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Blue eyes are somewhat of a scientific anomaly, and scientists wanted to see if they could unlock the mystery of the origins of this unique trait. To find out about the origins of blue eyes, scientists went way, way back by about 128 generations.

Scientists believe that every pair of baby blues in the world today is descended from a single individual, living in Europe about 6,000-10,000 years ago.  Up until then, it’s believed that all humans had brown eyes, but the emergence of a gene known as OCA2 began causing changes in the amount of pigment the body produced. In 2006, scientists discovered HERC2, the gene specifically responsible for blue eyes, in a well-preserved body of a Stone Age man was found in Spain. According to Dr. Carles Lalueza-Fox at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Barcelona, this is the oldest known specimen with this gene. This means that this man was the first of his kind and the ancestor to all blue-eyed people today. If you have blue eyes, this might be a picture of your great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather (probably with several more “greats”).

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