The internet is arguing again about the color of clothing, but this time it's a shoe that some people claim is pink while others claim to see grey. This is not the first time people have been debating the color of a clothing item. Two years ago, everybody was arguing about the white/gold or blue/black dress debacle and now we have the pink or grey Vans shoe. As it turns out, this new image was set up as a joke that has now gotten out of control, even after the unique sneakers story was set straight by the original uploader.

Twitter user, Alisha, uploaded the picture of the shoes as a joke and later explained what she did by posting the original image and then the altered version that set the internet ablaze. She explains.

"THE REAL SHOE IS PINK & WHITE OKAY?! The second pic was with flash & darkened, so it looks teal and gray. (Depends on what lighting ur in)"

Sounds simple enough, right? Apparently even having the image explained, people are reportedly still seeing different colors, leading to an even more intense discussion erupting online. The grey shoe has been proven to be false, but people are still claiming that they see it and even weirder, people are now starting to see the pink in the edited photo.

Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist at the National Eye Institute, explained that the color difference in individuals works differently because people's brains were trying to separate what they identified as color cast by the source of light from that reflected by the surface they were looking at. He explains.

"Basically, your visual system is constantly trying to color-correct the images projected on the retina, to remove the color contamination introduced by the spectral bias in the light source."

Conway went on to explain that the sky is blue, but not everything underneath the sky is blue. The neuroscientist says that our visual system is really good at figuring out where light sources come from.

The manipulated photograph had a lot of the turquoise cast over the whole image and when looking at the original, our eyes are still trying to adapt from the lighting conditions of the shoe, so it casts a different color over the end result. It's basically just the eyes getting used to the new image and it's color scheme. But, after a while, the visual system adapts to the turquoise across the whole image and interprets it as part of the light source, eventually discounting it and restoring the shoe to the original pink version or even pinker than the original.

An unassuming trick has done it again, starting a debate that many don't understand. The answer is all in our brains and how we interpret the light source and how we adjust after seeing something that is considered to be different. You can check out the original picture, side by side, with the doctored version, courtesy of Alisha's Twitter account below as well as some arguments about the true shoe color.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick