Do you have blue eyes? If so, you are probably often complimented on your eyes, since that color is much less common than brown.
But did you know that these eyes reveal that you are from the same ancestor as all the other blue-eyed humans?
This common ancestor is thought to have lived around 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. Scientists have revealed that the genetic mutation responsible for blue eyes comes from one human being!
Researchers have been trying to find an answer to the existence of blue eyes for several years. They studied the OCA2 gene, which determines the level of brown pigment in the human eye, without finding the answers they were looking for.
Eventually, it turned out that the genetic mutation that causes blue eyes is from an entirely different gene called HERC2. This gene completely deactivates OCA2, revealing a blue color instead.
However, how did scientists come to conclude that members of the blue-eyed population had a common ancestor? Simply because every individual with blue eyes has the exact same mutation.
Still a lot of research needs to be done on this question, but it is believed that the mutation may have spread when humans migrated from Africa to Europe. This would partly explain why people of European descent are the only ones with blue eyes.
This discovery was made in 2008, when a team of researchers from the University of Copenhagen began to track down the mutation in question.
Study author Professor Hans Eiberg said this, according to Science Daily.
“We all originally had brown eyes. But a genetic mutation in the OCA2 gene in our chromosomes created a "switch", which literally "turned off" the ability to produce brown eyes. We can conclude that all the individuals with blue eyes are related to the same ancestor. They all inherited the same switch in exactly the same place in their DNA. "
What about green eyes? People with eyes of this color actually have a reduced amount of melanin in the iris. This rarity is totally unrelated to the ancestor of blue eyes.
What color are your eyes?
Source: Ipnoze · Photo Credit: Adobe Stock