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Only Two Percent of the World’s Population Have This Trait

Best Life logo Best Life 2/4/2019 Ashley Moor

© AJ_Watt/Getty Images Lots of traits are statistically rare: Left-handedness (just 10 percent of the population!), curly hair (11 percent!), and blond hair (4 percent!), to name a few. But of the more than seven billion people on the planet, only 2 percent can claim to have this one special trait. (To put that in perspective, that’s 140 million people).

So what’s this rare trait only one in fifty of us possess? Green eyes. That’s right, just 2 percent of the world’s population is lucky enough to have ’em, according to World Atlas.

Compare that to other eye colors. For example, some 79 percent of the population has brown eyes, while 8 percent has blue. About 5 percent of people have hazel eyes and another 5 percent have amber eyes. Simply put, green eyes are incredibly unique. (Unique enough, in fact, to give Chris Martin the inspiration that would make Coldplay an overnight success).

Green eyes are most common in Central, Western, and Northern Europe, and typically point to Celtic or German ancestry. At the moment, they’re most prevalent in Britain, Iceland, the Netherlands, Scotland, Estonia, and Scandinavia. In fact, according to a study conducted by ScotlandsDNA, in Britain, brown eyes are rarer than green. There, 22 percent of the population has brown eyes, compared to the jaw-dropping 30 percent that has green.

To get green eyes, the irises need a unique blend of “light brown pigmentation, yellowish lipochrome pigment, and a splash of Rayleigh scattering,” according to Eyesite Opticians. And interestingly enough, it can take up to three years for green eyes to appear in small children, as the Rayleigh scattering takes time to form and appear in humans.

Despite green eyes being such a rarity, numerous characters in literature and film have them, perhaps to convey a sense of mystery. In fact, many researchers believe that eye color is a true indicator of personality. For example, researchers from the University of Queensland and the University of New South Wales found that they tended to be less agreeable, more competitive, creative, devious, and shy.

So there you have it. If eyes truly are the windows of the soul, that means that people with green eyes possess the rarest souls on the planet. For more on that note, check out the 20 Amazing Facts You Never Knew About Your Body.

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