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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Dress Color
This white-balance illusion hit so hard because it felt like someone had been playing through the Monty Hall scenario and opened their chosen door, only to find there was unexpectedly disagreement over whether the thing they'd revealed was a goat or a car.
Title text: This white-balance illusion hit so hard because it felt like someone had been playing through the Monty Hall scenario and opened their chosen door, only to find there was unexpectedly disagreement over whether the thing they'd revealed was a goat or a car.

Explanation

The comic strip refers to a dress whose image went viral the day before the strip was posted, showing up on reddit,, twitter, wired, and originally on tumblr,. Due to the dress's particular color scheme and the exposure of the photo, it forms a sort of optical illusion causing viewers to disagree on what color the dress actually seems to be. The xkcd strip sandwiches a cropped segment of the photographed dress between two images with different white balance schemes, demonstrating how the dress can appear different colors in different light.

The title text refers to the Monty Hall problem, a brain teaser based on the Let's Make a Deal TV show. Because the color of the dress seems immediately "obvious" to any given viewer of it, Randall compares the argument over its color to a scenario in which opening a given door reveals one of two very different objects, yet no one can agree which object it actually is.

Transcript

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.

A mirrored image of a girl in a dress. On the left, she is coloured blue on a dark blue background, while on the left, she is yellow against a buttercup background. Her dress is the same colour in each panel.


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