70 Percent Of People Say They Can Hear This Silent Gif. So What The Hell Is Going on?

Gifs are short, silent animations. Unlike videos, they carry no sound files within them. Which is why it's extremely odd that a lot of people online claim to be able to hear one.

It's a gif you've probably seen before as it resurfaces every few months, always with a similar caption: Someone asking "why can I hear this", usually accompanied by a few crying faces to show how distressing they find the experience.

WHY CAN I HEAR THIS GIF 😭 pic.twitter.com/8UifgPBk56
— Best Tweet (@BestTwlt) April 17, 2017

The gif, created by Twitter user Happy Toast, has resurfaced again after a scientist put out an appeal for help understanding why people hear a noise.
Can you hear it? You're not alone.

Dr Lisa Debruine, a researcher at the University of Glasgow, also included a poll to see how many people could hear the gif. So far, 75 percent have said that they could hear a thudding noise.
We also know that our perception of sound can be influenced by visual information in other ways, it's not limited to soundless gifs. The McGurk effect, shown in this video from the BBC's Horizon program, shows how your brain can be tricked into hearing different things based on the visual information you are perceiving at the time.

In this case, you won't be able to tell whether you're hearing "baa" or "faa" because of the way the man's mouth is moving. What you see can override what you hear.
Learn more here.

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