AROUND THE WORLD there are numerous examples of Chinese and other East Asian people with natural blue or green eyes. According to science there are two ways this can happen. By Ben Arogundade. Sept. 20, 2019.
FOR DECADES THE REASONS why blue eyes exist in humans has eluded geneticists. But in 2008 a report by a team from Copenhagen University traced all blue-eyed people back to one ancestor who lived approximately 8,000 years ago near the northwest regions of the Black Sea. “It could be the northern part of Afghanistan,” said Professor Hans Eiberg, who led the team. Their report, published in the journal ‘Human Genetics’, identified a single mutation in a gene called OCA2, which arose by chance. The gene does not create a blue iris, but rather, it turns off the mechanism that produces brown melanin pigment. “Originally, we all had brown eyes,” says Eiberg.
CAN ASIANS & CHINESE PEOPLE HAVE NATURAL BLUE OR GREEN EYES?
Many believe that the blue-eyed gene, or indeed those for green eyes, only occurs naturally in Europeans, and that people of East Asian heritage with these eye colors are wearing color contact lenses. Indeed, according to Google, who collate and publish global search statistics across their platform, 1,200 people type the question, “Can Asians and Chinese people have natural blue eyes?” into their browsers each month, in search of the truth. The total number of search queries about Asians with blue or green eyes amounts to over 50,000 per year.
BLUE OR GREEN EYED ASIANS: HOW DOES IT HAPPEN?
Contrary to what many believe, blue and green eye colors do occur naturally in people of Chinese and East Asian ancestry. As mentioned, gene mutation is one cause; the other occurs when a person of Asian ethnicity possesses Caucasian ancestry on both sides of their family who are carriers of the gene for that particular eye color. For example, a Chinese or Asian couple with brown eyes could conceive a child with naturally blue or green colored eyes, so long as the gene for this eye colour exists somewhere within the ancestral line of both parents.
ASIA IN BLUE AND GREEN
Celebrities such as Vanessa Williams, Rihanna, Tyra Banks, as well as Indian Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai, are well-known examples of celebrities of color who do not have stereotypically brown eyes. Fashion model and TV presenter Alexa Chung and actress Kristin Kruek, are of European and Chinese ancestry, and possess blue and green eyes respectively.
CHINA BLUE, CHINA GREEN: British fashion model and TV presenter Alexa Chung, and Canadian actress Kristin Kruek both have one Chinese parent. Chung’s blue eyes, and Kruek’s green are the result of European ancestry on both sides of their respective families.
*CHINESE & ASIAN PEOPLE WITH NATURAL BLUE & GREEN EYES – ACCORDING TO GOOGLE SEARCH 3,000
The number of people worldwide who Google the phrase, “Asians with natural blue and green eyes” each month.1,200
The number of people worldwide who Google the question, “Can Chinese and Asian people have blue eyes?” each month.