Do you hear what I hear? This “silent” GIF is taking the internet by ear-thudding storm

Twitter/@LisaDeBruine

Videos by Rare

Videos by Rare

It’s the GIF “heard” ’round the world.

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Why is it that viewers of a silent animated GIF featuring a transmission tower seemingly jumping off the ground and over power lines are “hearing” it crashing to the ground?

The GIF has people clearing their ears — because many claim to be “hearing” a sound that doesn’t actually exist.

Dr. Lisa DeBruine, a psychologist in Glasgow, Scotland, posed the inevitable question on Twitter, seeking data on how others experienced the phenomenon.

At the time of this writing, an overwhelming majority claimed to hear a thudding sound, but a significant percent of respondents said they heard nothing.

DeBruine, obsessed with finding an answer, theorized the thud some viewers hear is simply the ear’s reflex anticipating a sound.

Other experts point to a sensory illusion at play.

“Perception is not an exact science, and in most cases our brain makes an educated guess,” Dr. Gustav Khun, a psychologist and human perception expert at Goldsmiths University in London, told the Daily Mail.

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“We use past experience and expectations to estimate what the world is truly like, based on the information our senses provide.”

What do you think?

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