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Gray Eyes: Interesting Facts About Rare Eye Color

When it comes to gray eyes, people are always wondering about the mysticism behind them. Don’t you want to know more about these mysterious looks? The fascinating way they can exhibit themselves with the help of this enchanting eye color might be something worth exploring further.

Human eyes come in many different colors. Brown, blue, green, hazel, violet, and amber are all surprisingly common eye colors. However gray eyes are quite rare and beautiful with less than 3% of the population having them.

Different shades and intensities of gray eyes include dark gray, light gray, green-gray, and blue-gray.


The Iris, the colored part of the eye determines the eye color, although there are pupils, the dark opening of the iris, and the white part of the eye or sclera at the peripheral out of the iris.

The color of your iris is dependent on the amount of melanin pigment present in the iris. People with more melanin in their eyes will have black or dark brown eyes, while those with less will have blue, green, amber, hazel, or gray eyes.

Varieties of Gray Eyes

Gray eyes can come in many different shades, including dark gray, gray-blue, green-gray, or hazel. The intensity or the shades of the color depends on the person.

Gray-eyed people may notice that their eyes seem to change color based on the color of clothes, eye makeup, and the surrounding lighting condition.

It might be interesting for gray-eyed people to know that the shades of your eyes change with the change in your mood or expressions, and due to medication because of the fluctuating size of the pupil.

The pupil dilates in extreme emotions such as grief or joy, and while using mydriatic (pupil dilation) eye drops.


Cause of Gray Eyes

Gray eyes are a very uncommon eye color. Less than 3% of the world’s population has it and those who do usually have European heritage.

Like all eye colors, grey eyes are the result of how much melanin is found in the iris. The iris is a circular layer located right in the middle of your eyes and absorbs light into it. It is responsible for controlling how much light that gets into your retina.

Humans actually don’t have green or blue irises because there aren’t any pigments that produce those colors. Lighter eyes result because light interacts with melanin to create different shades of brown.

The color of your eyes is determined by the amount of melanin present. When light hits your eye, it scatters in different ways making it disperse. This is called Rayleigh scattering and you’ve probably heard it before. This scattering of light is what determines what color your eyes have.

Those with light-colored eyes have less melanin than those with brown-colored eyes, and those with green or hazel eyes have the least. Blue-eyed people lack melanin as well, and those who have grey eyes don’t contain any at all.

A new study has found a correlation between the color of a person’s eye and their iris stroma. The corneal stroma of gray eyes has more collagen than the cornea of a blue eye. This also affects how light scatters and is what causes their eyes to appear gray rather than blue.

The genetic makeup of an individual is responsible for the amount of melanin pigment in the iris. There are anywhere from 16-25 different genes that impact one’s eye color, and scientists are still studying the phenomenon to see how the genes interact with one another.


Old View on Gray Eyes Genetics

Gray eyes are not dominant or recessive. It was originally thought that they were the result of one gene, with brown being dominant and lighter eyes (blue, green, hazel and gray) being recessive.

It was once believed that if you inherit one brown-eye gene and one blue-eye gene, the brown-eye gene would be more dominant and your two eyes would both be brown.

Many people think that eye color is determined by a single gene. But in fact, scientists know that this isn’t the case. There are many genes that play a part in how eye color develops, and most of them regulate iris melanin

Facts about Gray Eyes

The color of the eyes ranges from blue to dark brown, with many shades of brown in between. Gray eyes are a rare and beautiful color, but what do we know about them?

More Likely to Drink 

A study found that those with blue, green, light brown, or grey eyes had a 54% higher rate of alcohol dependence whereas those with dark-colored eyes were roughly only half as likely to become dependent.

Gray-Eyed Estonia

The distinction between blue and grey eyes is not always clear. For example, Estonia may have the most people with grey eyes, but this number couldn’t be confirmed. There are still a lot of people who have either blue or grey-blue eyes

Changeable with Mood

Gray-eyed people’s eye color changes depending on their mood. Normally, the eyes are lighter, but when dilated because of dilation drops or emotional stress such as happiness and grief, the eyes become darker gray.

Protection Against Disease

Gray-eyed people are associated with lowered risk of vitiligo. Vitiligo is a condition in which the white patches form due to an attack of the immune system on the cells containing pigment, leaving behind unsightly patches on your skin.

Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease that is associated with Type 1 Diabetes, Autoimmune Thyroid Diseases, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Lupus.

Researchers have found a link between gray eyes and a lower risk of getting this autoimmune disease.

Linked to Wisdom

The Greeks often referred to people with grey eyes as wise. This was allegedly due to the fact that the goddess of wisdom, Athena, had those same eye colors.

Less Sensitive to Pain

A study found that women with light-colored eyes may experience less pain and anxiety during the process of giving birth than do females with dark-colored eyes, such as brown or black.

More Sensitive to Light

Melanin in the eyes absorbs light rays to help protect the retina. People with light-colored eyes-blue, green, or gray- may be more sensitive to bright lights.

If you are one of the gray-eyed people with light sensitivity, it might be time to invest in UV-blocking sunglasses and hats.

More Competitive

A study published in Current Psychology found that people with grey eyes were more likely to be competitive than others.

More Strategic

A study at the University of Louisville has found that people with brown eyes have faster reaction times than those with blue eyes. They say this has implications for anyone who needs to be quick, such as sports players.

But the study showed that people with greys eyes succeeded better in less reactive and more deliberate activities, such as golf, cross-country running, and studying for exams.

Risk of Certain Eye Cancers

The color of your iris matters a lot for your vision and eye health. The more melanin, the better protection from the sun’s rays.

People with gray eyes are at high risk of ocular melanoma, an eye cancer that’s rarer in people with the more common dark-eyed phenotype.

Ocular melanoma can lead to a lot of complications, including glaucoma, vision loss and even spreading to other parts of the body.

Luckily, this eye cancer is really rare (six in every one million), so the likelihood you’ll ever get it is fairly low. But wearing sunglasses with UV protection can help to prevent it no matter which way the odds are stacked.

Most Attractive Eye Color

It’s true that if you consider rarity as a factor, then eyes with a gray or silver-colored iris may be considered to be beautiful. In the poll taken by 1800Contacts, for example, women with gray eyes ranked as the most attractive overall.

Celebrities with Gray Eyes

Gray eyes are often seen as mysterious and intriguing. They can be found in different shades. Though they are not as common as blue or brown eyes, they are still beautiful and unique. Here is a list of some famous celebrities with gray eyes.

Pink – American rock singer

Joanna Noëlle Levesque (Jojo) – American actress, singer, and songwriter

Jai Stephen Courtney – Australian actor

Heather Joan Graham – American writer, and director

Debbie Reynolds – American singer, actress, and businessperson

Clint Eastwood Jr. – American film director, producer, and composer

Windham Lawrence Rotunda (Bray Wyatt) – American wrestler

A Word from Health Kura

The color of one’s eyes can be determined by a variety of factors, including the genes they inherit from their parents, the amount and type of melanin in their irises, and the amount and type of light exposure they receive.

While the color of one’s eyes cannot be changed, there are a number of ways to enhance their appearance, including using eye cosmetics and colored contact lenses.

Enhance your eye color with gray contact lenses
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