A Colorful Window: How Eye Colors Work & What They Can Mean (2024)

What’s the most common eye color?

The most common eye color is brown. More than half of the world’s population has brown eyes (some experts include amber as a shade of brown, too).

A key reason is the range of shades that fall under this color. Brown eyes can range from light to dark. With the darkest shades of brown, it might be hard to tell where the iris ends and the pupil begins.

What’s the rarest eye color?

Not counting colors like red/pink from conditions like albinism, the rarest of the main eye colors is green. About 2% of people worldwide have green eyes.


Are all babies born with blue eyes?

No. It’s common for babies to have blue eyes at birth, but it’s not universal. In fact, one study from 2016 found only about 20% of babies have blue eyes at birth. That same study also found that about 63% of babies have brown eyes and a little under 6% have green eyes.

When do babies’ eyes change color?

Not all babies’ eyes will change color, but many will. If your baby’s eyes do change color, you might notice it as early as when they’re 3 months old. Color changes should finish by the time most children reach 6 years old, but a small percentage can have ongoing eye color changes until adulthood.

Researchers from the above 2016 study came back two years later to examine the 73% of the original children who returned for follow-up. That follow-up found that by 2 years old, only about 1 in 3 children had eye color changes.

Do babies get their eye color from their parents?

Yes, but their parents’ eye colors aren’t the only factor. Eye color genetics are extremely complicated. So far, researchers know of dozens of genes and DNA mutations that can affect eye color.

So, while parents’ eye colors are a major factor, they aren’t the only one. And sometimes, eye colors skip generations. So, if a baby’s eye color doesn’t match their parents’, there are plenty of reasons why that might happen.

What color is hazel?

Hazel eyes happen when your irises have less melanin than someone with brown eyes, but more melanin than someone with blue or green eyes. Hazel eyes are a combination of brown, gold or green. It’s not an equal mix. Some people have eyes that seem only to have two of those colors, while others may have eyes that show all three. The possible differences among people with hazel eyes are one easy way to see just how unique eye color can be.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Your eye color is one of the things that makes you unique from everyone else on this planet. It can change throughout your lifetime and offer clues to your history and heritage. Understanding how it works can sometimes be a clue to medical conditions or concerns. No matter your reason for taking time to notice someone’s eye color (or your own), it’s often easy to see why it can be such a captivating feature all on its own.

A Colorful Window: How Eye Colors Work & What They Can Mean (2024)


What do different eye colors mean? ›

Why do we have different eye colour? Eye colour is determined by the amount of melanin in the iris of your eye. The pigment melanin, also found in hair and skin, is dark brown in colour and when found in higher concentrations it appears darkest.

What is the rarest eye color? ›

While the global data on eye colors is limited, red and violet eyes are likely the rarest eye colors since they only affect a small group of people with albinism. But if you exclude eye colors brought on by albinism, then green and gray are likely the rarest.

What is the most attractive eye color? ›

When broken down by gender, men ranked gray, blue, and green eyes as the most attractive, while women said they were most attracted to green, hazel, and gray eyes. Despite brown eyes ranking at the bottom of our perceived attraction scale, approximately 79% of the world's population sports melanin-rich brown eyes.

What are the seven eye colors? ›

The colored part of the eye is called the iris. The iris has pigmentation that determines the eye color. Irises are classified as being one of six colors: amber, blue, brown, gray, green, hazel, or red.

What is the strongest eye color? ›

The allele for brown eyes is the most dominant allele and is always dominant over the other two alleles and the allele for green eyes is always dominant over the allele for blue eyes, which is always recessive.

What do grey eyes symbolize? ›

Grey eyes can symbolise water powers, wind powers, or other elemental powers. Ice-grey eyes are seen in characters that are stern or emotionally distant. Grey eyes with blonde hair can be seen as a symbol of innocence. They can also be seen as prophet eyes from characters or may have psychic powers.

What is the healthiest eye color? ›

Of all eye colors, brown seems to be the only one that could be called “advantageous” from a survival perspective. While more research is needed, darker irises are linked to a number of health benefits, including these: Reduced risk of macular degeneration. Lower melanoma risk.

Do purple eyes exist? ›

Although the deep blue eyes of some people such as Elizabeth Taylor can appear purple or violet at certain times, "true" violet-colored eyes occur only due to albinism. Eyes that appear red or violet under certain conditions due to albinism are less than 1 percent of the world's population.

What is the prettiest eye shape? ›

Eye Shape #1 - Almond Eyes

Almond eyes are considered the most ideal eye shape because you can pretty much pull off any eyeshadow look. And believe me, this is a huge plus! Almond eyes have an oval shape with a slightly upturned outer corner.

What is the secret of eye color? ›

The amount of melanin in the iris determines the color of our eyes, with more melanin resulting in darker colors like brown and black and less melanin resulting in lighter colors like blue and green.

Are black eyes rare? ›

Why are black eyes rare in people? Contrary to popular belief, true black eyes do not exist. Some people with a lot of melanin in their eyes might appear to have black eyes depending on the lighting conditions. However, this is not truly black, but a very dark brown.

What are innocent eye colors? ›

Blue eyes also represent innocence and carefree. Brown eyes are a more mature eye color and represent stability, security and strength. It also represents sweetness, conservatism and trustworthy.

What is the most unhealthy eye color? ›

Not surprisingly, other research also suggests that folks with light-colored irises (blue or green) have a higher risk of developing eye melanoma than those with darker orbs.

Does eye color determine anything? ›

Your eye color is 100% linked to specific genes. And so are many of the most common eye conditions and eye diseases leading to vision loss. However, for the most part, your eye color doesn't put you at risk for vision conditions (an exception being albinism).

What is the most dominant eye color? ›

Eye colour, or more correctly iris colour, is often used as an example for teaching Mendelian genetics, with brown being dominant and blue being recessive.

What do the different colors of evil eyes mean? ›

Red Evil eye; Brings you courage; More enthusiasm and energy; Protection from fears and anxieties. Yellow or Gold Evil eye; Protect your health; Relief from exhaustion; Sharper mind and concentration. Pink Evil eye; Protect your friendships; Calming feeling; Content and relaxation.


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