Tracing Your Heritage
There are plenty of DNA tests and sites today that can help you trace her heritage. Millions of people each year buy the DNA tests online, swab their cheek, and wait anxiously for the results to come in. These tests can tell you a lot about yourself and where you came from. The only problem is that these tests can only take you so far back. Even though your heritage goes back millions and millions of years, it is impossible to trace your lineage to the very beginning. This is one of life’s great mysteries.
Finding the Origin Of Your Traits
People can tell you all the time that you look just like your mother or your great-aunt, but you don’t know where they got their traits. Because you can only research her heritage so far back, it can be almost impossible to find the origin of your height, the texture of your hair, or the color of your eyes. While most of these things may be mysteries, scientists claim to have uncovered the answer to at least one of these mysteries.
A Single Individual
Researchers believe that blue eyes can be originated from one single individual. More specifically, they think that the person was European and lived between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago. Up until this point, it is believed that the world’s population was made up of all brown-eyed people. It wasn’t until a gene called OCA2 began to cause changes in the amount of pigment produced in the body.
This pigmentation started out with different shades of brown eyes, and over time, eye color changed completely. People had brown eyes, green eyes, hazel eyes, and gray eyes. Still, this didn’t explain blue eyes. The new colors were different and lighter forms of brown, but where did the blue eyes come from. Blue isn’t exactly a variation of brown.
How blue eye came to be stumped scientists for centuries. They knew that there was something stage going on, but they didn’t have enough to go on to figure it out. Finally, in 2006, they finally got the breakthrough that they were waiting for. A group of researchers was examining the well-preserved remains of a Stone Age man that was discovered in Spain. It was then that they discovered the HERC2 gene. Once the gene was detected, they decided to run some more tests to uncover more information.
The researchers ran some tests that revealed the presence of dark-skinned genes from Africa, and genes that are present today in the Scandinavian population. It was this unique mixture where the scientists believe that the first blue-eyed mutation occurred. One of the scientists working on the project was Dr. Carles Lalueza-Fox from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Barcelona. He says that this Stone Age man is the oldest known occurrence of the gene. He may be the first blue-eyed person in history and could be an ancestor of all blue-eyed people.
It turns out all blue-eyed people have a very weird thing in common that few realize. They may all be related! Blue-eyed people aren’t all directly related, but their ancestry does go back to the one person who had the first set of blue eyes. Back then, blue eyes was basically a mutation. Today, blue eyes are something that is considered unique and gorgeous. People love blue eyes so much that many people wear colored contacts to give them blue eyes.
What Does This Mean?
This new information makes people wonder what it all means. If you are one of the millions of people in the world with blue eyes, does it mean that the people you meet who also have blue eyes are actually your relatives? These scientists say that everyone with blue eyes is related in some way.
Just because this new research shows that all blue-eyed people may be distantly related, it doesn’t mean that blue-eyed couples shouldn’t date, marry, and have children. The ancestors that they have in common go so far back they would share no genetic material at all. While all blue-eyed people likely come from the same ancestor, it doesn’t mean that all blue-eyed people are related. After all, humankind started out with just two people. Does this mean that every human on Earth is related? No.
This find is just one of many. Researchers are working every day to get to the bottom of some of the world’s biggest mysteries. It could be thousands of years before we are able to answer every question the scientific community ever has, but this doesn’t stop scientists from working toward the next breakthrough. Who knows where science will take us next?