“When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” was written as a lighthearted musical tribute to Ireland, and its composers could not have had any idea it would still be popular in 2021. Unsurprisingly, as vision experts, this time of year has us humming this tune. Don’t forget to wear green in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day on March 17, and in the meantime, brush up on your facts about green eyes today just for fun.
Green Eyes Trivia – 10 Fun Facts About Green Eyes
- Green eyes are very rare.
Green eyes are the most rare eye color in the world. Only about 2 percent of people in the world have naturally green eyes. Green eyes are a genetic mutation that results in low levels of melanin, though more melanin than in blue eyes.
- Green eyes don’t actually have any color.
That’s right – strange but true! While green eyes appear that lovely shade of emerald to the outside observer, the irises themselves have no actual pigment. Similar to blue eyes, the color we perceive is a result of the lack of melanin in the iris. The less melanin in the iris, the more light scatters out, which makes the eyes look green. Ever heard from someone that their eyes change color? Turns out, it’s somewhat true. Changes in light make lighter eyes look like they are changing colors, sort of like a chameleon.
- Where in the world are the most green eyes?
The highest concentration of people with green eyes is found in Ireland, Scotland, and northern Europe. In fact, in Ireland and Scotland, more than three-fourths of the population has blue or green eyes – 86 percent!
- Many factors go into having green eyes.
Sixteen separate genes have been identified as contributing to eye color. So, no matter what eye color your parents have, yours could end up being just about any color. Green eyes naturally occur in all races of people.
- Liqian, China is a hot spot for green eyes.
There is a village in China called Liqian, in which two-thirds of all inhabitants today have green eyes and blonde hair. Green eyes and blonde hair are a rare combination. The high concentration of green-eyed, blond-haired people in Liqian is thought to be linked to their ancestry. The people of Liqian are thought to have possibly descended from Roman General Marcus Crassus’ mysteriously missing army.
- Babies don’t get green eyes immediately.
Every baby is born with either brown or blue eyes. It can take between six months and three years for children to develop green eyes.
- Can green eye color affect personality?
This particular topic may all be in the eye of the beholder (punny, huh?). There is no scientific data to prove that eye color is a factor in determining personality, and we will go on record as saying eye color does not affect personality. However, just for fun – here are some personality traits that have historically been associated with green eyes in fables and folklore: intelligence, passion, mysteriousness, creativity, jealousy, and great leadership skills.
- Grab your shades.
Because green eyes have less melanin than brown eyes, people with green eyes are more likely to be extra sensitive to UV rays. The more melanin, the better protection from the sun – eye pigment literally protects the retina. Like blue-eyed people, those with green eyes are more sensitive to sudden increases in light.
- Green eyes are popular in pop culture.
Green eyes may be the most rare of all natural eye colors, but you’ll see green peepers all over the silver screen. Green eyes are also incredibly popular in books. Some well-known green-eyed characters in books and movies include:
• Harry Potter – from the Harry Potter book series by J.K. Rowling
• Mary Jane Watson – The Amazing Spider-Man comics
• Batgirl – DC Comics
• Catwoman – DC Comics
• Loki – Marvel Comics
• Petyr Baelish – A Song of Fire & Ice by George R.R. Martin
• Scar – The Lion King
• Jane Eyre – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
• Rapunzel – Disney’s Tangled
• Asami Sato – Legend of Korra
- Green eyes don’t affect LASIK candidacy.
No significant link has been found between eye color and quality of vision. Green-eyed people can have myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism, or hyperopia (farsightedness), just like people with any other eye color. Green-eyed people can also have LASIK vision correction. LASIK does not affect eye color. That’s great news for anyone with green eyes who wants to say goodbye to the hassles of glasses and contact lenses. Considering LASIK? Check out our 60-second vision quiz at the button below to see if LASIK may be right for you.
Your Eyes Deserve the Best
We hope you enjoyed our top 10 trivia facts about green eyes. Whatever your eye color, you’ll no doubt agree vision is one of the most treasured senses. Your eyes are your window to the world. That’s why you shouldn’t settle for anything less than your best vision possible. If you’re currently dealing with the nonstop hassle of foggy glasses or uncomfortable contacts, give our world-class experts a call. Kugler Vision has been voted Best of Omaha #1 LASIK provider for four consecutive years, and we’d love for you to come in and see the Kugler Vision difference for yourself. Book your EyeAnalysis assessment today online, or call us at 402-558-2211 to learn about your LASIK options. See you soon!
