Eloquent poems, centuries of love letters, and many a song have been penned about eyes—some specifically for their hue. Gorgeous irises garner a lot of attention, even earning celebs nicknames like Old Blue Eyes and Violet Eyes. So what is it about exquisite eye color that makes us swoon?
Melanocytes, it turns out, are the cause of all of the hullabaloo. They're the melanin-producing cells that, depending upon how many you have and how they're dispersed within your iris, determine eye color. Admittedly, the scientific explanation is not as romantic as the prose written for eyes, but the colors that make up those windows to the soul certainly stir something within us.
Those of you with brown eyes are in the majority—an estimated 70 to 90 percent of the world's population have brown eyes. Aside from sharing the same rich eye color, you're also the proud owners of the most melanin (pigment) within your irises, meaning your eyes are naturally more protected from the sun. This, however, isn't to say you don't need sunglasses (you do). Plus, the right shades make you look fantastic.
According to Merriam-Webster, hazel is 'a light brown to strong yellowish brown,' but we don't think that definition does these gorgeous eyes justice. Hazel-eyed people are second in line for the most melanin, but their pigment is concentrated around the edge of the iris, and dancing flecks of gold, brown or green fill the center. Hazel eyes are less common than brown eyes, which might be why they have yet to be represented as a Crayola crayon color. Sad but true.
If you feel like your peepers get a bad rap when people mention a green-eyed monster, don't fret—we think it's more likely that people are envious of your gorgeous eyes. Green eyes have low to moderate amounts of melanin and they're super rare—only an estimated 2 percent of the population have them. And according to research, they've been around since the bronze age. How's that for lasting beauty?
You're the cat's meow if you're lucky enough to have amber eyes. This shimmering eye color is more common in felines, but humans can also possess the ultra-rare yellowish, golden, or copper-colored eyes. Unlike hazel eyes, amber eyes are a solid color and do not contain brown, green, or orange flecks, and it's likely that you're of Spanish, Asian, South American or South African decent.
Congrats on being in the 8 percent of the world that have baby blues—your extended family just got a whole lot bigger! Research shows that blue-eyed folks share a single, common ancestor. Scientists tracked a genetic mutation that took place thousands of years ago (think Ice Age) which is the cause of all blue-eyed people around today. Not only are your eyes swoon-worthy, but you also have better night vision, so it's easier to see if you're creeping around in the shadows and whatnot. (We're not here to judge.)
There might be fifty shades of gray, but only about 3 percent of the world's population is thought to have this rare eye color. Unfortunately, not much is known about gray eyes, but it's suspected that gray-eyed people have an even smaller amount of melanin in their eyes than blue-eyed people, and they have a different composition of the stroma that causes the light to scatter differently to create the mysterious, silvery hue.
What's your favorite eye color? Share with us below or on social using #DiscountGlasses!