Eye color can be considered as one of the most fascinating genetic traits for parents as their child develops. Even before the child is born, some parents are interested to know whether their child’s eyes are black, blue, brown, green, gray, or any other color.
You probably already know that the appearance of the child is based on the genetic material that each of the parents contribute. The genes of the child’s parents can mix and match in countless ways, and only when the child is finally born that each parent’s influence will be revealed.
Iris: The Colored Part of the Eye
The part of the eye that has color is called the iris. It contains the pigment called melanin, which determines the color of the eyes. Basically, the eye color of a person depends on how much melanin he has in his iris. The more melanin, the darker the eye color of the person. People who have eyes that are color gray, blue, green, or any other light colors can be said to have less melanin in their iris than those who have black eyes for instance.
Aside from giving color, the pigment melanin also has a more important function—providing protection from the sun. With this, it follows that people who have eyes that are light in color can be considered as more sensitive to the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays than those with black or dark brown eyes.
Based on studies, three genes are responsible for a person’s eye color, but only two are fully understood. These genes are responsible for common eye colors, such as brown, blue, and green. Other color combinations including hazel and gray are not yet well understood or explained during this time.
You should also be aware that the eye color of a person is not a result of a blending of his parents’ eye colors, such as when mixing paint. As mentioned earlier, each parent will contribute his or her genes to the child and there are many different possibilities of eye colors.
Changes in Eye Color
There are many factors that can lead to changes in eye color. Some of the most common factors include diseases, aging, and trauma. By the time a baby is born, the newborn child only has small amounts of melanin in his eyes. As the child develops, the amount of melanin also increases and the true color of the child’s eyes will only be revealed by the time that he/she is about three years old. This is the reason why some babies are born with blue eyes and then it will darken as they age.
The most common eye color in the world is brown, and then followed by blue and gray. The rarest eye color in the whole world is green.
Common Superstitions About the Color of the Eyes
Just like many other common things, eye color has also been the source of some interesting superstitions over the years. According to those who are mystically inclined, the eyes can show the talents and personality traits of a person. For example, people who have blue eyes are believed to be very imaginative, while people with eyes that are colored green have very sharp minds. On the other hand, people with hazel eyes are very passionate, and brown-eyed people are believed to be calm.