How Rare Are Grey Eyes?

Gray eyes are anything but what many may associate with the color gray like gloomy skies and drab and depressing color schemes. If you ever look deeply into a pair of gray eyes, what you may have thought about the color may just be quickly proven wrong. Once you look closely at gray eyes, you’ll see that gray is a color that has depth and warmth. Far from being dull and dreary, gray eyes are mesmerizing and captivating. There’s something rather alluring and perhaps just a little bit mysterious about gray eyes. Even people blessed with this rare eye color, though, may not know the fascinating story behind their eyes.

According to World Atlas , less than one percent of the global population has gray eyes, making the color incredibly hard to find. When it hits the stroma, which is filled with collagen, the light bends and gives off a blueish hue.

“People with light iris color need to be diligent in wearing UV-protected sunglasses,” ophthalmologist Ruth Williams told Everyday Health . It affects roughly six in every million adults in the U.S. annually, so, if you have gray eyes, there’s no need to worry too much as long as you’re taking precautions. While studies show that people with gray eyes may be more likely to develop uveal cancer, it’s not all bad news.

The autoimmune disease causes a person’s immune system to attack their pigment cells. According to a study published in Personality and Individual Differences (via Psychology Today ), people with light-colored eyes might be predisposed to drink more. , a science text originally published in 1926 , also posits the theory that blue-eyed and gray-eyed people are better shots with a rifle.

Ambrose Bierce’s short story, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge , published in 1890, alludes to the belief. While it’s still possible a baby born with light blue or gray eyes will keep them, color can deepen until a child is around 3 years old. Studies show that people with gray eyes are more competitive, making them prime teammates (if you care about winning, that is).

The study, published by Current Psychology and summarized by Joe , found that people with lighter-colored eyes have a tendency to not just be more competitive, but to also be more skeptical and egocentric. “The rare-color advantage of light eyed females, is likely to increase the chance of being noticed by a male,” said the researchers.

Are GREY eyes the rarest eye color?

You probably don’t know many people who have gray eyes, let alone have gray eyes yourself. This is because gray eyes are one of the rarest eye colors in the world. … According to World Atlas, less than one percent of the global population has gray eyes, making the color incredibly hard to find.

What is the rarest eye color?

The production of melanin in the iris is what influences eye color. More melanin produces a darker coloring, while less makes for lighter eyes. Green eyes are the rarest, but there exist anecdotal reports that gray eyes are even rarer. Eye color isn’t just a superfluous part of your appearance.

Are GREY eyes pretty?

Grey eyes are among the rarest eye colors in humans. But much like super-rare amber eyes, grey eyes are also some of the most beautiful in all of the world.

Is GREY eyes rarer than green?

Green is the rarest eye color of the more common colors. Outside of a few exceptions, nearly everyone has eyes that are brown, blue, green or somewhere in between. Other colors like gray or hazel are less common.

Human eyes come in many colors brown, blue, green, hazel, amber, and even violet or gray eyes. Gray eye color is one of the loveliest and most uncommon, a trait shared by only 3% of the worlds population. The color and intensity of gray eyes varies from person to person and can include dark gray, gray-green and gray-blue.

The pupil is an opening at the center of the iris that appears black, while the white part of your eye is called the sclera . Today scientists know this is not the case and that many genes play a role in how eye color develops.

Even mood can appear to change the tint of gray, because pupils dilate (open wider) when someone is experiencing extreme emotions, such as grief or joy. When that happens, gray eyes can appear darker though of course the color itself doesnt actually change. If this describes you, you can protect your eyes with UV-blocking polarized sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats on bright sunny days.

This cancer is very rare, affecting six in every one million adults in the U.S. annually, but its a good idea to wear those UV-blocking sunglasses in any case. If youve got gray eyes, you are less likely to suffer from a skin disorder called vitiligo , a condition in which your immune system attacks cells with melanin pigment and leaves behind irregular patches of white skin.

Have you ever wondered about the mysticism of the grey-colored eyes? Do you often get lost in the magnificent eyes of your grey-eyed crush? If so, then you might want to check out some interesting facts about grey eyes and their illusory trait as disclosed in the article below.

From scientifically researched facts to the most common beliefs and superstitions about grey eyes, follow through with the article to know more. If you look carefully and closely, you might even observe gray eyes changing colors to hues of blue or green.

People with grey-colored eyes experience Photophobia (sensitivity to light) with a mild to moderate reaction to bright sunlight. This increased risk of cancer is again due to the lack of protective pigmentation in the eye. Though this type of cancer is rare and roughly affects about 6 adults per million U.S. population annually, individuals with grey-colored eyes certainly need to wear UV-protected sunglasses in the name of taking precautions.

