Why Are There Different Colored Eyes?
And does it matter?
I hope you had a restful weekend. I attempted to get as much done as possible before the Christmas chaos coming this week—although I love it. I’m fortunate to have an incredible family, and our holidays are always filled with laughter and lots of good-humored sarcasm.
For my entire life, choosing the Christmas trees was an honor belonging to my dad. He loved getting massive firs that we’d have to suck in our stomachs to squeeze by. They were ridiculous, but I treasured them. Unfortunately, last year was the last year we got a Dad chosen tree. He passed away suddenly and unexpectantly less than two weeks before Christmas—a year and four days ago.
So this year, the honor fell to my brother, Ben, and me, but I think Dad would be happy with our choices. While Ben and I waited for our trees to be shaken and wrapped, he noticed our eyes were different colors. Well, kinda. Ben and my other brother, Adam, are identical twins and all three of us have green eyes, but mine are lighter than theirs. Ben may have never realized it, but I discovered this difference when I was young and have had a hidden interest in eye color ever since.
In Curious Adventure, we talked about the possible evolutionary purpose for monolids. My sister is Chinese, an ethnicity known for having monolids — no crease in their upper eyelid. Turns out, about half of the Asian population have monolids, and I grew curious if there’s a reason. After all, every aspect of ourselves evolved for a specific purpose.
I mentioned a documentary I saw a long time ago, though I still can’t remember its name. Researchers revealed the ancient human migration paths of 1,000 volunteers using DNA swabs. They explained how each route contributed to the different physical features. One of which is monolids, which the documentary believed formed to allow people to see better in snowy and windy conditions.
But it’s been years since I watched the documentary, so I decided to see if this theory holds up. From what I could find, the idea that monolids evolved to protect the eyes of people living in harsh, cold climates is still a leading theory—but hasn’t been proven or disproven. Still, there’s more evidence appearing to support it.
If my sister instilled my interest in eye shape, then the rest of my family inspired my curiosity about eye color.
My Interest in Eye Color
As I mentioned, my brothers and I have green eyes. But our mom has blue eyes, and our dad had brown. When I was younger, this fact baffled me. Around seven or eight years old, I asked my dad if we saw colors differently since our eye color was different.
He didn’t write me off or dismiss my question. Instead, he considered it then answered, “I guess we’ll never know because I will always see through brown eyes and you will always see through green.”