Everybody with blue eyes in the world may trace their ancestry back to a single individual who lived thousands of years ago.
If you go far enough back in your family tree, you’ll undoubtedly discover that you’re linked to some fascinating folks.
Unless your whole family has spent all of eternity living in a cave far from civilization, there’s a strong possibility that at some point in history, at least one of your ancestors was significant enough to have their own Wikipedia page.
No matter who you’re connected to, it’s always you who makes you unique, yet you’ll share qualities with many others throughout the globe.
Some individuals can locate almost perfect replicas of themselves by just going about in the great wide world, but for the most part, it’s more of a likeness of characteristics.
Consider eye color. There’s an urban legend that when a kid is born, he or she is always blue-eyed.
It’s just not true; however, it is true that the eye color a kid is born with isn’t necessarily the same as the one they’ll have as an adult.
Everyone who retains their blue eyes, however, has a common ancestor who lived between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago.
That’s a rather large time span to attempt to nail down one life, but thanks to experts, it’s been determined that this one individual is the common ancestor of millions of people worldwide.
And now for the scientific part: the OCA2 gene in our eyes affects the amount of brown pigment in them.
Blue-eyed people have a gene called HERC2 that turns off the OCA2 gene, resulting in blue eyes.
Every blue-eyed individual on the planet has the HERC2 gene, with the same mutation handed down through generations, and experts have established that it all originated from a single person.
A team of researchers from the University of Copenhagen detected the original mutation and discovered that it was prevalent in everyone with blue eyes.
So, if you have blue eyes and know someone else who does, you now know that if you go back far enough in your family tree, you’re truly relatives, but the same could be said for any number of people you pass on the street.
Given that this shared ancestor lived many thousand years ago, it’s probably reasonable to conclude that you’re distantly related enough not to feel obligated to include between eight and ten percent of the world’s population on your Christmas card list.