Where Did Blue Eyes Originate?
- Pieter Maas
Blog 1. Only 8 Percent of the World’s Population Has Blue Eyes If you have got blue eyes, you might just belong to one of the world’s most exclusive groups without realising it! Since blue eyes are genetically recessive, only 8 percent of the world’s population has blue eyes.
While blue eyes are significantly less common than brown eyes worldwide, they are frequently found from nationalities located near the Baltic Sea in northern Europe.2. There is No Blue Pigment in Blue Irises The colour of our eyes depends on how much melanin is present in the iris. Blue eyes get their colour the same way water and the sky get their blue colour — they scatter light so that more blue light reflects back out.
The iris is made up of two layers. For almost everyone — even people with blue eyes — the back layer (called the pigment epithelium) has brown pigment in it. The front layer of the iris (called the stroma) is made up of overlapping fibers and cells. For people with brown eyes, some of the cells also have brown pigment in them.
If there is no pigment at all in this front layer, the fibers scatter and absorb some of the longer wavelengths of light that come in. More blue light gets back out and the eyes appear to be blue.3. Blue Eyes are More Sensitive to Light Melanin in the iris of the eye appears to help protect the back of the eye from damage caused by UV radiation and high-energy visible “blue” light from sunlight and artificial sources of these rays.
Since blue eyes contain less melanin than green, hazel or brown eyes, photophobia is more prevalent in blue eyes compared to darker coloured eyes. For these reasons, having less melanin in your irises means that you need to protect your eyes more from the sun’s UV rays.
- Therefore, it is recommended to those with blue eyes to stay out of the sun for long periods of time and try to wear protective eyewear when you are outdoors.4.
- All Blue-Eyed People May Have A Common Ancestor Originally we all had brown eyes, however, according to researchers at the University of Copenhagen, it appears that a genetic mutation in a single individual in Europe 6,000 to 10,000 years ago led to the development of blue eyes.
Therefore, we can conclude that this genetic mutation is the cause of eye colour of all blue-eyed humans alive on the planet today. What is the genetic mutation? A genetic mutation affecting the OCA2 gene in our chromosomes resulted in the creation of a “switch”, which “turned off” the ability to produce brown eyes.
- The OCA2 gene codes for the ‘P protein’, which is involved in the production of melanin (the pigment that determines the colour of our eyes, skin and hair).
- The “switch”, does not, however, turn off the gene entirely, but rather limits its action to reducing the production of melanin in the iris – effectively “diluting” brown eyes to blue.
According to Hans Eiberg, associate professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine from the University of Copenhagen, “From this, we can conclude that all blue-eyed individuals are linked to the same ancestor. They have all inherited the same switch at exactly the same spot in their DNA.” 5.
- Blue Eyes at Birth Doesn’t Mean Blue Eyes For Life While blue eyes may be rare, they’re among the most common eye colours at birth.
- Since the human eye does not have its full adult amount of pigment at birth, most Caucasian babies are born with blue eyes.
- However, since human melanin tends to develop over time — this causes the child’s eye colour to change as more melanin is produced in the iris during early childhood.6.
People With Blue Eyes May Have a Higher Risk of Alcoholism A new study suggests that individuals with blue eyes are at a higher risk for alcohol dependency compared to those with darker eyes. Therefore, this finding adds further evidence to the idea that alcoholism has a genetic component.
- A study published in American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics found that European Americans with blue eyes had up to 83 percent higher odds of becoming dependent on alcohol, compared with matched controls who had darker eye colours.
- This research suggests that alcoholism has a genetic component linked to genetic sequences that determine eye colour, which may help explain the association.
However, at this stage, the reason for the correlation is still unknown and further research is required to fully understand this correlation in the findings.7. You Can’t Predict the Colour of Your Child’s Eyes Since it was once believed that eye colour — including blue eyes — was a simple genetic trait, many people used to believe that blue-eyed people could only have blue-eyed children.
