On Tuesday, and all of yesterday, social media was ablaze with people arguing about whether they heard "Laurel" or "Yanny" in that confusing audio clip posted on Twitter. Which: fine. It's always nice to have a reason to fall out with your friends, and it gave every website under the sun some inspiration for nice fun content that doesn't involve war or death or pollution or the end of the world.
However, that clip has absolutely nothing on a video posted to the "blackmagicfuckery" subreddit yesterday by Reddit user squidjeep. In it, a talking toy of the character Brainstorm from kids' TV show Ben 10 says his own name when the video-maker presses a little button. Thing is, you don't only have to hear "Brainstorm". As squidjeep points out, you can either hear "green needle" or "Brainstorm", depending on which phrase you think about while watching the clip (if you're having trouble hearing "green needle", watch the light on the toy, which flashes with each syllable).
Here! Try it for yourself! It might make you feel like your brain is broken!
Various commenters have posited theories trying to explain why it is we can change what we hear just by thinking hard enough about it.
One, FinalDoom, suggests that it's all down to priming, i.e. if you tell yourself something is going to happen, then present yourself with visual or auditory stimuli, the results could be skewed depending on the information you were primed with. However, it's also pointed out that this can only account for so much: "green needle" and "brainstorm" sound very different when you say them out loud, and hardly even share many letters.
Whatever the reason, I don't think even a detailed scientific explanation could reverse my now-wildly altered perception of how hearing works.