All Blue-Eyed People Have One Big Thing In Common

If you have blue eyes, you’ll want to read this. It turns out that you’re all a descendant of one single early European human. The blue eyes is actually a mutation, so you’re a mutant at that.

Way, way back in the day, all humans had brown eyes. And actually, all humans today have brown eyes to an extent. The blue colour comes from the amount of melanin in your iris, more of which results in more light absorption. The more light being absorbed by the melanin, the darker your eyes appear. Blue eyes happen when there is a low concentration of melanin.

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The first instance of this low concentration occurred between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago when humans first began to move out of African and into Europe, and is due to a mutation of genes. The gene OCA2 is responsible for the amount of pigment produced by different individuals, resulting in the different shades of brown. Scientists knew this, and searched fruitlessly within that gene for the source of blue eyes. However, it turns out a mutation to the nearby gene HERC2 actually switches off OCA2, and results in blue eyes.

Therefore, every person today with blue eyes has a gene mutation in order to make this. How ’bout that?

The melanin concentration mutation also seems to take time to show its face, according to a piece by CNN. This is why a lot of babies have blue eyes – the melanin is still forming. Their eye colour can often darken as they keep developing. According to the same piece, the reason for this could be the move to cooler nations. High levels of melanin in different parts of the body (eyes, hair, skin) helps protect people in hotter climates from the harshness of the sun. Moving to a cooler climate mitigates the need for higher levels of melanin, resulting in bluer eyes, whiter skin, and blonder hair.

Makes sense… But I prefer the mutant theory. It’s just cooler.

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