- Before geneticists fully understood how human eye colour inheritance works, a child’s eye colour to used be used as a paternity test — based on the assumption that you could predict a child’s eye colour if you knew the colour of the parents’ eyes and perhaps the colour of the grandparents’ eyes.
- But geneticists now know that this concept is far more complicated, as eye colour is influenced by an interaction of as many as 16 different genes — not just one or two genes as once thought.
Additionally, the anatomic structure of the iris can also influence eye colour to some degree. In summary, it’s impossible to know for sure if your children will have blue eyes. Even if you and your partner both have blue eyes, that’s no guarantee your child’s eyes will also be blue.
What was the first race to have blue eyes?
Okay, let me preview this article: I posted this scientific finding about the MUTATION of Brown eyes to being Blue due to a recent post on the subjects in a couple of threads. My parents tell me, out of my siblings that I was born with blue eyes and red hair and red skin.
By the time of my 4th month baby picture, I can see that my eyes were light brown, and my hair and skin was very red. Not anymore. My siblings came out brown. One of my younger siblings was born very chocolate and she was clean bald but later, she grew beautiful and very black hair that does not ‘fro’, but it has a combination texture.
A couple of years ago, scientist determined that BLUE EYES was a MUTATION that occurred around 6,000 years ago and it stems from A BLACK MALE AFRICAN ORIGIN. They report several archeological proofs puts this event around the BLACK SEA AREA. Based on my research, I absolutely agree.
- Blonde hair and Blue eyes is NOT a White European trait in origin for significant reasons and although the scholars today give partial break down on this subject, it still is scientifically based.
- Blue eyes stem from ‘PIGMENTATION’ and without this, eyes will not have any coloring such as in a pure ALBINO.
So this has been obvious to the scientific community for a long time, but for some reason they just are reporting this now. Like Blue eyes, ‘Blonde hair’ also has pigmentation! –But not, White hair. There is a difference between Blonde hair, White hair and Graying hair.
- BTW—This would be the same account given in my reference source, scientific reference source, about the Biblical Cain.
- His descendants migrated NODEAST and that would have been, Northeast of ‘Eden’ where the four rivers began, and thus, around the Black Sea Area were the first ancient city-civilization set up in CATAL HUYUK.
======================================================= How one ancestor helped turn our brown eyes blue Thursday 31 January 2008 01:00 Steve Connor “The mutations responsible for blue eye colour most likely originate from the north-west part of the Black Sea region, where the great agricultural migration of the northern part of Europe took place in the Neolithic periods about 6,000 to 10,000 years ago,” the researchers report in the journal Human Genetics.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/how-one-ancestor-helped-turn-our-brown-eyes-blue-776170.html 84,112 views Jan 27, 2014, 12:23 pm Blue-Eyed African Caveman Found In Europe Paul Rogers, Contributor A stone-age hunter’s wisdom tooth has revealed that he had an unusual mix of racial traits – dark, African skin, curly brown hair and blue eyes,
Preliminary DNA analysis of the exceedingly well-preserved 7,000-year-old skeleton, dubbed Brana-1, has overturned ideas about the descent of modern Europeans. Although the hunter’s closest modern-day relatives live in Sweden and Finland, the genes for his skin colour are African.
Https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulrodgers/2014/01/27/stone-age-hunter-had-blue-eyes-and-dark-african-skin/ JOHN BRYSON/SYGMA/CORBIS Don’t It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue? Feb.1, 2008, 12:00 AM Blue-eyed? Thank a genetic switch that turns off your body’s ability to make brown pigment in your peepers. Researchers have finally located the mutation that causes blue eyes, and the findings suggest that all blue-eyed humans share a single common ancestor born 6000 to 10,000 years ago.