According to the reports by Nature Genetics , individuals with grey-colored eyes were at a lesser risk for Vitiligo. Now that weve seen the top facts, its time to head over to the common beliefs and superstitions about people with grey-colored eyes. These people enjoy thrilling experiences rather than the mundane simple things to get their daily healthy dose of entertainment.

According to Ancient Greeks, individuals with grey-colored eyes represented characteristics of wisdom. This might be due to the mythological fact that Athena, daughter of Zeus and Goddess of wisdom had grey-colored eyes. Apart from having a gentle persona for the ones they care about, people with grey-colored eyes tend to carry a lot of passion for their loved ones, their work projects, and even for the everyday things of their lives.

It has been historically stated that people having blue and grey-colored eyes make better marksmen. According to a study conducted in the 1990s, it was found that people with grey-colored eyes tend to think more slowly and strategically than their dark-eyed compatriots. This slower reaction time has been attributed to lower melanin content not just in their eyes but also in their brains.

According to a study published by Current Psychology , people with grey-colored eyes and other light colors are more likely to be competitive and egocentric. These celebrities have the most beautiful grey eyes in the world and youll know this the next time you see them on screen. Greg Gianforte Bray Wyatt Ronda Rousey Nicky Hayden Alan Thucke Angelina Jolie Bear Grylls Chris Woakes Damien Chazelle Debbie Reynolds Garry Marshall Angela Ponce Guru Jesse Larson Marcus Harris Halima

We hope that you had a great time reading about some interesting facts about grey eyes. Making up for one of the rarest eye colors, grey-eyed people are often seen as mystical and beautiful personalities. The list of celebrities with grey-colored eyes includes Megan Fox, Wentworth Miller, Benedict Cumberbatch, Milla Jovovich, Alex Pettyfer, Henry Cavill, Anna Arendshorst, Mitch Hewer, Simon Pegg, and many more.

