The Truth About Green Eyes

The Truth About Green Eyes


Green eyes have always been captivating. However, their timeless mystique has inspired
legends and many outright misconceptions about emerald-colored peepers. Here’s the truth behind one of the most talked-about
eye colors. If your eyes are green, you’ll be happy to
know that the intrigue surrounding the color has worked in your favor. In a comprehensive online survey conducted
by AllAboutVision.com, people revealed what they thought to be the most attractive eye
color. Congrats, all you green-eyed folks! Your eyes are at the top of the list. Over 20 percent of those who participated
in the survey voted for green eyes as the most appealing eye color, followed by 16.9
percent for light blue, 16 percent for hazel, and 15.2 percent for dark blue. People who sport this desirable eye color
also share something in common with some of the coolest celebs. Adele, Emma Stone, and Scarlett Johansson
are just a few famous faces with green peepers. In fact, Johansson’s eyes are so green that
a Vanity Fair profile of the actress called her eyes “as pure green as a cat’s.” To put it simply, you and your green eyes
are in good company. While it may seem like there are a whole lot
of celebrities who have green eyes, this eye color is actually estimated to be one of the
rarest eye colors in the world. According to World Atlas, those with brown
eyes make up anywhere from 55 to 79 percent of the world’s population, whereas those with
green eyes make up just two percent of the global population. You heard that right – just two percent! Coming in rarer than green is gray – and that
means true gray, not blue that sometimes looks gray – followed by violet, and then heterochromia,
meaning two different colored eyes. Much like having green eyes, only two percent
of the population is estimated to have red hair – but there’s actually a fairly decent
chance that a person can wind up with both rare traits. We’re looking at you, Jessica Chastain! We know we just told you that green eyes are
incredibly rare – and they definitely are. However, if you were to take a trip to Europe,
you’d probably start to doubt this fact. Edmund Custers, a biostatistician, revealed
in an article for Owlcation that a whopping 86 percent of the population in Ireland and
Scotland have either blue or green eyes. The situation is similar in Iceland, as 87
percent of men and 89 percent of women have one of the two colors. The expert explained: In fact, if you were to visit Britain, you
might start to believe that green eyes are more prevalent than brown. According to a study of over 12,000 people,
brown eyes are rarer than green in Britain, despite the fact that brown eyes make up much
of the world’s population. Although we may label people’s eyes as “green,”
no one really has green eyes. If you’re confused, allow us to explain. Irises aren’t actually green, they only appear
to be. According to Eyesite Opticians, green eyes
don’t contain the color green. Instead, they’re a: Basically, “green” eyes only contain a small
amount of the brown pigment called melanin. In the absence of a lot of melanin, Rayleigh
scattering occurs. As Custers explained, Rayleigh scattering
happens when: Brown eyes, on the other hand, absorb light
because they contain more melanin. Although Rayleigh scattering is also responsible
for making blue eyes, blue green eyes are especially unique because of this “curious
blend” of blue wavelengths and yellowish pigment. In a 2014 study about the correlation between
eye color and pain conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of
Medicine in Pennsylvania, healthy female participants were split into two groups: those with dark
eyes (like brown and hazel), and those with light eyes, (like blue and green). What researchers discovered is that the women
with dark eyes experienced increased anxiety, sleep disturbance, and higher levels of pain
during childbirth. “Aaaggghhh, where’s the doctor?!” Interestingly, the women with green and blue
eyes experienced less anxiety and were better able to tolerate the pain associated with
childbirth. According to researchers: Unfortunately, researchers don’t yet know
why this unique correlation between pain tolerance and eye color exists. You may not know if your child will have green
eyes until quite a while after giving birth. When a baby is first born, the little one
has one of two eye colors: gray or blue. As HealthyChild.org explains, immediately
after birth, cells called melanocytes begin to secrete melanin – the brown pigment – in
the baby’s irises. This process starts happening because melanocytes
react to light and – as you can probably guess – there aren’t exactly any sunny days in the
womb. However, this doesn’t work like some kind
of human glow-in-the-dark technology. You can’t just take your baby into the sunshine
and expect to see their true eye color after stepping back inside. In fact, melanocytes can take up to a year
to finish producing pigment. That said, you should begin to have an idea
of your child’s eye color at around the six-month mark because the process usually starts wrapping
up when your baby is half a year old. If your little one has green peepers after
a year, it’s safe to say they always will. Women are more likely than men to have a set
