Green Eyes: A Rarity?

As we know the popular song at this time of the year is “When “Irish Eyes Are Smiling” It is for good reason this song has an Irish theme. The largest concentration of Green-eyed people is in Ireland, Scotland, and northern Europe. 86% of people in Ireland and Scotland have blue or green eyes. Only 2% of the world’s population has green eyes, the rarest of common eye color. Less than 10% of Americans have green eyes.

Liqian China is a hotspot for green eyes. Two-thirds of the population has a very rare combination of green-eyed, blonde-haired people. It is thought to be linked to ancestry. Descendants of the Roman General Mareus Cassus. Cassus (115-53 BC) was a mentor to Julius Caesar. Cassus was perhaps the wealthiest man in Roman history. He had achieved his wealth through real estate and the slave trade. His search for military supremacy was his downfall.

It is hard to predict with any certainty what color eyes a baby will be born with simply by knowing the parent’s eye color. Sixteen separate genes have been identified as contributing to eye color.

Green eyes have an uncommon melanin level less than truly brown-eyed people but more than people with blue eyes. Green eyes have no color at all even though they appear green. Irises themselves have no actual pigment. The color we perceive is a lack of melanin in the iris the color is produced as more light scatters out. The changes in light make lighter eyes produce the color. Because of lack of melanin people with green eyes are more likely to be sensitive to UV rays.







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