By Riley Eisenbeil
In 2015, a Tumblr user posted a photo of a seemingly simple dress to ask for help determining what color it really was. Was it blue and black or white and gold? This epic optical illusion turned out to be rather complicated and kept internet users feuding for months on end.
Next came an auditory illusion in 2018 of a clip that blew up because the internet, yet again, could not come to a consensus. This time it was over whether a computer-generated voice was saying “Yanny” or “Laurel,” which was another question that went unanswered because of the harsh divide in responses.
Now in 2022, we have found our next hyperfixation to break the internet: are there more doors or wheels in the world?
Ryan Nixon from Auckland, New Zealand, was the first to pose this question. He came to Twitter with the caption, “My mates and I are having the STUPIDEST debat. And I am here for it. Do you think there are more doors or wheels in the world?”
Nixon’s tweet on March 5 accumulated 223,347 total votes, displaying 46.4% for doors and 53.6% for wheels — Twitter had spoken, team wheels won.
On a smaller and more local scale, a GroupMe poll with nearly half of the student employees at the Brower Student Center showed that 18 of the 23 polled agreed that there are more wheels in the world. A similar poll of some of the students living in Decker Hall showed that 45 out of the 59 respondents voted for wheels. So, team wheels have also won so far at the College.
TikTok, though, is where things are really getting heated. Creators are going from making video series on their opinions to dedicating entire accounts to this phenomenon.
John Green, a well-known author, joined in via TikTok.
“There is no team wheels or team doors, that is a fundamental misunderstanding of this situation we find ourselves in,” Green said in a video posted to his TikTok account on March 9. “There is a team wheels and then there is a team of people who are mistaken,”
Even UPS joined in on the debate when they posted a video of the results after they counted the number of doors and wheels on more than 127,000 of their vehicles. It turns out they had 768,000 wheels and 510,000 doors.
As of recently on TikTok, the hashtag #teamdoors has 56.6 million views whereas #teamwheels has 142.3 million views. It’s safe to say that TikTok also joined team wheels and won’t be going anywhere for a while.
The debate has even become a popular topic on talk shows, as most internet crazes do. James Cordon, the host of The Late Late Show, in response to a member of #teamwheel, said:
“Guess what? I walked there. And how did I walk there? I left the house out of a door, I left my bedroom into my bathroom out the front door,” said Cordon. “Pick up a newspaper, I’ll go through this door. Oh what’s this? Go through that door. Now I go through another 85 doors to get to my office and I’ve not touched a wheel.”
In an interview with Jimmy Fallon on March 12, “Stranger Things” star Noah Schnapp agreed with The Tonight Show host by taking the side of team wheels.
“If you think about suitcases and strollers and cars and trucks. I mean, I’m ready to fight anyone who says doors,” Schnapp said.
Even though many have already picked sides, it would be nice to receive an actual answer. After all, it turned out that the dress is actually blue and black and that the reason we were seeing it in different colors was because of the rods and cones in our eyes. The real answer for the audio illusion was Laurel.
The problem with doors vs. wheels is that there really is no concrete answer and there may never be. The amount of attention that this has gained, though, is impressive.
The real question that needs to be answered is what constitutes a door and what constitutes a wheel? If a door is just something that opens and closes and allows something to go through it, would you count light switches because they open, close and allow electrons to go through them? How about dollhouses or advent calendars? If a wheel is just something that rotates and spins on an axis, would a doorknob count? How about gears and conveyor belts?
“We can say any opening in a wall is a door and anything that is round that turns is a wheel,” said Andi Aggarao, a senior nursing major, from the Brower Student Center staff. “Does that mean a coin that fell and rolls is also considered a wheel if only for a short time?”
Danny Sullivan, a junior communications studies major, replied, “don’t overthink it.”
We could go on for hours and still never reach a consensus because it is just too hard of a question to prove.
So you decide: doors or wheels?