of green eyes, though the science as to why that’s the case isn’t exactly clear. According to a 2013 study published in the
Journal of Statistics Education, researchers from Iowa State University found that only
12 percent of male participants surveyed reported having green eyes, while nearly 18 percent
of the female participants had green. The Daily Beast reported that the 1985 National
Longitudinal Survey of Youth reported that more women than men had green eyes, and an
additional study published in Nature Genetics in 2008 revealed comparable results. In Iceland, over twice as many female participants
than male participants were discovered to have green eyes, and this was also proven
to be the case in the Netherlands. Dutch women really have the guys outnumbered,
as they’re three times as likely to have green eyes. Green eyes are more prevalent in Europe, but
this eye color isn’t reserved solely for light-haired, fair-skinned folks. According to biostatistician Edmund Custers,
people of any race can have green eyes. Custers explained on Owlcation that countries
like Spain, Brazil, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia have all had populations
of people with green eyes, however small in number. Though rare, green eyes seem to have made
their way across a large portion of the globe. You might think that people are the only ones
that can possess this rare eye color, but researchers from discovered an insect in 2013
with what they described as “olive green eyes.” Called the “Ministrymon janevicroy,” this
species can be found in Texas, Costa Rica, and Venezuela – and, of course, on the internet. But this pretty butterfly isn’t the only non-human
with green eyes – man’s best friend has also been known to sport this eye color. Veterinary ophthalmologist Laura Proietto
explained to The Dodo: Your kitty cat can also have a set of green
peepers – especially if she has a fluffy, white coat, or is all black. “Gotten any strays in trouble?” “No.” “Still want to take over the world?” “Yes. Wait! No! I meant no! NOOOOOOO!” If you’ve ever been teased about your green
eyes, you can thank good ol’ Billy Shakespeare. After all, he was perhaps the first person
to connect green eyes to envy – one of the seven deadly sins. As you might remember from English Lit, The
Merchant of Venice reads: A few years later, the famous playwright again
referenced the eye color in relation to envy, writing in Othello: Did Shakespeare have it out for someone with
green eyes, or did he just really hate the color? While we may never know for sure why Shakespeare
chose “green eyes” to symbolize jealousy, Phrases.org gave it their best guess. According to the website, the color green
was (and still is) often linked to sickness – possibly because of the light, yellowish-green
tinge a person’s skin sometimes turns during illness. In a study published in The International
Journal of Indian Psychology, 29 percent of participants were determined to consider green-eyed
people as “creative” and “a bit devious.” Take that, Shakespeare! Ophthalmologist and researcher Hamadi Kallel
says that people with green eyes do share some similar personality traits – and envy
isn’t one of them. According to Kallel: Who’s jealous now? Having green eyes might make you seem cool
and mysterious to others, but they unfortunately come with a few health risks. In fact, all people with light eyes may just
be more prone to developing a particular kind of cancer. As Everyday Health explained, blue and green
eyes contain less pigment than brown eyes. And since pigment is what protects the eye
from cancer-causing ultraviolet light, people with light eyes have an increased risk of
developing melanoma, specifically in the middle layer of the eye. Ruth Williams, ophthalmologist at the Wheaton
Eye Clinic in Chicago, Illinois, and former president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology,
told Everyday Health: Thankfully, a simple pair of sunglasses – with
UV protection, of course – can cut your skin cancer risk and help you avoid any of the
eye irritation that comes with light sensitivity. It’s long been a stereotype that those of
Irish descent can drink more than their non-Irish buddies. But like many stereotypes, this hasn’t exactly
been proven by science. In fact, experts don’t think your ability
to hold your liquor has anything to do with genetics. Michael Fingerhood, associate professor of
medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told ABC News: However, there might be more to the story. In 2001, researchers evaluated archival samples
from two older studies – one of over 10,000 Caucasian male prisoners and another of nearly
2,000 Caucasian women. The researchers found that people with light
eyes, quote, “consumed significantly more alcohol than individuals with dark eyes.” These findings were similar to other past
studies, which cited that Based on their findings, the researchers speculated
that people with brown eyes may be more sensitive to alcohol, and because of this, don’t tend
to drink as much. Whatever the reason, it appears that green-eyed
people can indeed out-drink their brown-eyed cohorts. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more List videos about interesting
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