Researchers have implicated the OCA2 gene in several eye colors. The gene is involved in the production of melanin, a pigment that gives hair and skin their hues http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2008/02/dont-it-make-your-brown-eyes-blue The skeleton of La Braña 1, as it was discovered in 2006. Credit: J.M. Vidal Encina Ethiopian boy has a form of albinism that only affects his eyes, turning them bright blue. April 29, 2016 admin Human Ethiopian boy with Ble eyes Babies with both Blonde Hair & Blue Eyes
Were Vikings blonde and blue eyes?
Turns out they didn’t much resemble Thor or Ragnar Lothbrok. – Posted Sept.22, 2020, 5:35 a.m. It turns out most Vikings weren’t as fair-haired and blue-eyed as legend and pop culture have led people to believe. According to a new study on the DNA of over 400 Viking remains, most Vikings had dark hair and dark eyes.
- Sorry, Chris Hemsworth and Travis Fimmel.) Nature’s study sequencing the genomes of 442 Viking remains from Viking-inhabited areas like northern Europe, Italy, and Greenland – human remains dated between 2400 B.C.
- To 1600 A.D.
- And which were buried with a variety of Viking artifacts – reveals far more genetic diversity than previously thought about the people who came from the land of the ice and snow.
The Vikings, after all, were a scattered group whose sea-faring for trade, exploration, and conquest saw them settle far and wide during the Viking Age that lasted from roughly 700 A.D. to 1100 A.D. Not only did many of the studied Vikings turn out to not be blond or blue-eyed, their genetic admixture shows they weren’t a distinct ethnic group but rather a mix of various other groups, “with ancestry from hunter-gatherers, farmers, and populations from the Eurasian steppe,” The study revealed which Scandinavian countries influenced outside regions the most.
The Danish Vikings went to England, while the Swedish Vikings went to the Baltic and the Norwegian Vikings went to Ireland, Iceland, and Greenland,” according to the University of Copenhagen’s Ashot Margaryan. Three particularly genetically diverse areas – one in modern Denmark, and one apiece on the Swedish islands of Gotland and Öland – were likely key trading centers.
The conclusions of this genetic analysis suggest the very idea of being a Viking was likely more a way of life or job. As Science Alert puts it: “(The) results also reveal that during the Viking Age, being a Viking was as much a concept and a culture as it was question of genetic inheritance, with the team finding that two Viking skeletons buried in the Northern Isles of Scotland had what looks to be relatively pure Scottish and Irish heritage, with no Scandinavian influence, at least not genetically speaking, that is.” ” These identities aren’t genetic or ethnic, they’re social,” archaeologist Cat Jarman informed Science magazine.
“To have backup for that from DNA is powerful.” And as Science magazine also highlights, “several individuals in Norway were buried as Vikings, but their genes identified them as Saami, an Indigenous group genetically closer to East Asians and Siberians than to Europeans.” Fascinatingly, the DNA study also revealed that two of the remains found hundreds of miles apart – one in the U.K.
and one in Denmark – turned out to be a pair of cousins. For more Vikings coverage, discover what showrunner Michael Hirst recently revealed to us about what’s in store for Vikings’ final season and why the sequel series, Valhalla, will be on Netflix instead of the History Channel.
When did Europeans develop blue eyes?
Some ancient peoples in Spain 7,000 years ago had blue eyes and dark skin. Apologies to Frank Sinatra, but the real Ol’ Blue Eyes has been found—a 7,000-year-old Spaniard whose fossil genes reveal that early Europeans sported blue eyes and dark skin. Mapping the blue-eyed boy’s genes is part of ongoing effort to uncover the DNA of ancient humans.
The new study in the journal Nature, led by Inigo Olalde of Spain’s Institut de Biología Evolutiva in Barcelona, reports the genetic map of a skeleton found in a Spanish cave. (See also: ” Modern Europe’s Genetic History Starts in Stone Age. “) Why It Matters Scholars had suspected that blue eyes arrived as an import into Europe, brought by late-arriving farmers who invaded the continent more than 5,000 years ago.
