The Origins Of Eye Color

The Origins Of Eye Color

It may not surprise you to know the science behind your eye color isn't quite black and white. In fact, because there is no actual green or blue pigment in your iris, the color of your eyes is constantly changing depending on your age and situational lighting if you're seemingly blue- or green-eyed. Did you know each of your eyes contains more than 107 million light-sensitive cells? That means that we experience color, patterns, depth and much more in unique, individualized ways—and backs up the notion of an ever-changing eye pigment. If you're blue-eyed, however, you're related to all other natural blue-eyed folks, whether they range from dark to light tones. Or maybe you're someone who experiences Heterochromia iridium, which is a rare imbalance of pigment resulting in two different eye colors in the same individual.

So when it comes to eye color, what's the biggest predicting factor? Is it true all babies are born with blue eyes—and if so, why? Whether your eyes are brown, hazel, blue, gray, brown, black or purple, this playlist provides the scientific insight you need to understand the vibrant science behind your windows to the world.


Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Approximately 8% of the world's population has blue eyes. (0:19)

  • 2

    In people with blue eyes, the stroma of the iris is full of nearly colorless cells that scatter blue wavelengths of light. (1:47)

  • 3

    Blue eyes come from a recessive allele, which is why they are relatively rare. (2:42)

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