Why Do Scandinavians Have Blue Eyes?

Why Do Scandinavians Have Blue Eyes
The Scandinavian peoples have primarily blonde hair and blue eyes, which are inherited according to genetics because almost all humans carry at least two gene pairs for each trait. If a person only inherits one of the gene pairs, they are more likely to have children with this feature than those who carry both gene pairs.

What percentage of Scandinavians have blue eyes?

Norway – Unsurprisingly, another Scandinavian country has placed itself third on our list of countries with the highest percentage of blond hair citizens. In Norway, an estimated 75% of the population has blond hair, and between 60% to 80% of the population has blue eyes.

Were Vikings blue eyed?

Turns out they didn’t much resemble Thor or Ragnar Lothbrok. – This post might contain affiliation links. If you buy something through this post, the publisher may get a share of the sale. Posted Sept.22, 2020, 8:05 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.

  1. To 1100 A.D.
  2. 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.

  1. The conclusions of this genetic analysis suggest the very idea of being a Viking was likely more a way of life or job.
  2. 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.
  • This post might contain affiliation links.

If you buy something through this post, the publisher may get a share of the sale.

See also:  Why Are Malia'S Eyes Blue?

Why are Nordic people blonde and blue eyed?

So over time, humans who were lighter-pigmented survived longer than those who were darker in the north. This also means their genes prevailed over dark ones, this is why many ethnic Scandinavians are blonde-haired or light-pigmented.

Where did blue-eyed people originate?

Blog Why Do Scandinavians Have Blue Eyes 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.
See also:  What Do You Call Brown And Green Eyes?

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.

Why do Scandinavians have small noses?

Do Scandinavians have big noses? – Scandinavians do not have particularly large noses, as Northern Europeans tend to have more narrow noses than people in warmer climates, as an adaptation to the cooler climate. Though differences in size are generally bigger between men and women than between different ethnicities.

Why do Swedes tan so well?

Why do fair-skinned Brits burn while Swedes (for example) tan? People from further north tend to have paler skins, the better to absorb the weak sunlight and trigger vitamin D production. After that any subtle differences in skin type are a matter of genetic inheritance.

“Your Celtic phenotypes – Brits with pale skin, freckles, red hair – will burn and never tan,” says Mark Birch-Machin, reader in molecular dermatology at the University of Newcastle and a researcher for Cancer Research UK. Brits of a less Celtic extraction may burn and then tan when young, but will pay for it heavily with wrinkles when older.

“Each time you go out in the sun and get burned, you damage your DNA. Even before you get sunburned skin, you have damaged your DNA, so it is worse than it looks. You cannot say: ‘I am safe until I become a lobster.’ That is not true.” But Birch-Machin is dubious about races such as the Swedes having any real advantage over us in the tanning stakes.

  1. After all, our blood is extremely muddled up in Europe, and the British public is generally exposed to only a small sample of (famous) Swedes – some of whom may sport artificial tans of course.
  2. If you go out in the sun you may get skin cancer,” he says.
  3. But what is sure is that your face is going to look like an old sofa.
See also:  How To Summon Blue Eyes White Dragon?

You will have a 50-year-old face on a 30-year-old body, and particularly if you smoke.” James Scott, director of the genetics and genomics research institute at Imperial College London, thinks that from a genetic perspective, the British should be more likely to toast to a gentle brown than their cousins from more northerly latitudes.

The genetic differences among northern Europeans are minuscule, he says, and any golden glow from the Baltic could be, he says, an “observer artefact”. But he is not certain of that. “Either the genetics is subtly different in Swedes, such that they have blond hair and fair skin but the propensity to develop more melanin when they see the sun, ” Professor Scott says.

” maybe there is a form of conditioning in which the genes get set by environmental triggers in a particular sort of way.” : Why do fair-skinned Brits burn while Swedes (for example) tan?

Why is everyone blonde in Scandinavia?

As a result of the relatively low levels of sunlight for most of the year, humans in Scandinavia began to develop symptoms of vitamin D deficiency : namely lighter skin and hair colour.

What color eyes do most Scandinavians have?

Do all Scandinavians (Danes, Swedes etc.) have blonde hair, blue eyes, are tall and slim and good-looking? It certainly looks like it

A large majority of people in Northern European countries have light coloured hair – blonde, light brown – and light coloured eyes – anything from blue eyes to different shades of grey.Anthropologist Robert Frost did a study on eye colour, specifically the distribution of light coloured eyes. I’ve attached a chart below from his study:The blue represents 80%+ light eyes, light teal is 50-79% light eyes, olive is 20-49% light eyes, dark brown is 1-19% light eyes, and black represents no presence of light eyes in the indigenous population.

And here’s another one. This time it shows the distribution of people with blonde or light coloured hair. Yellow means that over 80% of people have blonde hair, orange represents 50–79%, light brown represents 20–49%, dark brown is less than 20%, and black represents no people with blonde hair: People from Scandinavian countries, or more broadly from the North of the European continent are generally taller, however there are other nations with even taller people, like the Dutch for example (especially women) or people from the Balkan countries.

What percentage of Norwegian people have blue eyes?

Norway –

Why Do Scandinavians Have Blue Eyes In Norway: Ethnic groups most parts of Norway the nucleus of the population is Nordic in heritage and appearance. Between 60 and 70 percent have blue eyes. An influx of people from southern Europe has been strong in southwestern Norway. Nord-Norge has about nine-tenths of the estimated 30,000 to 40,000 Sami—the country’s first inhabitants—living

What is the most common eye color in Denmark?

Lighter eyes across Northern Europe – How much lighter are the eyes of Northern Europeans compared to everybody else’s? Quite a bit. Keep that 70-79% global estimate for brown eyes in mind when you look at the numbers below from a study in the journal “Forensic Science International: Genetics.”

Nation Blue Intermediate Brown
Denmark 64.8% 20.5% 14.5%
Great Britain 42.8% 25.5% 31.8%
France 22.0% 44.0% 34.0%
Germany 39.6% 33.2% 27.2%
Iceland 74.5% 14.2% 9.2%
Netherlands 60.9% 11.4% 21.7%
Poland 52.5% 12.5% 35.1%

A few points pop out:

Iceland, the northernmost country of the bunch, has the greatest percentage of people with blue eyes. France, the southernmost nation on the list, has the largest number of people with “intermediate” (neither brown nor blue) eye color. Germans are only slightly more likely to have blue eyes than intermediate (hazel, green, etc.) or brown eyes.

Blue eyes have been common across Europe since prehistoric times. Indeed, one study found evidence of blue-eyed hunters and gatherers roaming Spain 7,000 years ago.