Is this dress blue & black or white & gold?
There is only one thing right now that has the power to divide nations. Split families. And break friendships.
It's a blue and black dress, though some will argue passionately that it's white and gold.
The colour of the dress has been the subject of a raging Internet debate after a badly-lit photo was uploaded on social network Tumblr yesterday morning.
The person who uploaded the photo wrote: "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... out."
After website Buzzfeed wrote about it, more netizens started panicking when they realised that they were seeing the dress in shades different from their friends.
In Buzzfeed's online poll, 75 per cent of the respondents saw white and gold and the rest blue and black. Within 12 hours, the post had received 21 million views.
Even Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has jumped in, using a Facebook post to express his views yesterday evening. What does he see? "White and gold".
When The New Paper took to the streets, the views were split pretty much equally. One thing they had in common? The view that they are the ones who are right.
At Bishan Interchange, bus driver Ramanathan Garan, 46, said confidently: "White and gold lah. What other colour would that be?"
When his colleagues said they saw a blue and black dress, he was adamant that he was right.
"Aiyoh, you all need to go for (an) eye operation," he insisted.
But when more colleagues joined the discussion, he began to waver. "Am I blind?" he asked.
Yes, the colours of the actual garment are blue and black. But does this mean that those who see white and gold are colour blind?
"If you see white and gold, it doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with your eyes," said Dr Leo Seo Wei, a senior consultant opthalmologist at Dr Leo Adult & Paediatric Eye Specialist.
She added: "The reason there is such a divide between how people perceive the colours of the dress is because of how our brain distinguishes the illuminating and reflecting colours."
The illuminating lights include the background lighting - which in this case was blue-tinged, said Dr Leo, who sees blue and black.
"The brain tries to process the colour of something and takes away the background or illuminating light to show you the perceived colour."
In this case, the brains of some people took into account more of the illuminating or background light, resulting in the dress looking white and gold to them, she explained.
The debate has caught Mr Jay Neitz, a neuroscientist at the University of Washington, off guard, reported US website Wired.
"I've studied individual differences in colour vision for 30 years, and this is one of the biggest individual differences I've ever seen." Mr Neitz sees white and gold.
Ms Caitlin McNeill, who posted the photo, told Business Insider that the photo of the dress was taken by the mother of her friend, a bride-to-be.
The mother had wanted to show her daughter what she was going to wear to her wedding. The bride-to-be disagreed with her fiancé on the colour of the dress.
She then posted the photo on Facebook, where more of her friends and family chimed in. Ms McNeill then posted it on Tumblr to get more opinions, sparking a global debate.
In case you want the blue and black dress, it's sold online by British retailer Roman Originals for $104.
Celebs weigh in
I don't understand this odd dress debate and I feel like it's a trick somehow.
I'm confused and scared.
PS It's OBVIOUSLY BLUE AND BLACK
What's the matter with you guys? It's white and gold.
Dress controversy. Violet and black. Obvs.
Kim Kardashian West:
What colour is that dress? I see white & gold. Kanye sees black & blue, who is colour blind?
If one more person asks me what colour I think this damn dress is...I see grey and blue