color is this dress? (Via Tumblr user swike)

This is not a joke, we’re facing a real-life dilemma here, folks. I see white and gold. My wife and daughter see blue and black. I have no idea what’s going on here.

With so many people unable to agree on the colors of the dress, Buzzfeed decided to post a poll to try and get to the bottom of it.

Buzzfeed dress color poll
Buzzfeed

So far the white and golds have it (woo-hoo!), but are those the actual colors of the dress? Nope. The actual, real-life colors of the dress in question are blue and black.

So why do some see white and gold? Does that make at least 76 percent of us crazy and/or color blind? Not exactly. Here’s an unofficial explanation for what’s happening here:

Your eyes have retinas, the things that let you interpret color. There’s rods (round things) and cones (that stick out) — which is what gives your eye a textured appearance in the colored part. The “cones” see color. The “rods” see shade, like black, white and grey.

Cones only work when enough light passes through, so while some may see the fabric as white, someone else may see it as blue.

There are three cones – small, medium and large. They are blue sensitive, green sensitive and red sensitive.

As for the black bit, it’s called additive mixing. Blue, green and red are the main colors for additive mixing. This is where it gets really tricky. Subtractive mixing, such as with paint, means the more colors you add, the murkier it gets until it’s black. ADDITIVE mixing, when you add the three colors eyes see best – red, green and blue (not to be confused with primary colors red, blue and yellow) it makes pure white.

See a blue and black dress?: Your retina’s cones are more high functioning, and this results in your eyes doing subtractive mixing.

See a white and gold dress?: Our eyes don’t work well in dim light so our retinas rods see white, and this makes them less light sensitive, causing additive mixing (that of green and red) to make gold.”

And after all that if you still swear up and down that the dress is white and gold (like I do), then here’s a product shot of the dress found on Amazon:

The dress is blue and black
Roman Women’s Lace Detail Bodycon Dress Royal Blue (Amazon.com)

Blue and black it is.

So now it’s your turn to chime in on the great dress color debate. Tell us what colors you see on this dress in the comments section at the bottom of this post and in the poll below.

And now I leave you with this:

The pen is blue (Liar, Liar)

NEXT: How Many Squares Are in This Image?

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