Contrary to the conventional picture of a blue-eyed, fair-haired northern European, the study suggests that blue eyes were already common among the continent’s early hunter-gatherers, along with darker skin. But those aren’t the only results that matter from the study.
- The researchers also discovered that a number of disease-resistance genes seen in modern Europeans were active in the ancient Spaniard’s gene map.
- And the study adds genetic support to archaeological findings that hint that a widespread hunter-gatherer culture cut continuously across Europe in prehistory.
What They Did The researchers extracted DNA from a tooth found with the skeleton of man, dubbed La Brana 1, uncovered in a cave near León, Spain, in 2006. In the lab, they compared the DNA from the man with DNA from other Stone Age Europeans, such as Ötzi, the 5,300-year-old “Iceman” of the Alps (whose people were farmers), and older, partial samples of genes recovered from hunter-gatherer burials in Sweden, Finland, and Siberia.
They also compared the results against the DNA of 35 modern-day Europeans. What They Found Around 7,000 years ago, a Stone Age culture spread across Europe, made famous by discoveries of small, rotund “Venus” figurines found in their burials. The study results suggest those people were genetically connected—one thin population of dark-haired hunter-gatherers whose domain reached from Spain to Siberia.
They were also partly the ancestors of many of today’s northern Europeans. Moreover, the ancient Spaniard had multiple genes linked to disease immunity, resistance to bacteria, and risks for musculoskeletal ailments, ones seen in people today. Understanding the origin of these genes can help better explain their function, which could aid medical studies, for example.
For fans of the “Paleo Diet” and other get-back-to-nature notions, the study brings some good news, suggesting that people carry around plenty of genes left over from their primeval forebears. The survival of some disease-resistance genes that mattered greatly in antiquity, as shown by their continuity in modern humans, also can help show how evolution worked its magic on us, and is still working today.
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Why do Europeans have big eyes?
People who live at higher latitudes have larger eyes and more processing power in their brains to deal with visual information compared with those living nearer the equator, a study suggests. “As you move away from the equator, there’s less and less light available, so humans have had to evolve bigger and bigger eyes,” said Eiluned Pearce from the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford University, a lead author on the study.
- Their brains also need to be bigger to deal with the extra visual input.
- Having bigger brains doesn’t mean that higher-latitude humans are smarter, it just means they need bigger brains to be able to see well where they live.” This suggests that someone from Greenland and someone from Kenya will have the same ability to discern detail, but the person from the higher latitude needs more brainpower and bigger eyes to deal with the lower light levels.
Professor Robin Dunbar, director of the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford University and a co-author of the study, said that people whose ancestors have lived within the Arctic circle, have eyeballs 20% bigger than people whose ancestors lived near the equator.
- They have an associated increase in the size of the brain’s visual cortex, which previous studies have shown correlates with the size of the eyeball.
- Brain volume is known to increase with latitude: people living at high latitudes north and south of the equator have bigger brains than people living near the equator and,
Dunbar said that scientists have wondered whether these inherited differences in total brain volume were driven by the pressure to adapt to low light levels at high latitudes. Th researchers measured the brain volumes and eye sockets of 55 skulls kept at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History dating from the 19th century.
- The skulls represented 12 different populations from around the world, including indigenous people from England, Australia, China, Kenya, Micronesia and Scandinavia.
- The results, published on Wednesday in the journal Biology Letters, showed that the biggest brains, averaging 1,484 millilitres, were from Scandinavia, while the smallest brains, around 1,200 millilitres, came from Micronesia.
Average eye socket size was 27 millilitres in Scandinavia and 22 millilitres in Micronesia. Dunbar said the increase in brain volume must have evolved relatively recently in human history. “It’s only within the last 10,000 years or so that modern humans have occupied all latitudes right up to the Arctic circle.
This is, I guess, an adaptation that’s happened within the last 10,000 years.” The researchers controlled for possible confounding variables influencing their data, such as the fact that people who live at higher latitudes are physically bigger and the possibility that the size of a person’s eye socket in colder climates might be bigger to allow for a thicker layer of insulating fat.
