Where Does Green Eyes Originate From?
- Pieter Maas
Rare Green Eyes – Lots of genetic traits are rare. For example, left-handedness occurs in just 10% of the world’s population, only 11% have naturally curly hair, and a mere 4% have blonde hair. But of all of the seven billion-plus people on planet Earth, only 2% can claim to have one unique trait.
- So, what is this trait so few of us have? Green eyes.
- Yes, only 2 percent of the population of the entire world have them.
- How does that compare to other colors? Brown eyes are most common, as many of you would guess, with 79% of people born with them.
- Blue is found in 8% of people, 5% of us are hazel-eyed, and 5% have eyes of amber.
Essentially, green eyes are unique. Most common in Western, Northern, and Central Europe, green eyes often point to German or Celtic ancestry. Currently, they can be found most often in Iceland, the Netherlands, Scotland, Britain, and Scandinavia. In Britain, brown eyes are, interestingly, even more rare than green eyes, with 22 percent of residents being brown-eyed.
- By comparison, nearly one-third of residents have green eyes.
- Interestingly, green eyes may not appear in children until age three, as pigmentation takes time to form and then to appear.
- If eyes are, as they say, “windows of the soul,” then green-eyed have the rarest souls around.
- As a color, green is often associated with negative emotions like jealousy (Shakespeare’s Othello has a quote that calls envy “the green-ey’d monster”).
Still, plenty of people think green is one of the most alluring eye colors. Green eyes can be emerald- or lime-hued, creating a look that is both mysterious and attractive.
How did green eyes originate?
Green – Green eyes probably result from the interaction of multiple variants within the OCA2 and other genes. They were present in south Siberia during the Bronze Age, Green eyes are most common in Northern, Western and Central Europe, In Scotland, 29% of people have green eyes. Around 8–10% of men and 18–21% of women in Iceland and 6% of men and 17% of women in the Netherlands, have green eyes. Among European Americans, green eyes are most common among those of recent Celtic and Germanic ancestry with about 16%.
Why are green eyes a mutation?
The Truth About Green Eyes
Green Eyes – Only about 2 percent of the world’s population has green eyes. Green eyes are a genetic mutation that produces low levels of melanin, but more than blue eyes. As in blue eyes, there is no green pigment. Instead, because of the lack of melanin in the iris, more light scatters out, which make the eyes appear green.
Why did blue and green eyes evolve?
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.