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A Brief History of the Internet Fighting Needlessly About What Things Are

Updated

Every now and again, the Internet collectively seizes on some kind of arguing point that’s at once needlessly trivial and endlessly arguable. We’re not talking about the election, or anything actually important, we’re talking about you know, the colors of things. Or whether the “see no evil” monkey emojis are three separate monkeys.

The Internet — usually Twitter — tends to get really worked up over this sort of thing. Below, a brief history.

The Dress

Possibly the big bang of optical illusion memes on the Internet, and something that briefly captivated nearly the entirety of the Internet. Celebrities weighed in, people fought like dogs, and we ultimately got Nat Geo’s Brain Games host Jason Silva to explain that all reality is a subjective experience unique to how each person’s brain interprets the raw information presented to them by their eyes and ears. So, you know, shut up about The Dress already.

Nail Polish

Which color matches the shoes? Does it matter? This was less than six months after the dress. Also, everyone’s lighting these photos with the flashlight on their phone, which is — and you know, going out on a limb here — probably going to slightly alter the perceived color of the thing you’re looking at.

The ‘See No Evil’ Monkeys

Okay, first of all, Jonny Sun is kind of a professional Twitter personality, so it’s unclear if he instituted this whole thing as a prank, but! Earlier this year, he posted a poll to his page that exploded far beyond his usual reach. (He’s very funny, you should follow him.)

People went a little crazy. This appears to be a case of the Internet actually reshaping fact to its will: More people voted that it was one monkey making three faces, while Bustle editor Sam Escobar pointed out that the emojis are clearly based on “three wise monkeys” of lore, each of whom has his own name.

Tom Hanks or Bill Murray

Do you see beloved comic icon Bill Murray or America’s sweetheart Tom Hanks? Here’s a better question, you monsters — did you look past the child screaming as if it’s in unimaginable pain? Are you so conditioned to want to argue that you immediately leapt to a side without questioning why this child’s face is contorted in agony?

Oily Legs or Paint Legs?

And in the latest round: Are these legs very oily, glistening with … something? Or are they regular-slickness legs with some streaks of white paint? Only the Internet can tell.