Home LanguageEnglish May Eye Color be Related to the Latitude of the Place of Residence?

May Eye Color be Related to the Latitude of the Place of Residence?

by Julie Howard

Eye color is affected by the amount of melanin in the iris. Eyes with more melanin will appear black or brown, while those with less melanin will appear blue or green. Interestingly, melanin not only affects eye color but protects the eyes from UV rays.

Blue eyes are the second most common eye color globally, and mostly live in high-latitude European countries. (Photo via pixabay.com)

Taipei, Taiwan (Merxwire) – Are your eyes black, brown, blue, or other colors? Why do our eyes have so many different colors? According to a new study by the National University of Singapore, the color of irises may be due to the different levels of sunlight in the habitat.

Scientists know from past studies that eye color is affected by the amount of melanin in the iris. It is known that there are currently 16 different genes that affect eye color, among which brown is the dominant gene and blue is the recessive gene. It is estimated that 70% to 80% of the world’s population has brown eyes, the most common eye color.

In addition to genes, eye color may also be affected by the amount of sunshine where you live. A recent study from the National University of Singapore shows that the diversity of iris colors in primates may be related to the different levels of sunlight in their habitats. The study was published in “Scientific Reports.”

Only 2% of the world’s population has green eyes, known as the rarest eye color in the world. (Photo via unsplash.com)

The researchers collected photos of the irises of more than a hundred primates from 77 species. After research and analysis, it was found that the color and brightness of their irises will vary with latitude. Primates living on the equator usually have darker irises; primates living farther from the equator have lighter and blue irises.

In addition, scientists have also discovered that primates in these high-latitude regions have multiple animal groups that have independently evolved blue irises.

The researchers believe that this may be because, in low latitudes, dark eyes can resist intense light and protect from ultraviolet interference. Light eyes can absorb blue light better in high margins with less light and help regulate the biological clock.

The eyes are the window to the soul. Most past studies believed that the color of human eyes is mainly through genetic inheritance, but this research brings a different view from the past. It doesn’t matter whether you have brown or blue eyes; taking care of your eyes by protecting them from harmful UV radiation and getting regular eye health checkups is essential.

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