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Eyes
Genetics

What eye color is most rare?

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December 11, 2010 9:40PM

True green eyes are the rarest. Amber are also as rare.

Green eyes are the product of low to moderate amounts of melanin. According to some researchers, green eyes are the result of mutations that change the melanin structure. Green eyes are among the rarest eye colors and they are most common in Europe to a lesser extent it can sometimes be found in part of West Asia, South Asia and North Africa. A study of Icelandic and Dutch adults found that green eyes are much more prevalent in women than in men. Almost 90% of the population in Iceland has either green or blue eye color.

How does eye color work? Eye color comes from a combination of two black and yellow pigments called melanin in the iris of your eye. If you have no melanin in the front part of your iris, you have blue eyes. An increasing proportion of the yellow melanin, in combination with the black melanin, results in shades of colors between brown and blue, including green and hazel.

And green is due to a rare mutation.

Blue eyes and brown hair is also rare. I have hazel eyes and black hair.

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Technically violet and red are rarer, and both are almost solely found in albinos. However, violet has been known to occur as a mutation or variant of blue. Green eyes are common amongst Nordic countries, such as Iceland and Sweden and of course Ireland, but are otherwise all but unheard of elsewhere. Brown and hazel eyes dominate most of the world's population, followed by blue.

In all honesty, the rarity of the eye color depends on the location. For example, most Irish have either blue or green eyes and thus a brown-eyed Irishman would be seen as odd. Likewise, a blue-eyed African would be shocking. Etc.