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People With Blue Eyes Are Mutants and Other Interesting Facts.

People with blue eyes have a single, common ancestor, according to new research. A team of scientists has tracked down a genetic  mutation that leads to blue eyes. The mutation occurred between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago. Before then, there were no blue eyes.

"Originally, we all had brown eyes," said Hans Eiberg from the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Copenhagen.

The mutation affected the so-called OCA2 gene, which is involved in the production of melanin, the pigment that gives color to our hair, eyes and skin. "A genetic mutation affecting the OCA2 gene in our chromosomes resulted in the creation of a 'switch,' which literally 'turned off' the ability to produce brown eyes," Eiberg said. The genetic switch is located in the gene adjacent to OCA2 and rather than completely turning off the gene, the switch limits its action, which reduces the production of melanin in the iris. In effect, the turned-down switch diluted brown eyes to blue.

Over the course of several generations, segments of ancestral DNA get shuffled so that individuals have varying sequences. Some of these segments, however, that haven't been reshuffled are called haplotypes. If a group of individuals shares long haplotypes, that means the sequence arose relatively recently in our human ancestors. The DNA sequence didn't have enough time to get mixed up.

"What they were able to show is that the people who have blue eyes in Denmark, as far as Jordan, these people all have this same haplotype, they all have exactly the same gene changes that are all linked to this one mutation that makes eyes blue," Hawks said in a telephone interview.

"Out of 800 persons we have only found one person which didn't fit — but his eye color was blue with a single brown spot," Eiberg told LiveScience, referring to the finding that blue-eyed individuals all had the same sequence of DNA linked with melanin production.

"From this we can conclude that all blue-eyed individuals are linked to the same ancestor," Eiberg said. "They have all inherited the same switch at exactly the same spot in their DNA."

That genetic switch somehow spread throughout Europe and now other parts of the world. "The question really is, 'Why did we go from having nobody on Earth with blue eyes 10,000 years ago to having 20 or 40 percent of Europeans having blue eyes now?"  

The authors concluded that the mutation may have arisen in a single individual in the Near East or around the Black sea region 6,000-10,000 years ago during the neolithic revolution perhaps suggesting that all people with pure blue eyes are more closely related. However, blue eyes with brown spots around the pupil are not related to this mutation, they are also found in part of North Africa, West Asia and South Asia  in particular the northern areas. However blue eyes are not found within the population of East Asia, due to the major pre-dominance of the brown eye gene in the area.

A 2002 study found the prevalence of blue eye color among Caucasians in the United States to be 33.8 percent for those born from 1936 through 1951 compared with 57.4 percent for those born from 1899 through 1905. Blue eyes have become increasingly rare among American children with only 1 out of every 6 - 16.6 percent which is 49.8 million out of 300 million (22.4% of white Americans) of the total United States population having blue eyes. The plunge in the past few decades has taken place at a remarkable rate. A century ago, 80 percent of people married within their ethnic group. Blue eyes, a genetically recessive trait, were routinely passed down, especially among people of English, Irish, and Northern European ancestry.

In the 1930s, eugenicists used the disappearance of blue eyes as a rallying cry to support immigration restrictions. They went so far as to map the parts of the country with the highest and lowest percentage of blue-eyed people.

HyperthalamusDub HyperthalamusDub 26-30, M 60 Responses May 10, 2009

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I am a mutant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


This is the most intelligent post I have read on EP

Dear hyperthalamusdub I myself have blue/grey eyes do you know why they aren't purely blue and does it have any relation to Northern European, Irish, English.

I have blue eyes with white dots in them, why?

My little cousin has the most beautiful blue eyes I have ever seen. He inherited this from my great great grandpa on my mom's side of the family.

I have blue eyes with a spot of brown and a dark ring that looks purple am I a mutant?

My eyes are grey-blue on the outside, then get really light, then darker. There's a gold ring around my pupils that will grow and shrink like it's part of the pupil. Is that normal? Am I a mutant too? I have no brown at all in them

I have blue eyes with one brown spot in my right eye. My friends love my eyes, and think that my brown spot is somewhat awesome. I get compliments on my eyes all the time. And I thought this article was very interesting.

My daughter has blue eyes with a single brown dot in her left eye. Thought this was a very interesting article.

I hate having blue eyes because they're more sensitive to sunlight. People with brown eyes are so lucky, because it's like having natural sunglasses. Not only are blue eyes so sensitive to sunlight, but since the gene for blue eyes is recessive, we blue-eyed people are double-cursed.

I hate my blue eyes to a passion. In fact, I hate my northern European heritage more than I can say.

