“Are they real?” is a question I heard often as an adult. Get your mind out of the gutter, it was referring to my eyes. Never thought my eye color was anything unique as most of my family has them but I guess that is not true.
Growing up was always told we had hazel eyes. They can “change” color. Never really understood what hazel eyes were so one day I looked it up. According to Wikipedia:
“Hazel eyes are due to a combination of Rayleigh scattering and a moderate amount of melanin in the iris’ anterior border layer. Hazel eyes often appear to shift in color from a brown to a green. Although hazel mostly consists of brown and green, the dominant color in the eye can either be brown/gold or green. This is how many people mistake hazel eyes to be amber and vice versa. This can sometimes produce a multicolored iris, i.e., an eye that is light brown/amber near the pupil and charcoal or dark green on the outer part of the iris (or vice versa) when observed in sunlight.
Hazel eyes occur throughout Caucasoid populations, in particular in regions where blue, green and brown eyed peoples are intermixed.”
A more scientific definition comes from Stanford at the Tech:
“So why don’t we know more about the genetics of hazel eyes? Part of the reason comes from the difficulty of defining hazel. In other words, when is hazel actually brown? Or green?
People are working on coming up with ways to more precisely define these different eye colors. Hopefully they won’t open up a whole new can of worms by giving us a bunch of new eye colors (brown-hazel, hazel, green-hazel, etc.).
Another reason is that the inheritance must be pretty tricky. It must not be as “simple” as blue, green, and brown eyes.”
They go very deep into the genetics of it all, feel free to read on!
After doing more research, my eyes fall somewhere into that could be “green-hazel” or green or hazel depending on the light. As much as crying is never on my to-do list it does always give me a great dark green with gold eye color afterwards!
When I was younger my eyes tended more toward a brown then a gold color like my kids eyes now. This would make my daughter happy as she often says she wants green eyes like mommy and light hair like daddy. At three years old I am not sure why she cares!
In the end, my favorite answer that I ever gave to the question “Are your eyes real?” was to a student. ” No I had an eye transplant a few years ago.” Said comeplete dead pan and he believed me. (Please note he was about 16 years old and colored contacts were the rage at the time.)