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