The results for human eyes mirror those found in birds and non-human primates. Bird species that sing earlier in the dawn chorus at high latitudes have bigger eyes than those that sing later, and nocturnal primates have bigger eyeballs than species that are awake during the day.
What do blue eyes mean genetically?
Is eye color determined by genetics? A person’s eye color results from pigmentation of a structure called the iris, which surrounds the small black hole in the center of the eye (the pupil) and helps control how much light can enter the eye. The color of the iris ranges on a continuum from very light blue to dark brown.
- Most of the time eye color is categorized as blue, green/hazel, or brown.
- Brown is the most frequent eye color worldwide.
- Eye color is determined by variations in a person’s genes.
- Most of the genes associated with eye color are involved in the production, transport, or storage of a pigment called melanin.
Eye color is directly related to the amount of melanin in the front layers of the iris. People with brown eyes have a large amount of melanin in the iris, while people with blue eyes have much less of this pigment. A particular region on plays a major role in eye color.
- Within this region, there are two genes located very close together: and HERC2,
- The protein produced from the OCA2 gene, known as the P protein, is involved in the maturation of melanosomes, which are cellular structures that produce and store melanin.
- The P protein therefore plays a crucial role in the amount and quality of melanin that is present in the iris.
Several common variations (polymorphisms) in the OCA2 gene reduce the amount of functional P protein that is produced. Less P protein means that less melanin is present in the iris, leading to blue eyes instead of brown in people with a polymorphism in this gene.
- A region of the nearby HERC2 gene known as intron 86 contains a segment of DNA that controls the activity (expression) of the OCA2 gene, turning it on or off as needed.
- At least one polymorphism in this area of the HERC2 gene has been shown to reduce the expression of OCA2 and decrease P protein production, leading to less melanin in the iris and lighter-colored eyes.
Several other genes play smaller roles in determining eye color. Some of these genes are also involved in skin and hair coloring. Genes with reported roles in eye color include ASIP, IRF4, SLC24A4, SLC24A5,, TPCN2,, and, The effects of these genes likely combine with those of OCA2 and HERC2 to produce a continuum of eye colors in different people.
Researchers used to think that eye color was determined by a single gene and followed a simple inheritance pattern in which brown eyes were dominant to blue eyes. Under this model, it was believed that parents who both had blue eyes could not have a child with brown eyes. However, later studies showed that this model was too simplistic.
Although it is uncommon, parents with blue eyes can have children with brown eyes. The inheritance of eye color is more complex than originally suspected because multiple genes are involved. While a child’s eye color can often be predicted by the eye colors of his or her parents and other relatives, genetic variations sometimes produce unexpected results.
Several disorders that affect eye color have been described. is characterized by severely reduced pigmentation of the iris, which causes very light-colored eyes and significant problems with vision. Another condition called affects the pigmentation of the skin and hair in addition to the eyes. Affected individuals tend to have very light-colored irises, fair skin, and white or light-colored hair.
Both ocular albinism and oculocutaneous albinism result from mutations in genes involved in the production and storage of melanin. Another condition called heterochromia is characterized by different-colored eyes in the same individual. Heterochromia can be caused by genetic changes or by a problem during eye development, or it can be acquired as a result of a disease or injury to the eye. Sturm RA, Duffy DL, Zhao ZZ, Leite FP, Stark MS, Hayward NK, Martin NG, Montgomery GW. A single SNP in an evolutionary conserved region within intron 86 of the HERC2 gene determines human blue-brown eye color. Am J Hum Genet.2008 Feb;82(2):424-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2007.11.005.
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- Genetics of human iris colour and patterns.
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J Hum Genet.2011 Jan;56(1):5-7. doi: 10.1038/jhg.2010.126. Epub 2010 Oct 14. Review. PubMed: : Is eye color determined by genetics?
