Skip To Content
    Updated on Jul 31, 2020. Posted on Jul 29, 2020

    People Are Losing Their Minds Over This Viral TikTok Illusion — What Word Do You Hear?

    "What kind of Harry Potter devil magic is this?"

    Every so often, someone on the internet will discover an illusion that sends people into a total meltdown — like that famous Tumblr dress that was either blue or gold, or that mind-bending audio clip that either said "laurel" or "yanny."

    the viral Tumblr dress that looks black and blue to some people and white and gold to others

    Well, a new illusion is now going viral on TikTok, and people are losing their damn minds over it. Y'all ready for this???

    The CW

    In the TikTok below, a man's voice either says "brainstorm" or "green needle," depending on which phrase you decide to read on the screen. Don't believe me? Try it for yourself! Watch the video a few times, and change the word you read with each viewing. The audio will seemingly change, too:

    @emilysophie.m

    Watch it twice and try both words 🙌 #mindblown #greenneedle #brainstorm #greenneedleorbrainstorm

    ♬ Shoutout to the dead creators using this for likes - redlobsterz

    The TikTok, uploaded by user @emilysophie.m, has gone massively viral on the platform, amassing 5 million views in just a few days. People think it's pretty damn freaky:

    Screenshot of TikTok comment: "Okay this is freaking me out, what the heck?"
    TikTok
    Screenshot of TikTok comment: "OMG IM KINDA FREAKED OUT, YET VERY VERY IMPRESSED"
    TikTok

    Some are calling the effect "witchcraft" and "devil magic":

    Screenshot of TikTok comment of someone calling it witchcraft
    TikTok
    Screenshot of TikTok comment: "What Kind of Harry Potter devil magic is this?"
    TikTok

    Others are demanding an explanation for the phenomenon:

    Screenshot of TikTok comment: "how the hell is this even possible. i'm confused"
    TikTok

    And, of course, a few people just had jokes:

    Screenshot of TikTok comment: "i hear gold dress"
    TikTok
    Screenshot of TikTok comment: "I hear laurel"
    TikTok

    It's worth noting that this is actually not the first time the "brainstorm/green needle" illusion has captured the internet's attention — two years ago, long before TikTok reigned supreme, the very same audio clip went viral on Twitter:

    Think the Laurel or Yanny thing is weird? You can hear the words ‘Brainstorm’ or ‘Green Needle’ based on which word you think about. Try it.

    (And in case you're wondering, the mysterious audio actually originates from a toy review posted by YouTuber Dosmrider back in 2014. The toy is supposed to be saying "brainstorm," and the "green needle" effect is unintended.)

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    But now the phenomenon is going viral on TikTok, freaking out a whole new generation of internet users. It's the digital circle of life! Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna watch this clip a billion more times until my brain explodes:

    @emilysophie.m

    Watch it twice and try both words 🙌 #mindblown #greenneedle #brainstorm #greenneedleorbrainstorm

    ♬ Shoutout to the dead creators using this for likes - redlobsterz

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form