Do you have blue eyes? According to SCIENCE this is your common ancestor

By Ruben Kuiper


Blue eyes, they are kind of a scientific anomaly. My own eye color is a mix between grey and blue, but did you ever wonder what the origin is of blue eyes? If you take into account that we descend from primates, blue eyes are kind of weird thing. Because did you ever see a primate with blue eyes?

Scientists believe every pair of blue eyes in the word is a descended from one individual in Europe

Well scientists also wondered what the origin of blue eyes is and to see if they could unlock the mystery of the origins of this unique trait they went way back by about 128 generations. Although going back that far can get very complicated, the scientists think they’ve found where and when this trait originated. They think that every pair of blue eyes in the world is descended from a single individual that was living in Europe about 6,000-10,000 years ago!

But what about before that time? It’s believed that up until then all humans had brown eyes, but due to the emergence of the so-called OCA2 gene the amount of pigment produced in the body began to change. This mutation led to different shades of brown and eventually to different colors.

The so-called HERC2 gene is responsible for blue eyes and was found in the body of a Stone Age man

Combining this information the scientists were able to pinpoint the origin of blue eyes. And in 2006 they discovered the HERC2 gene, the gene that is responsible for blue eyes, in a perfectly persevered body of a Stone Age man in Spain. Tests on the body revealed the presence of genes found in African populations as well as genes found in modern Scandinavians. From this perspective it’s thought that this unique genetic mixture resulted in the first blue-eyed mutation.

So if you have blue eyes, this might be a picture of your great-great-great-great-grandfather.

Furthermore, according to Dr. Carles Lalueza-Fox at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Barcelona, this is also the oldest known specimen with this gene. So in short, this means that up until this moment this man is possibly the first of his kind and the ancestor to all blue-eyed people today.

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