When did blue eyes first appear in humans?
New research shows that people with blue eyes have a single, common ancestor. A team at the University of Copenhagen have tracked down a genetic mutation which took place 6-10,000 years ago and is the cause of the eye colour of all blue-eyed humans alive on the planet today.
- What is the genetic mutation “Originally, we all had brown eyes,” said Professor Hans Eiberg from the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine.
- But a genetic mutation affecting the OCA2 gene in our chromosomes resulted in the creation of a “switch,” which literally “turned off” the ability to produce brown eyes.” The OCA2 gene codes for the so-called P protein, which is involved in the production of melanin, the pigment that gives colour to our hair, eyes and skin.
The “switch,” which is located in the gene adjacent to OCA2 does not, however, turn off the gene entirely, but rather limits its action to reducing the production of melanin in the iris – effectively “diluting” brown eyes to blue. The switch’s effect on OCA2 is very specific therefore.
- If the OCA2 gene had been completely destroyed or turned off, human beings would be without melanin in their hair, eyes or skin colour – a condition known as albinism.
- Limited genetic variation Variation in the colour of the eyes from brown to green can all be explained by the amount of melanin in the iris, but blue-eyed individuals only have a small degree of variation in the amount of melanin in their eyes.
“From this we can conclude that all blue-eyed individuals are linked to the same ancestor,” says Professor Eiberg. “They have all inherited the same switch at exactly the same spot in their DNA.” Brown-eyed individuals, by contrast, have considerable individual variation in the area of their DNA that controls melanin production.
- Professor Eiberg and his team examined mitochondrial DNA and compared the eye colour of blue-eyed individuals in countries as diverse as Jordan, Denmark and Turkey.
- His findings are the latest in a decade of genetic research, which began in 1996, when Professor Eiberg first implicated the OCA2 gene as being responsible for eye colour.
Nature shuffles our genes The mutation of brown eyes to blue represents neither a positive nor a negative mutation. It is one of several mutations such as hair colour, baldness, freckles and beauty spots, which neither increases nor reduces a human’s chance of survival.
Are all Caucasians born with blue eyes?
What Color Eyes Are Babies Born With? – The color of babies’ irises actually depends on melanin, a protein secreted by special cells called melanocytes that also give your baby’s skin its color. Babies whose heritage is dark-skinned are usually born with brown eyes, whereas Caucasian newborns tend to be born with blue or gray eyes.
- Since melanocytes respond to light, at birth a baby may have eyes that appear gray or blue mostly due to the lack of pigment and because he’s been in a dark womb up until now.
- As he’s exposed to more light, over time (even several years) his eye color can change.
- If the melanocytes secrete just a little more melanin, this baby may end up with blue eyes.
Just a little more melanin and his eyes will be green or hazel. Brown eyes, which are the most common, are the result of very active melanocytes secreting lots of melanin. Brown eyes are likely to remain brown throughout life. It takes about a year for the melanocytes to finish their job and for the final color to come in.
Did blue eyes evolve before white skin?
Vitamin D Theory – One theory is the Vitamin D hypothesis, which is the idea that light colored skin, hair, and eyes co-evolved as humans moved into latitudes with shorter days, shorter summers, and therefore, less sunlight. However, molecular geneticist and Associate Professor Rick Sturm of the University of Queensland had a problem with this hypothesis.
He said that there is no evidence that light-colored irides let in more light or help you see better in low lighting than dark colored irises. Additionally, there is evidence that blue eyes evolved before light skin. Sturm and his team did a study looking at the genetic information extracted from a 7000-year-old tooth belonging to a hunter-gatherer dubbed La Brana 1, unearthed from the northwestern Spain.
When studying the hunter-gatherer’s genetic information, the team discovered that the man had dark hair, dark skin, and blue eyes. This archeological finding contradicts the theory that hair, skin, and eyes co-evolved in reaction to the limited sunlight.