Eye Health What Is the Rarest Eye Color? By Steph Coelho Steph Coelho Twitter Steph Coelho is a freelance health writer, web producer, and editor based in Montreal. She specializes in covering general wellness and chronic illness. Learn about our editorial process Updated on October 11, 2021 Medically reviewed Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Ami A. Shah, MD Medically reviewed by Ami A. Shah, MD Ami A. Shah, MD, is board-certified in ophthalmology. She works for Kaiser Permanente and is the owner and founder of one of the Bay Areas first mobile aesthetic practices. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print Eye color is a distinct part of your appearance. It’s included on a drivers license and other forms of identification. It is also one of the primary descriptors used in a missing persons report. The iris is the pigmented part of your eye. Its color is determined by genes. Many basic level biology courses used to use eye color to break down how certain genes are passed on from parents to children. However, scientists now understand that eye color genetics is more complex, with multiple genes play a part in determining eye color. The production of melanin in the iris is what influences eye color. More melanin produces a darker coloring, while less makes for lighter eyes. Green eyes are the rarest, but there exist anecdotal reports that gray eyes are even rarer. Eye color isnt just a superfluous part of your appearance. It can also say something about a persons health. The Anatomy of the Iris Getty Images / Colorblind Images LLC Rare Eye Colors Here are some of the rarest eye colors. Gray Eyes Theres not much information on gray colored eyes. However, a review of eye color classification shows that it is indeed considered a different eye color from blue. People in Northern countries tend to have lighter colored eyes. In comparison, darker eyes are common in warmer locales for much the same reason people have darker skin in Southern countries. In studies, gray and blue are often lumped together. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) explains that around 27% of people in the U.S. have blue eyes. They also include a category of otherwhich may include of gray eyesthat makes up 1% of the population. Green Eyes According to the AAO, green eyes are one of the rarest eye colors. Only 2% of the global population has green eyes. Heterochromia People with heterochromia have two different colored eyes. Some people are born with it. It can happen at birth in conjunction with conditions such as piebaldism and Horners syndrome. You can also develop heterochromia later in life. It can occur due to injury, medication, or illness. Its rare for people to have heterochromia. In the U.S., fewer than 200,000 people have this condition. The Science Behind Having Two Different Colored Irises It is possible for your eye color to change in adulthood. While lighting and environment may influence eye color perception, diseases, medications, and injury can also impact eye color later in life.Brown freckles can develop in your iris over time, and while most are harmless, they can sometimes be cancerous. Some conditions, like Fuchs heterochromic iridocyclitis, can cause you to lose pigment in your iris, making the eyes appear lighter in color. Genetics Several different genes play a part in determining your eye color. Most of them have something to do with the transport, production, and storage of melanin. Melanin is a pigment found in the skin, hair, and eyes. More melanin in the iris will produce brown eyes, while less of it may mean green, blue, or gray eyes. While scientistsand probably your high school biology teacherused to think that eye color inheritance was a simple matter of dominant and recessive genes, they now know that this isnt the case. Two people with brown eyes, for example, can indeed have a child with lighter eyes. Brown eyes are common, but there is no single dominant gene for brown eye color as was once believed. Besides the amount of melanin produced, how much is present in the front of the iris and the back of the iris, as well as the composition of the stroma layer in between, determines eye color. Multiple genes are at work in determining these variables, and much about this is still not understood. How Do Genetics Determine Eye Color? Its possible to change your eye color using cosmetic contact lenses, but you need to be careful because improper use increases your chance of getting an infection. The AAO recommends seeing an eye care professional before using cosmetic contact lenses. You should also never buy contact lenses that dont require a prescription. The AAO also warns against surgery to change the color of your eyes. This kind of surgery can have serious side effects, including blindness and vision issues. Eye Color and Health Eye color may seem like something that just has to do with your appearance. However, some studies suggest that certain eye colors may increase a persons risk of certain health conditions. Research from 2011, for instance, suggests a link between blue eyes and type 1 diabetes. Similarly, a review from 2015 suggests a possible link between eye color and hearing loss. Evidence points to the possibility that people with darker eyes may have a reduced risk of non-age-related hearing loss. A 2014 study presented at the American Pain Society meeting in 2014 concluded that women with light-colored eyes had a higher reported pain tolerance during pregnancy than those with darker eyes. However, it should be noted that the sample size for this study was relatively small, with a total of 58 women.A similarly small-sized study of 60 subjects had the same finding when testing pressure pain thresholds and for pain related to cold. However, remember that correlation does not equal causation and more study is needed to prove these effects. Frequently Asked Questions How rare are grey eyes? Grey eyes are very rare, but it’s difficult to know exactly what percentage of the population has them. People with grey eyes are often counted with people with blue eyes, which account for 27% of people in the U.S. Is it possible to have natural red eyes? Yes, it is possible for a person to naturally have red eyes, but they’re more of a light red or pink color instead of a bright red. This can happen to people who have albinism, a condition that causes less pigment to develop in a person’s skin, eyes, and hair. If a person with albinism has clear irises due to a lack of melanin, blood vessels in their eyes become visible and result in the light red and pink appearance. Learn More: Types and Symptoms of Albinism What causes eye color to change? Eye color change can be caused by genetics, disease, medication, and trauma. For example, some medications that treat glaucoma, a condition that causes increased eye pressure, can cause eye color to change over time. How many people have hazel eyes? About 18% of the U.S. population has hazel eyes. This is due to light brown pigment in the iris interacting with blue light in the eye, which results in green, speckled, or hazel eyes. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Sign up for our Health Tip of the Day newsletter, and receive daily tips that will help you live your healthiest life. Sign Up You’re in! Thank you, {{form.email}}, for signing up. There was an error. Please try again. What are your concerns? Other Inaccurate Hard to Understand Submit 17 Sources Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Mukamal R. Why are brown eyes most common? American Academy of Ophthalmology. April 7, 2017. Grigore M, Avram A. Iris colour classification scalesthen and now. Rom J Ophthalmol. 2015;59(1):29-33. Katsara M-A, Nothnagel M. True colors: A literature review on the spatial distribution of eye and hair pigmentation. Forensic Science International: Genetics. 2019;39:109-118. doi:10.1016/j.fsigen.2019.01.001 Gudgel DT. Your blue eyes arent really blue. American Academy of Ophthalmology. November 30, 2016. Boyd K. Eye color: unique as a fingerprint. American Academy of Ophthalmology. December 5, 2017. Turbert D. Heterochromia. American Academy of Ophthalmology. February 3, 2017. Rehman HU. Heterochromia. CMAJ. 2008;179(5):447-448. doi:10.1503%2Fcmaj.070497 Why are my eyes changing color? American Academy of Ophthalmology. February 28, 2019. Southworth L. Eye color. Stanford at The Tech. 2007. Gudgel DT. Are costume contact lenses safe? American Academy of Ophthalmology. 2020. American Academy of Ophthalmology. Iris implant surgery to change eye color can be dangerous, american academy of ophthalmology warns. October 31, 2014. Stasio ED, Maggi D, Berardesca E, et al. Blue eyes as a risk factor for type 1 diabetes. Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews. 2011;27(6):609-613. doi:10.1002/dmrr.1214 Mujica-Mota MA, Schermbrucker J, Daniel SJ. Eye color as a risk factor for acquired sensorineural hearing loss: a review. Hear Res. 2015;320:1-10. doi:10.1016/j.heares.2014.12.002 Pietzak R. Can eye color predict pain tolerance? UPMC & Pitt Health Sciences News Blog. Holmgaard H, Hansen E, Dong NP, Dixen LB, Nielsen GA, Poulsen JN, Gazerani P. Individuals with dark eyes and hair exhibit higher pain sensitivity. Somatosens Mot Res. 2017 Mar;34(1):21-26. doi:10.1080/08990220.2016.1276439 Boyd, K. American Academy of Ophthalmology. Eye color: Unique as a fingerprint. Published December 5, 2017. Rauch, K. American Academy of Ophthalmology. Why are my eyes changing color? Published January 27, 2021. Additional Reading MedlinePlus. Is eye color determined by genetics?

