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eye color meaning

What Does Your Eye Color Say About You?

A person’s eyes can sometimes reveal more than words ever can.

Basics of Eye Color

Our eye color depends on the amount of melanin found in our irises

  • Lower melanin levels lead to a lighter eye color
  • Higher melanin levels lead to a darker eye color
  • Scientists have confirmed that multiple genes determine eye color—not just a single gene!

    Melanin Levels Are Influenced by Two Main Genes

  • OCA2 gene produces the P protein that determines the amount of melanin present in the iris. Less P protein would lead to blue eyes instead of brown eyes
  • HERC2 gene turns on and off the OCA2 gene. This gene could limit the OCA2 gene, leading to less melanin in the iris and a lighter eye color
  • What causes a baby’s eye color to change?

    It’s all about the melanocytes that form the brown pigment melanin
    Melanocyte activity levels may cause a baby’s eye color to change over time, for up to roughly one year

  • If melanocytes secrete only a small amount of melanin, a baby will have blue eyes
  • If they secrete a little more, a baby will have eyes that look green or hazel
  • If melanocytes become very active, a baby will have a brown shade of eyes
  • It takes about a year for melanocytes to finish their work, so a baby’s eye color may change until then

  • Most American Caucasian babies begin life with blue eyes. Only 1 in 6 retain blue eyes as adults
  • Babies of African American, Hispanic, and Asian descent are more likely to begin life with darker eyes
  • Famous Eye Anomalies

    Mila Kunis & Kiefer Sutherland

    Both have Heterochromia Iridium, a condition where each eye is a different color
    Mila Kunis’s right eye is green and left eye is hazel
    Kiefer Sutherland has eyes of two different shades of blue

    Elizabeth Berkley

    The popular Saved By The Bell star has Heterochromia Iridis, a condition where one eye features multiple colors Berkley has one eye that’s half brown and half green, the the other is entirely green
    Approximately six in 1,000 are believed to have this type of condition

    David Bowie

    David Bowie's iconic eye condition was often mistaken for Heterochromia
    His condition was anisocoria (permanently dilated pupil) caused by eye damage sustained as a teen during a fight over a girl

    Eye Color May Influence Our Perceptions of Others

    Perceived Trustworthiness

    People generally rate brown-eyed people as being more trustworthy than blue-eyed people

    Athletic Success

    Light-eyed individuals and animals perform better than their dark-eyed counterparts at slow activities that involve breaks e.g., bowling or golf
    Dark-eyed individuals may be better at activities that involve speed and reactivity e.g., boxing or tennis


    One study found that those with lighter eyes tend to be more competitive than those with darker eyes


    Those with darker eyes have been found to be more sympathetic than their lighter eyed peers

    What does your eye color say about you?


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    Also see: Lens Material Guide | How to Measure Glasses Size | Do I Need Glasses? | Eye Reading Infographic | Who Invented Glasses? | How to Clean Your Glasses

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