One of the first things we notice about someone when we meet them is their eyes. While eye color is a fascinating physical trait, how common are they really? Here’s a look at the statistics of human eye color and how it is determined.
Eye color is inherited through multiple genes, most notably OCA2 and HERC2. However, because multiple genes are involved, it can create various shades of brown, green, blue and hazel. Brown eyes (whether light or dark) are by far the most common across the world.
One of the most interesting things researchers have uncovered about eye color is that blue eyes are the result of a single mutation to the OCA2 gene that turns off its ability to produce brown eyes. So even though blue eyes appear in many people from different parts of the world, they all trace back to one ancestor with this genetic mutation. Though blue eyes may be considered beautiful by some, they come with a slight disadvantage. Some studies suggest that people with lighter colored eyes may be more sensitive to light than those with darker colored eyes due to less melanin pigment in their irises.
The science behind eye color reveals an intriguing story on how genetics can shape our physical traits. We now know that while brown is by far the most common eye color across the world, blue eyes trace back to just one ancestor with a genetic mutation — making them unique in their own way! It also explains why some people with lighter colored eyes may be more sensitive to light than those with darker colored eyes due to less melanin pigment in their irises. Knowing more about your eye color can help you appreciate just how special it truly is!