From washed-out sea blue to chocolatey brown, everyone has their own unique eye color. But where do you get it from? Genetics. Your parent’s genes determine not only what your eye color is, but many other things too. Inside your cells hold something called a nucleus. The nucleus stores DNA. It also holds 46 chromosomes. Then, the chromosomes are split up into 23 pairs. When you were born each parent gave you one part of the pair. Chromosomes are made up of parts of your DNA otherwise known as genes. According to, Who Am I Science Museum of the UK you are made up of about 24,000 genes. Each gene makes up a part of who you, are from how long your fingers are to the size of your nose. Up to 16 genes determine the color of your eyes.
Each gene is composed of alleles. Alleles decide what traits you get from each parent. There are three different alleles which could determine your eye color; green, blue, and brown. Each parent gives you one allele. Green alleles overrule blue alleles and brown alleles are dominant over both. So, if one parent gives you one blue allele and one gives a brown one, you are going to have brown eyes. If one parent gives you a green allele and one gives a blue, you are going to have green eyes. The only way to get blue eyes if both parents gave a blue allele.
Have you ever noticed that when you are a baby, your eyes were a different color? Wonderopolis has, they say your genes also have a say in how much melanin your iris has. Melanin establishes how light or dark your eye color is. The more melanin you have, the darker your eyes are. Since the melanin process doesn’t begin at birth, you may not know what your permanent eye color is until you’re almost 3 years old. The way you can inherit hazel eyes is the melanin isn’t distributed evenly between throughout your eyes. This happens as well with other eye colors, like gray and amber.
Eye color is essential to how you are as a person and the color of your eyes is unique in its own way. That said, some eye colors are more frequent than others. For example, one in every two people has brown eyes, but blue eyes is more like 1 in every 5 or so. In the chart above you can see how rare your eye color is. But whatever your eye color is, it was meant to be, and was determined by a very complex process.