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We have an explanation for all [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics|R}}-13}}''' xkcd comics]],
 
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== Latest comic ==
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*Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at the [[explain xkcd:Community portal|Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
  
*[[List of all comics]] contains a table of most recent xkcd comics and links to the rest, and the corresponding explanations. There are incomplete explanations listed [[:Category:Incomplete articles|here]]. Feel free to help out by expanding them!
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Revision as of 17:59, 4 March 2014

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!
We have an explanation for all 1492 xkcd comics, and only 17 (1%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

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Go to this comic explanation

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

This comic shows two drawings of Megan wearing the same dress, but with different background colors. The two drawings are split with a narrow vertical portion of an image from the web.

The comic strip refers to a dress whose image went viral on Tumblr ony hours before the strip was posted and soon showed up also on Reddit, Twitter, Wired and on The New York Times.

Due to the dress' particular color scheme and the exposure of the photo, it forms an 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 drawings which use the colors from the image against different backgrounds, leading the eye to interpret the white balance differently, demonstrating how the dress can appear different colors depending on context and the viewer's previous experiences.

Both dresses have exactly the same colors actually:

  • RGB 113, 94, 58 (orange)
  • RGB 135, 154, 189 (blue)

Below is an illustration demonstrating that the "colors" of the dresses are the same by connecting them with two lines with the above mentioned colors (all the way!):

dress.png

Similar types of illusions can be seen at Wikipedias optical illusion page and for instance here at echalk (the latter page requires Flash®player).

Since the color of the dress seems immediately "obvious", to any given viewer of it, many feel it is very weird (even uncomfortable) that other people cannot see it their way. This results in the many arguments now to be found on-line. The uproar probably stems from the fact that generally people do not know much about these kind of optical illusions. And when this picture went viral it was noticed be many of these people.

The title text refers to the game show Let's Make a Deal, hosted by Monty Hall, which was famous for having contestants pick among several doors which either had a real prize (for example, a car) or a joke prize (for example, a goat). Randall states that people find the dress color issue just as baffling as if upon opening the chosen door no one can agree if the item behind the door is a car or a goat. This just shows how ridiculous this outrage people feel about the color is. This is a typical kind of prank that Randall enjoys.

Let's Make a Deal previously appeared in 1282: Monty Hall, where Beret Guy decides to take the goat.

Transcript

[Two images of Megan in a dress on each side of an image of a close up of a real dress with the same colors. On the left, she is coloured blue on a dark blue background, while on the right, she is yellow against a buttercup background. Her dress is the same colour in each panel - the same as the real one in-between.]

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