In honor of St. Patrick’s Day and the “wearin’ of the green,” we thought it would be fun and fitting to share some interesting facts about green…eyes!

#1

Green is the rarest eye color. If your sparklers are truly green, you are something of a unicorn… only about 2% of the world’s population sport this hue.  

#2

Green-eyed people can be found all around the globe. There is a Chinese village, Liqian, where a high percentage of the population sports green eyes and lighter hair.

#3

There isn’t any actual green pigment in a green eye. Melanin, a natural pigment that helps determine our skin, hair, and eye color, is found in all eyes. Brown eyes have quite a lot and blue eyes have relatively little. Green eyes are also low on melanin, but in addition they contain lipochrome, a yellowish, fat-soluble pigment. Lipochrome is also found in things like butter, eggs, and corn. So a little melanin, some lipochrome, and a cool light dispersing scattering called the Tyndall Effect combine to produce those rare green eyes!

#4

At least 16 genes contribute to eye color. You might have been taught in biology class that two brown-eyed parents can have only brown-eyed children, but it’s more complicated than that.

#5

Green eyes are popular in cultural references. Here are some famous characters with green eyes:

·         Jane Eyre—that plucky governess living in a “haunted” mansion, from the book Jane Eyre

·         Rapunzel—another courageous hero in Tangled

·         Scarlet O’Hara—feisty protagonist in Gone with the Wind

·         Scar—the scheming uncle in The Lion King

·         Mary Jane Watson, Catwoman, Batgirl—green eyes are popular in the world of comics

·         Sara Crewe—brave little girl from A Little Princess

·         Harry Potter – from the Harry Potter book series by J.K. Rowling

#6

In a large survey performed by All About Vision, green was voted the most attractive eye color, with over 20% of the 66,000 respondents choosing this hue.

#7

More women than men have green eyes. Scientists aren’t sure why this is, but it suggests there is an underlying gender-related factor that causes this difference.

#8

Cat with Green EyesAnimals can also sport green eyes.  Green eyes occur in dogs, snakes, frogs, birds, monkeys, multiple members of the cat family, and many other animals.

#9

People with green eyes are more likely to have certain health issues. Green eyes are more prone to melanoma of the uvea, a type of eye cancer, than are dark eyes. The same is true for macular degeneration. If you have green eyes, protect those beautiful peepers with a quality pair of sunglasses to lower your chances for these diseases!

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