Slow Burn

Decoder Ring: The Truth About #TheDress

Nov. 15, 2022

In the history of viral images, #TheDress has got to be in the top 10. This unassuming photo of a party dress kicked off a global debate when people realized they were seeing it completely differently. Is it black and blue, or white and gold? In today’s episode, we’ll talk to someone who was there when the photo was first taken, and the BuzzFeed writer whose post briefly broke the internet. Then we go down the optical rabbit hole with a neuroscientist who’s been studying the The Dress for years. What does it reveal about the nature of truth? This podcast was written by Willa Paskin, who produces Decoder Ring with Katie Shepherd. This episode was edited by Andrew Adam Newman. Derek John is Slate’s senior supervising producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is senior technical director. We’ll hear from Paul Jinks, Cates Holderness, Pascal Wallisch, and David McRaney author of the book How Minds Change. Here’s the optical illusion of the strawberries mentioned in the episode and created by Professor Akiyoshi Kitaoka. If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show, I’d love for you to sign up for Slate Plus.    Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring — and every other Slate podcast — ad-free. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to to join Slate Plus today. Check out Remote Works here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit neither hosts nor alters podcast files. All content © its respective owners.