My eyes are very light blue almost light grey, people stare at my eyes all the time

I have blue eyes with central Heterochromia which means that mu pupil is surrounded by a different color. In my case its yellow plus on top of all those mutations I have voluntary Nystagmus which allows me to rapidly move my eyes on command which is fun

I have bright auburn hair and tons of freckles. My eyes are the things all my friends stare at. On the outside I have a ring of dark blue, then green with amber specs, and a tad of brown near the iris. They used to be completely blue. Am I a mutation?

I have crystal blue eyes with a black ring around the iris.... am I a mutation???

I have blue eyes. No other colors. I have dark dark red hair so dark that from a distance it looks brown. But up close it definetly red. My name proves to be irish. I am saddened to say that I have given birth to three children, all whom took their mothers French eyes which are brown. I was hoping that at least one would pass it on. In fact the closest I came was my middle child, born with blonde hair instead of brown. I guess I can be proud of that. Perhaps she has the chance of making blue eyes in her future children

I was born with auburn colored hair, then it turned blonde. My eyes are blue (the color varies with my mood) The one thing that stand out is that I have a good size brown spot on one of my eyes. It always seem to throw people off when they notice it for the first time. I even had an eye doctor comment on it after started to look at my eyes. He never noticed till after he got close. One of my kids have small brown rings around her pupil followed by light blue then after that a dark blue ring on the outside of the iris. Both of my kids have blue eyes, my youngest kids dad had brown eyes. He was certain that she was going to have brown not blue. I pointed out to him that my mother had brown eyes and only 2 of the 5 kids she had had brown the rest of us had blue eyes and my father had blue eyes.

Bah humbug.
Another person trying to make a "name" for themselves. I defy you to prove this.

i have blue eyes with a yellow ring with light green next to the pupil

I have a yellowish-brown ring near the pupil of my eye, in the middle its green/grey/blue and on the outside it is blackish/navy blue... does that make me a mutation or not? Since I have some brown in my eye. I'm guessing if I don't have the mutation then I am not related to that one person? Hmmm...

makes you a farie, you have tri-colored eyes, kids and I have tri-colored eyes but it is subtle and easy to miss. They are different shades of blue with a thin brown ring around the pupil. I say own it and be proud to have different eyes.

I have blue eyes with a yellow ring around them

My Eyes. Well they are Blue like Ice in a way with a light Navy blue ring and Gold specks in them. Some times the they turn from Blue to a Envy green. Hmmm.

I have one very very blue eye and one very very. Brite green eye what's up with that?

Ice eyes are better in the snow than brown. No coincidence that there are higher concentrations of blue eyes in countries with colder weather.

It's sad that the belief that the further north you go the fairer ones skin would be, that notion is completely false. In early times before mass transit was optional, people migrated over spans of time. Hence the popular belief that after humans spread out from africa their skin got lighter all the way to a pinkish hue "white " if you will. But the only location of fair skin Caucasian persons was located near the tropic of cancer isolated to a small region today known as England, Germany, and the Netherlands. Above them or further north of the caucasians were humans identified by the race of mongoloid the largest of the three major race families. North Mongol, Eskimo, and American are sub family groups within the mongoloid race which all have the ability to naturally produce skin pigmentation much like the Negroid families of Africa. This fact has puzzled scientist. Fortunately scientists have discovered with technological advances in the DNA and gene research, that in fact the "white" race, caucasian if you will are the only direct split from the negroid families to successfuly reproduce with what is commonly referd to as a monkey or ape but scientifically is called a Neanderthal. You can check out the brains explanation of this matter on YouTube Carl Zimmer the red headed Neanderthal, he gives. A more in-depth explanation on how thesecond things transpired over time

Blue eyes are no better in the snow than brown eyes. There are no advantages to having blue eyes, they're just more sensitive to sunlight, a huge disadvantage.

I have he eyes and my dad has blue and my mom has green.

my mom & dad have green eyes and my three brothers have brown eyes, im the only one in my family with blue eyes!

i have turqoise eyes. a mix of greens and blues.

So that's why I have Blue eyes.

Really interesting! I wonder if it's legitimate? I read a similar article that also added that since blue eyes come from a recessive gene, they must be inherited from both parents. However, my mom has blue eyes and my stepdad has brown eyes, yet their kids all have blue eyes.
I'm also curious about color changing eyes like mine and my dad's. They change between blue, green, and gray, but his are much more intense and more green than mine.

I have blue eyes with brown flecks

What an amazing bit of information. I so loved this!