Everyone remembers when ‘The Dress’ went viral last year causing a level of debate matched only by Donald Trump’s presidential bid.

Well now this new picture of a jacket posted online is, once again, polarising opinion reports the Independent.

Some people are absolutely convinced it’s blue and white, others are saying it’s black and brown while some are even claiming it’s green and gold.

However, fear not, science has now provided us with a definitive answer to why there is such a massive difference of opinion on the subject.

According to a report in the Independent, it is a product of how our eyes have evolved, and how we work out what colour things are when they’re lit by sunlight.

The challenging thing for humans is that the colour of the light reflecting off an object can affect our perception of the colour of the object itself.

This happens all the time without us even noticing – when you see a white sheet of paper lit by the yellow evening sun, your brain ‘subtracts’ the yellowness to just see the white of the paper.

However, like ‘The Dress’ last year, the jacket confuses things. The unusual lighting of the image makes our brains try to get rid of different colours in the image.

Different people do this in different ways depending on the numbers of rod and cone cells in our eyes.


Rod cells are more sensitive to light and are used to identify shapes whereas cones are less light-sensitive, but better at seeing colour. Having more or less of each of these cells could have an effect on the colours you see in the picture.

In reality, the jacket is blue and white, but there’s no real ‘wrong’ answer when it comes to the colours we see in the image – it’s all down to our brains.

What colour do you see?

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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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