Lance Kugler, MD, is a specialist in LASIK and vision correction surgery and CEO of Kugler Vision. A proud Omaha native, he is passionate about improving lives through clear vision. Dr. Kugler serves on several national boards, and his practice is recognized internationally as a center of excellence. Dr. Kugler is one of the original founders of the Refractive Surgery Alliance, an international organization comprised of over 350 of the world’s leading vision correction surgeons; he also served as its first president. In 2019, Dr. Kugler was selected as a TEDx speaker, and delivered a talk in Omaha about the worldwide epidemic of nearsightedness and refractive solutions. Dr. Kugler is an Associate Professor of Refractive Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Truhlsen Eye Institute, has been published in many medical journals, and participates in numerous clinical studies to advance the field of vision correction surgery. Dr. Kugler and his wife are proud parents to five active kids. When he has a spare moment, he enjoys skiing, tennis, travel, and fine coffee.
26 thoughts on “10 Facts About Green Eyes”
wow.. the sun light does make my eyes discomfort…
Yes, it definitely can! That’s why wearing sunglasses with UV protection is so important – both to protect our eyes and to provide more comfort while outdoors.
Your comments about babies not having green eyes immediately is incorrect. I have eyes the color of dark green jade. My parents told me they were startled to see my eyes were green and not blue as soon as I opened them. They never changed. Also the whites of my eyes were slightly green, the same ways some babies’ eyes have bluish whites right after birth. So green eyes do not necessarily show up later. I was also born a very fair skinned, golden blonde. My hair stayed that color until puberty, when it darkened.
Such great information and just in time. Researching for a book I’m writing. Your information provided exactly the answers I needed without having to read through a whole lot of flutter to get to the grain of the salt. Thanks for sharing.
My green eyes are very sensitive to light – outside and inside! Great article – thanks!
Thanks for reading, Ellen! Have a good day.
My eyes are extremely light sensitive and turn yellowish green when I cry. Idk why?
People with green or blue eyes tend to be sensitive to light, because their iris has less pigment in it.
Well you’re spot on on your comments about green eyes because I have green eyes and everything you said I have experience and do experience, and my ancestry is from the parts of the world that you mentioned
Glad you enjoyed the article. Thanks for reading!
Well it definitely took me more than 3 years to get my green eyes!(I was about 9 or 10) and up until then I had blues eyes and then based off of what I wore my eyes appeared either green or blue before they settled on green.
I find my green eyes turn light brown in the sun but turn a deep green when I am angry. I’ve always said the greener my eyes the more angry I am. Has this happen to anyone else?
I have green eyes and sneeze if I look at bright light. Especially sunlight. I guess it’s called photic sneeze reflex.
I learned many things I did not know about my green eyes. Thank you
I am of Viking descent w green eyes and blonde hair. Very sensitive to light. Keen eyesight when younger. Your article was a very interesting read. Especially about the astigmatism & LASIK. Was told I wasn’t a candidate for contacts becuz of it. Maybe I should look into LASIK.
I have green eyes. For many years I wore contacts due to astigmatism. I had Lasik done when I turned 40. No problems at all.
I have green eyes and I am told I have good eyesight by many. I am a dirty blonde too. My eyes tend to go toxic green when I’m angry and turn yellowish when I’m sad. My eyes appeared green after six years. I am one of not many people in my school who have green eyes. My overall colour is a pale green. My family has a mixed up heritage.
Amazing that a defect can be so lovely!
That was really interesting I never new about my green eyes becuase when looked at your guyses comments one of you guys said when you look at the sun it will hurt your eyes I thought that it was a lie but when I looked at the sun it hurt my eyes. And thanks again!
My eyes are really sensitive to light and I have green eyes. Thanks agin for the article!
Love, love, loved your article about green eyes. My Mom used to say
“Stop with those green eyes of yours”
She was my biggest fan….she was Scotch Irish and Dad was full blooded German. Now it all makes sense of how I inherited very green eyes!
Thank you for a great article!!
Indeed the sensitive to light is true but my skin tans easy and when I’m angry they go a darker green and my eyes are a emerald shade and my son also has rare eye colour of grey which is apparently more rare than green .
When I was young my eyes were brown now there totally green. I do where transition exsteams for my eyes are sensitive to light the lens turn instant to light , but when I come inside I fall over chairs. It takes 10 minutes for them to clear up.
My green eyes look blue when I wear blue. They look intense green when I wear green. I love it!