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man listening to auditory illusions
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‘Bart Simpson bouncing’ or ‘baptism piracy’ — what do you hear in this auditory illusion?

Puzzles, word games and illusions can help us test and better understand how our minds work. Taking some time out of your day to train your brain can help you relax and find your focus.

Optical illusions have been around forever, and we’re still fascinated by them. The same goes for the myth of unicorns, which dates back to the Bronze Age. Those two ideas come together in an optical illusion that will give your eyes some healthy exercise. Tap or click here and see if you can spot the horse among unicorns.

It’s not just our eyes that can be deceived. Auditory illusions give false perceptions of sound, and it’s more common than you think. Ever misheard a lyric? It’s happened to all of us. Check out this auditory illusion and show it to your family and friends. Different people will hear different things.

Assault on the senses

Remember “Yanny or Laurel”? The auditory illusion went viral a few years ago, with people arguing over what they heard.

Speaking of which, many illusions influence more than one sense at a time. In many cases, what you see affects what you hear. This is clearly illustrated in an auditory illusion that’s been making the rounds on social media for some time. Watch and listen to the video below. What do you hear?

There are nine different phrases onscreen. Do you hear just one or more than that?

  • Bart Simpson bouncing
  • Rotating pirate ship
  • That isn’t my receipt
  • Lobsters in motion
  • That is embarrassing
  • Lactates in pharmacy
  • I’m chasing Martian
  • Baptism piracy
  • That isn’t mercy

Here’s a trick: Focus on just one phrase with your eyes and listen to the chants. You’ll only hear that one.

Switch things up: Read a different phrase each time you hear the chant, in any order. Whichever one you are reading, that’s the one you’ll likely hear.

Now try this: Close your eyes and just listen. What do you hear?

RELATED: Trippy optical illusions to stretch your brain to its limits

What they’re actually saying

The chant you hear in the video is from an English soccer game. It’s fans of the Derby County Football Club shouting, “That is embarrassing.” You may hear this best if you close your eyes.

We’ve probably all experienced mishearing lyrics from songs, and many auditory illusions depend on words or phrases that can easily be heard differently.

Our knowledge, biases, personal history and visual clues influence our hearing. Even our age affects what we hear, as we have trouble with certain frequencies as we get older.

Did you know that you can get over-the-counter hearing aids thanks to a recently passed law? Tap or click here for the pros and cons of these OTC devices.

While we know where the above audio came from, we can each hear it our own way. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Keep reading

Three adorable optical illusions that will train your brain and make you say, ‘Aww!’

Test your eyes: Can you find the nine hidden images in less than a minute?

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