Out of nowhere, this whole "Yanny or Laurel" viral audio is everywhere you turn on the internet. Do you hear "Yanny" or do you hear "Laurel"? All of this got me to wondering how this whole thing got started. Where did it come from? Who is responsible? I did some digging around, and the answers make this phenomenon even more interesting.

According to wired.com, it all started five days ago with Katie Hetzel, a freshman at Flowery Branch High School in Georgia. Katie was studying for her high school world literature class, and "laurel" was one of her vocabulary words. She looked the word "Laurel" up on Vocabulary.com and that's where things got pretty strange.

As Katie played the audio for the word "Laurel" she only heard the audio say "Yanny"

'"I asked my friends in my class and we all heard mixed things,' says Hetzel. She then posted the audio clip to her Instagram story. Soon, a senior at the same school, Fernando Castro, re-published the clip to his Instagram story as a poll."

From there it hit reddit and went viral.

But, the story gets even more interesting. The reading of the word "Laurel" for vocabulary.com was recorded by an opera singer in New York in December of 2007. The guy was a member of the original cast of CATS on Broadway.

Marc Tinkler, the CTO and co-founder of Vocabulary.com says they hired quite a few opera singers to record the studio for the website because they had strong voices.

There's even more to this story, and you can check it out over at wired.com.



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