Green Eyes - Find out all about this beautiful eye colour!

Facts about green eyes

The colour green is usually linked to jealousy or envy, as can be seen in the phrase the “green eyed monster.”  Yet many people deem green as an appealing eye colour. Discover the facts about green eyes!

Man with Green eyes
Green is a rare eye colour

What causes green eyes? 

Eye colour is typically hereditary. However, the colour of the parents’ eyes does not guarantee the child’s eye colours. Several types of genes contribute to the eventual outcome of eye colour. Moreover, varying interactions of these genes can determine eye colour outcomes.

The iris is the thin and circular structure within the eye surrounding the pupil that determines eye colour. Besides regulating pupil size and how much light enters the eye, the iris also has pigmented cells that regulate eye colour. While there are many different eye colours, there are surprisingly few types of eye pigments. The amount of brown-coloured pigment called melanin that is contained in cells in the iris determines the type of colour an eye can have. 

Varying amounts of melanocytes or melanin pigment granules within cells in the iris determine eye colour. These cells obtain their genetically determined amount of melanin in early childhood, and their melanin content typically remains comparatively consistent as the human being matures throughout life.Someone with less melanin in the melanocytes of his or her iris will have a lighter eye colour (blue or green, for example) than a person with more melanin.

Rayleigh scattering is another factor that contributes to eye colour, particularly varying hues of green eyes. Light that falls onto the iris and onto the melanocytes within the iris is dispersed and reflected. Consequently, varying reflective colours are produced, based on the iris structure as well as how many melanocytes are there. Hence, Rayleigh scattering can result in different shades of blue, green, hazel, and so on. [1]

Additionally, the iris structure and the melanocyte distribution within the eye would render some eye colours challenging to classify. For instance, some “green” eyes may have hues of brown near the pupil, according to the amount of lighting and other factors. One drawback for this eye colour is that as they contain the least melanin, people with green eyes are very susceptible to retina damage from the sun. Furthermore, this eye colour does not surface immediately in children but require between six months to three years to develop.

How common are green eyes? 

The green colour in eyes is among the rarest types of eye colour in the world. Approximately only 2% of the entire world population has it.

The largest concentration of people with this eye colour are those of European descent, particularly people from Ireland and Scotland, and Scandinavia. 88% of the Icelandic population has either green or blue eyes. Having said that, people with this eye colour can be found around the globe, even as far as China.

Colour Contact Lenses Can Give You Your Desired Colour of Eyes -Temporarily 

Wearing contact lenses can give you your desired eye colour. 

Various types of green contact lenses, including lenses without corrective power, should be available at your local optician. If you have naturally green eyes and you wear eyeglasses, use lenses with anti-reflective (AR) coating that reduces distracting reflections in your glasses to display your green eye colour. That being said, regardless of the colour of your eyes, they are one-of-a-kind and cannot be duplicated. Consult your optician if you are thinking of obtaining colour contact lenses. 


[1] A. Hellem, “Green eyes: The most attractive eye color?,” All About Vision, 28-Jun-2022. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 04-Aug-2022]. 


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