12 Facts About Blue Eyes You Don't Know

12 Facts About Blue Eyes You Don't Know

We are more than just a pretty iris
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What is it about blue eyes that we love? Is it their rarity? Their range of hues? Are they symbolic of something from our past? What makes us go for those baby blues? One thing someone is bound to mention within a short time of meeting me is something about my eye color. Being the inquisitive person I am, I decided to start researching why we tend to like blue eyes so much. As I read through more and more articles, I began to learn more about the history and biology about blue eyes. I don't know if I will be able to answer why we like them so much, but I definitely think these facts make them much more interesting.

1. Only 8 percent of the world's population has blue eyes.

Some countries have a majority of blue eyes, but that is misleading. The most dominant eye color in the world is brown at 55 percent.

2. There is no blue pigment in blue irises.

The blue coloring is actually due to the iris having a colorless stroma and no excess collagen deposits. This results is the Tyndall effect, making your eyes look blue the same way the sky looks blue even though it really is not, due to Rayleigh scattering.

3. The shade of blue is dependent on mineral deposits and light.

The Tyndall effect relies on light scattering and proteins and minerals found in your eye can effect how much of it is scattered.

4. Blue-eyed people are more sensitive to light.


Blue-eyed people lack melanin in their irises, which is used to shield the eye from intensive light, like the sun or fluorescent lighting. Our eyes might be wide open for the family picture, but once it is taken, we go straight back to squinting.

5. Blue eyes allow for better night vision.

Similarly to being sensitive to daylight, the lack of melanin allows more light to enter our eyes at night, giving us a light advantage at stumbling our way to bed.

6. Blue eyes were the result of a mutation.

Originally, humans were all brown-eyed. Then someone in the Black Sea region from 6,000 to10,000 years ago had a genetic accident at conception that resulted in his eyes being blue. The mutation carried on as several other also had mutations after the Ice Age.

7. The OCA2 gene is responsible for blue eyes.

Also known as oculocutaneous albinism II, this gene is responsible for producing melanosomal transmembrane protein, or the P protein. It is located on chromosome 15. When it is repressed, the person gets blue or green eyes.

8. We don't know what exactly the P protein does.


We do know it is needed for normal pigmentation, but we are not sure how. The best guess is that it is responsible for producing melanin. Strange, how something as simple as eye color isn't completely understood yet.

9. Blue eyes are not controlled by a single recessive gene.


It is a common mistake that people think that blue eyes are recessive. They are really affected by multiple genes that can determine the shade or even make it another color, like green.

10. They were used as a fidelity test.

Many people used to believe that blue-eyed people could only have blue-eyed children, so a baby's eyes were sometimes used as a test to see if a spouse had cheated. It took a little while for science to clear this up.

11. We are more likely to have red eyes in photos.

This is most prevalent when flash is used. More light enters our eyes and our retinas cannot constrict fast enough to prevent it from bouncing back, resulting in the red eye. The red eye function on cameras let out several flashes to help our retinas constrict.

12. Blue-eyed people are better at long-term and strategic thinking.


OK, so the research is still out on this, but there is some evidence linking our big blue eyes to these cognitive bonuses. Obviously, it is still disputed in the biology and psychology communities.

So, did you learn something new? Has your curiosity been piqued? Maybe next time you look at someone's blue eyes you will think a little more than just, "Aren't they pretty." If you have blue eyes, you might find yourself taking a closer look in the mirror at your optical sapphires.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.wallpaperup.com/197553/close-up_eyes_blue_eyes_world_map_eye.html

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.
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It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semi-colon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.


2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."


3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.


4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."


5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."


6.Greek symbol of Inguz: where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."


8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya)


9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty and artistic creativity.


10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love and creativity or to put yourself in to whatever you do.


11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from the Hobbit. It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.


13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength & stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.


16. A glyphs means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."


18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe & the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can reminds us of the inconsistency of life. It is also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.


SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos


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I am Beautiful, and I am not Ashamed.

Too many women are ashamed of feeling beautiful; it is time for that shame to end.

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I recently read the book We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. In this wonderful, powerful, and quite honestly angry book on the condition of Womanhood in modern society, Adichie touches on the poignant idea that women are trained from girlhood to be ashamed of themselves.

"We teach girls shame. 'Close your legs. Cover yourself.' We make them feel as though by being born female they're already guilty of something."

This quote highlights something that I myself have been aware of for years and never known how to put into words until now - the fact that women, starting at a very young age, are raised to believe that we are not allowed to be proud of our bodies, of our forms, and of our physicality. Beyond that, we are taught that to take pride in how we look is yet another thing to be ashamed of.

Girls with self-image issues are told that they shouldn't ever feel less valuable or less beautiful than any other girl; they are told that we are all beautiful - and that is true. A person's value is in no way attached to how we look, beauty is no measure of worth, and all people are beautiful in whatever way that may be. Yet when a girl does dare to take pride in how she looks and say out loud, "I know I am beautiful," she is automatically assumed to be vain and conceited.

These two messages - that all girls are beautiful, but that no girl can ever admit that she is beautiful - are mutually exclusive. We cannot have both, and yet both are demanded of us. This requirement of simultaneous self-hatred and self-love are written in fine print in the contract we sign as members of Womanhood.

I am sick of it.

I am sick and tired of hearing my fellow women self deprecate their physical attributes and take shame in wearing makeup and wanting to look cute in their clothes. I am sick and tired of hearing them only call themselves attractive, hot, lovely, and worthy of admiration in the most mocking and joking of voices. I am sick and tired of us, as women, not being allowed to admire our own beauty without being ridiculed.

Because the fact of the matter is, I know I am beautiful. I am proud of how I look, and who I am. I have been told too many times by too many people that I am attractive, and smart, and unique. It goes against logic and reason for me to say, "No, I'm not pretty." I would be calling everyone who has ever paid me these compliments a liar, and I would be going against popular consensus and evidence in denying that I am good looking and a wholly, uniquely beautiful woman.

I am proud of how I look, how I dress, the makeup that I wear, and I should not be coerced into shame for that.

I - and all women - should be able to put together an outfit that we like and not be asked, "Who are you all dressed up for?" We should be able to swipe our makeup brushes across our eyelids and cheekbones and make silly faces to see how we look because we like it. We should be able to strike a pose in the mirror and say, "Damn, I look good," without some little voice saying, "Wow, feeling a little narcissistic today?"

We should be able to express ourselves and look good for ourselves, in whatever manner that may be, simply because we want to.

The trend of self-love is on the rise, and we (men and women) are continuously encouraged to believe in ourselves and know that we are all beautiful because we are all beautiful. But until we are also encouraged to express these new beliefs and embrace them as the truths that they are, how can anyone expect us to really believe them? We should be able to express the self-love that we are told to give ourselves. We should be able to know we are beautiful without being ashamed of the pride that we feel.

The truth is, people are beautiful. No conditions or contracts, no obligations or hidden fees. People are beautiful.

There is no shame in believing that.

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