Nothing says “unique” or “special” like a pair of mysterious green eyes staring back at you. Not only is the rarest eye color considered highly desirable by millions, green eyes are shrouded in centuries of superstition and meaning. Authors regularly call attention to green-eyed heroines and villains alike. Painters, over the ages, have depicted their subjects with green eyes for a variety of reasons. Long before Shakespeare’s green-eyed monster, ancient Greek mythology put in its own two cents about the world’s most symbolic eye color.
Recently, modern science has joined the ageless fascination with green eyes and has arisen at some surprising theories no less jarring than the superstitions of old. Whether you or a loved one has green eyes or whether you’re afflicted with the “green eye of envy” for someone who does, you’ll be shocked to find just how deep this rabbit hole stretches with our list of 45 fascinating green-eyes facts:
45 Facts About Green Eyes
- Representing just 2% of the global population, green eyes are the absolute rarest of all eye colors.
- To put the true rarity of green eyes in perspective: worldwide, you are 28 times more likely to have brown eyes than green eyes.
- However, in Ireland green eyes are more popular than brown eyes.
- And in Iceland, green eyes are even more common. A whopping 86% of Icelanders have green eyes!
- Even though green eyes are more popular in northern countries, persons of any race or ethnicity can have them.
- One reason for the existence of green eyes in every culture may be due to the “silk road” where merchants from a variety of ancient civilizations would come into contact with one another.
- In the Chinese village of Liqian, about two-thirds of its citizens have green eyes. Historians have theorized that this group may be descendants of a displaced legion of Roman soldiers.
- Despite the rarity of green eyes for both genders, the chances of a female having them is greater than those of a male.
- Having green eyes doesn’t mean you share the same shade with everyone else who has them. There are about as many shades of green eyes as there are shades of green in the forest.
- Some named varieties of green-eye colors include lime, emerald, jade and cyan.
- Although everyone with green eyes has a standard shade, it is possible for one’s eye color to change throughout the day. When someone first wakes, their green eyes may seem “hazy.” This color can darken throughout the day as blood circulates and vitamins are distributed throughout the body.
- One reason green eyes are so rare, globally speaking, is because they are a result of harmless genetic mutation.
- Another reason green eyes are rare is because they require 16 unique genetic traits.
- This is also why parents with green eyes are not so likely to have green-eyed children.
- A frequent misconception is that a lack of melanin causes green eyes. In reality, green-eyed people have lots of yellow melanin and very little black melanin.
- Despite all the hype, no one actually has “green eyes.” It’s the combination of yellow and brown pigmentation in eyes that creates the appearance of green.
- Don’t confuse hazel eyes with green eyes (as many people have). Hazel eyes are 2.5 times more common and do not result from the same genetic alignment.
- Humans aren’t the only ones capable of having green eyes: chameleons, monkeys, cheetahs, and parrots are a few of many animals that can have them.
- An infant’s green eyes will appear brown or blue until they are about six months old.
- For young children, the green-eye color will continue to develop and deepen for up to the first three years of life.
- In folklore, witches and spiritual beings are regularly depicted with having green eyes.
- Likewise, real-life humans with green eyes have long been thought to be magical or closer to nature.
- In many eras, green eyes are a popular artistic choice for painters, literary authors, and photographers.
- Even in modern fictional depictions, green-eyed protagonists are common with examples such as Harry Potter, Snow White, and many 20th century superheroes.
- Interestingly, the entire Lannister family in the popular television series Game of Thrones is depicted with having green eyes.
- Another myth is that those with green eyes have a longer lifespan. Studies do not support this.
- Having green eyes isn’t always a walk in the park. Those with green eyes may be more suspectable to light sensitivity. This is because they lack the protective melanin of brown-eyed people.
- In addition, people with a lighter shade of green eyes may be more susceptible to a variation of skin cancer known as “melanoma.”
- Fortunately, those with green eyes can take heart that eye color has no effect on vision.
- Many surveys have suggested that people find green eyes the most attractive color over other rare colors such as hazel and gray.
- Likewise, studies have suggested that heterosexual men consider green eyes the most desirable eye color for a female companion.
- For these reasons, perhaps, green eyes are the most requested shade for colored contacts.
- Research has concluded that green eyes may actually be linked to certain personality traits.
- Some personal qualities thought to be more common in those with green eyes are loyalty, creativity, curiosity, and passion.
- Scientists have also found a connection to green eyes and increased alcohol tolerance. The reason for this may involve a genetic overlap between the traits that cause green eyes and those that cause high alcohol tolerance.
- Even more surprisingly, a higher pain tolerance appears to be linked to those with green eyes. For example, one study suggested that women with green eyes respond less severely to the pains of childbirth.
- With so many myths and studies favoring green eyes, one reputation isn’t so positive. William Shakespeare spoke of jealousy as a “green-eyed monster” in his play Othello. The green-eyed monster has since become a cultural troupe.
- Though Shakespeare popularized the connection to green eyes and jealousy, it has been suggested that green eyes have symbolized jealousy since ancient Greece.
- One possible Greek origin for the connection to green eyes and jealousy is when Cupid becomes envious of Hercules who wins the heart of his lover Psyche. In response, Cupid transforms into a green-eyed monster, of all things, and abducts the woman of his dreams.
- It has also been noted that the ancient Egyptian Eye of Horus was commonly fashioned with a green gem for its iris. The Eye of Horus was worn as an amulet to protect the wearer from disease.
- One famous place where we can see the affiliation of green eyes with envy is in a mural upon the walls of Cinderella’s Castle at Walt Disney World. Here, the face and eyes of Drizella – one of the jealous step sisters – are constructed of green Italian glass to represent her crippling envy.
- It is very rare to have green eyes and red hair, but it is even rarer to have blue eyes and red hair. Sorry, Green Eyes, you can’t win at everything!
- There is a variety of sunflower known as the “lyreleaf greeneye.” After its peddles fall, the inner disk is said to look like a tiny green eye hovering above the Earth.
- A small deep-sea fish is nicknamed the “greeneye” because of its vibrant, overly large eyes which give off a green iridescence.
45. Despite their rarity, a lot of celebrities seem to have green eyes. Some have even wondered—is eye color alone enough to attract success in acting or the music industry? Here is an extended list of some famous green-eyed stars you might recognize:
Celebrities with Green Eyes— Adele, John Krasinski, Angelina Jolie, Scarlette Johansson, Kristen Stewart, Channing Tatum, Drew Barrymore, Lindsey Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Emma Stone, Jude Law, Kate Hudson, Adrien Brody, Jessica Biel, Benicio Del Toro, Jennifer Connelly, Amanda Bynes, Alicia Silverstone, Ashley Olsen, Jared Paladecki, Bruce Willis, Kate Middleton, Keri Russell, Carrie Underwood, Julianne Moore, Alex Pettyfer, Clive Owen, Paul Rudd, Dolly Parton, Harrison Ford, and Jack Nicholson.