Gray eyes are super rare

Gray eyes are anything but what many may associate with the color gray — like gloomy skies and drab and depressing color schemes. If you ever look deeply into a pair of gray eyes, what you may have thought about the color may just be quickly proven wrong. Once you look closely at gray eyes, you’ll see that gray is a color that has depth and warmthGet ready to learn everything you’ve ever wondered about gray eyes, from the complicated science behind them to the myths that surround them. The truth about gray eyes is as riveting as gray eyes themselves. Whether you have gray eyes yourself or have a loved one with eyes of this unusual hue, after learning these tidbits about gray eyes you’ll never look at the color the same way again.

Gray eyes are more sensitive to light

If you are one of the rare people on the planet who has gray eyes, you might find that you’re more sensitive to light than your friends and family who have darker colored eyes. It’s not your imagination — there’s a scientific explanation for why people with lighter eyes are more sensitive to bright light. According to Duke Health, melanin in eyes does more than just make eyes look darker. That pigmentation also helps protect eyes from the light. That’s why people with light eyes are more likely to be bothered by harsh lighting, and might be inclined to shy away from going outside on a particularly sunny day.This sensitivity to light is called photophobia and it’s not a very pleasant condition. People with photophobia may have a mild reaction to light and simply squint when things are too bright for them, but they may also experience pain around the eyes when exposed to bright light. People with photophobia may also have trouble actually seeing or focusing. Fortunately, the effects of photophobia are temporary. While the condition may be uncomfortable, it doesn’t result in any permanent loss of vision.

People with gray eyes might drink more

If you know a person with gray eyes who also happens to drink a bit more than average, it might have something to do with their genes. According to a study published inThis lack of sensitivity carries over to other areas. Light-eyed people are not just less sensitive to alcohol, but are also less sensitive to medicine, according to a study published in the ominously named

Are gray eyes recessive or dominant?

Gray eyes are neither recessive nor dominant. Scientists used to think that a person’s eye color was caused by one dominant gene, and that brown eyes were dominant while lighter eyes (blue, green, hazel and gray) were recessive. A recessive gene only shows up when there are two copies of it present. It was thought that if you inherited one gene for brown eyes and one gene for blue eyes, the gene for brown eyes would dominate and both of your eyes would be brown. Today scientists know this is not the case and that many genes play a role in how eye color develops. Most of those genes help regulate melanin.

Are there different shades of gray eyes?

Gray eyes can appear in various shades, including dark gray, gray-blue, gray-green or almost hazel. The intensity of gray eyes depends on the individual.People with gray eyes may also note that their eyes seem to change color depending on the color of clothing (or eye makeup) the individual is wearing, or how bright the surrounding lighting is.Even mood can appear to change the tint of gray, because pupils dilate (open wider) when someone is experiencing extreme emotions, such as grief or joy. When that happens, gray eyes can appear darker — though of course the color itself doesn’t actually change. This effect can also happen with certain medications, such as opioids, which enlarge the pupils.

What causes gray eyes?

In all eyes, the amount of melanin in the iris regulates eye color. This brown pigment absorbs light, and the color of the eye depends in large part on how much melanin the eye contains. Every iris contains two layers of tissue, one in front and one in back, joined by connective tissue in the middle called the stroma.Dark eyes contain a lot of melanin in both the front and back layers of the iris. Very little light is reflected back out, which is why the eyes appear brown or black. In lighter eyes, there is less melanin, and it is located in the back layer.Though scientists don’t yet know exactly what causes gray eye color, they believe that the genetics at work are likely the same as — or very similar to — the genetics behind the development of blue eyes.Gray eyes may contain just enough melanin in the front layer to dim the blue wavelengths of light that are reflected back by the tissue of the eye. Dark gray eyes have a bit more melanin in that front layer than pale gray eyes.Scientists also think that the fibers in the stroma may scatter light in such a way that the iris appears gray.

Gray eyes are more sensitive to light

When melanin pigment absorbs light, it helps protect the eyes. People with light colored eyes (blue, green or gray) are more likely to be sensitive to bright light. If this describes you, you can protect your eyes with UV-blocking polarized sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats on bright sunny days.