Ever thought about your eye colour?
At some point, most of us will have pondered why our eyes are a particular shade, and what, if anything, it may mean. The reality is that our eye colour is defined by our genetics and the amount of melanin that develops in the iris throughout early childhood. By the time we have become adults, they will remain a constant colour for the rest of our lives.
Human eye shade can be anywhere on the spectrum between dark brown and light blue, while your eye colour may be classed as rare or common, depending on your country and continent of origin.
Here are some surprising facts about eye colour that you probably never knew!
Often viewed as the most striking eyeshade, blue eyes were caused by a genetic mutation, and have existed for tens of thousands of years, since the Neanderthal era. Nowadays, 48% of people in the UK have blue eyes, while the rate for the rest of the world varies greatly – in Finland, 89% of the population have the colour, while blue eye frequency is limited to 1.2% in the North African country of Tunisia.
Strangely, research shows that having blue eyes is linked to a higher chance of alcohol dependency and makes people more sensitive to light.
On a global basis, brown eyes are easily the most common colour, with people in China and India overwhelmingly having this feature. However, in the UK, brown-eyed people are in the minority behind both blue and green shades – just 22% of British residents have brown eyes.
Having a deep, dark brown shade means that your eyes have the highest percentage of melanin, and according to the scientists, it may also suggest that your sporting reaction times are slightly quicker than people with other colours. However, the same research shows that academic success is less likely.
Like blue eyes, green-eyed people should wear sunglasses in bright sunlight as they are more prone to light sensitivity.
Just 2% of the world’s population have a green tint, yet in Britain, the figure is much higher (30% of us have green eyes). It is also a common colour in Ireland and Germany and is historically heavily linked with Celtic and Germanic communities. Recently, an online poll found that people with green eyes are rated as the most attractive!
Subconsciously, eye colour plays a role when it comes to dating and choosing a partner. Studies show that we are attracted to partners who have the same eye colour as our opposite-sex parent – so basically, if you are a woman and your father had blue eyes, it is likely you will seek out a partner with the same trait.
Eye colour is also an important relationship factor for men. The available evidence demonstrates that blue-eyed males prefer women with similar eye colour. This acts as an assurance of paternity and a defence against sexual affairs!
Whichever eye colour you are lucky enough to have, there are always pros and cons to each one – our ability to see is the essential element! Currently, the only way to alter the shade is on a temporary basis – coloured contact lenses can be worn according to your taste.