Greenish gray eyes

Greenish gray eyes DEFAULT

What color are your eyes exactly?

Posted on August 25, 2010 in General Eye Care

When someone wants to enhance their vision, they may try contact lenses or seek out LASIK eye surgery. But what if they want to change the color of their eyes? People have long been fascinated with eye color; after all, eyes come in a wide range of shades. Exactly what color are your eyes? Hazel-ish? Blue-gray-green? Blue with brown spots? Green with gray spots? Most of us are taught in high school biology that two blue-eyed parents are guaranteed to have blue-eyed kids, but it’s not that straightforward. The genetics of eye color is very complicated. All blue eyes are not created equal because eye color is determined by many different gene combinations, as seen in the image below:


The colored part of the eye is called the iris. The iris has pigmentation that determines the eye color. Irises are classified as being one of six colors: amber, blue, brown, gray, green, hazel, or red. Often confused with hazel eyes, amber eyes tend to be a solid golden or copper color without flecks of blue or green typical of hazel eyes.


100px-BlueyeBlue eyes have a low level of pigment present in the iris. Recently,scientists announced that everyone with blue eyes is related! Because of various racial groups intermarrying, blue eyes, which are generally recessive, are becoming rarer and rarer. (Note: I recently asked my blue-eyed in-laws how they produced my amber-eyed spouse, incorrectly telling them it was genetically impossible. Lesson #381: it’s not funny to suggest your mother-in-law was unfaithful.)

Brown is the most common eye color. Individuals with brown eyes have more melanin present, and over half of the people in the world have brown eyes.

grayGray eyes may be called “blue” at first glance, but they tend to have flecks of gold and brown. And they may appear to “change color” from gray to blue to green depending on clothing, lighting, and mood (which may change the size of the pupil, compressing the colors of the iris).


Green is the least common eye color, but it is found most frequently in northern and central Europe. I have always incorrectly called this color eye hazel!


Hazel eyes mostly consist of shades of brown and green. Much like gray eyes, hazel eyes may appear to “change color” from green to light brown to gold. Individuals whose eyes appear to be one color closest to the pupil, another color a little farther our, and another color around the edge of the iris are likely to have hazel eyes.

redRed eyes do exist. “Red?” you say. “Yes, red,” I say, although we often call them pink. Picture white bunnies with pink eyes. What you’re actually seeing in these rabbits and in albinos is the blood vessels behind the iris. Because there is so little melanin in the eyes, there is nothing to conceal the blood vessels hard at work. These red eyes are different from the red eyes you sometimes see in photographs when a flash is used. The red you see in pictures is a reflection of the flash off of the back of the eye, which is filled with blood vessels.


If you’re dissatisfied with your eye color for whatever reason, there are always colored contacts. Just be sure to get a prescription for them from your eye doctor atEye Doctors of Washington. Don’t buy them online or borrow them from a friend—you’d just be begging for an eye infection.

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Green eye colour is the rarest in the world. Only 2% of people globally have green eyes. But in their rarity, there are lots of interesting green eye facts.

Did you know…?

    The largest concentration of green eyed people is in Ireland, Scotland and Northern Europe.

    In Ireland and Scotland, 86% of people have either blue or green eyes.

    There have been 16 genes identified that contribute to eye colour. This means that no matter what colour eyes your parents have, yours can be pretty much any colour.

    All races, including Caucasian, African, Asian, Pacific Islanders, Arabic, Hispanic and the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas can have green eyes.

This is because green eyes are heavily influenced by your environment…

    Green is actually not a pigmentation of the iris at all. Green eyes are a curious blend of light brown pigmentation, a yellowish lipochrome pigment, and a splash of Rayleigh scattering.

    In humans, the pigmentation of an iris ranges from very light amber yellow to a very dark brown, bordering on black. The darkness of the iris depends on its concentration of melanin.

    Rayleigh Scattering is the dispersion of light as it bounces off of air molecules. This helps determine eye colour as different light waves are captured in your eye pigment.
    This same scattering of light occurs in the sky which makes it appear blue.

Because of this, green eyes do not appear immediately in babies…

    All babies are born with blue or brown eyes. Green eyes can take between 6 months and 3 years to appear in children.

    There is a village in north western China called Liqian, whose people are thought to be descended from Roman General Marcus Crassus’ mysteriously missing army. Two-thirds of the inhabitants today have green eyes and blonde hair.

Green Eye Superstitions

People with green eyes are thought to share character traits. But your eye colour has no affect on your personality.

Shakespeare coined the phrase “green-eyed” to convey jealousy. In The Merchant of Venice the green is suggestive of illness…

How all the other passions fleet to air,

As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embraced despair,

And shuddering fear, and green-eyed jealousy! O love,

Be moderate; allay thy ecstasy,

In measure rein thy joy; scant this excess.

I feel too much thy blessing: make it less,

For fear I surfeit.

While in Othello, the “green-eyed monster” alludes to the cat-like nature of jealousy in how it toys with our emotions.

O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;

It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock

The meat it feeds on; that cuckold lives in bliss

Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;

But, O, what damned minutes tells he o’er

Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!

Despite being the rarest eye colour in real life, green eyes are EVERYWHERE in fiction. Green eyes are used as a sort of visual shorthand to suggest a character being exotic, attractive and/or evil.

A short list of green eyed characters in fiction…

  • The Lady – The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
  • Harry Potter – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by K Rowling
  • Marcone – Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
  • Jane Eyre – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Petyr Baelish – A Song of Fire & Ice George R. R. Martin
  • Scar – The Lion King
  • Loki – Thor
  • The Mad Hatter – Alice in Wonderland (2010)
  • Mary Jane Watson – The Amazing Spider-Man comics
  • Catwoman – Batman comics

So there you have it, we bet you didn’t even know a quarter of these green eye facts. If you know any we haven’t listed here, let us know on our Facebook page.

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What Is the Rarest Eye Color?

Eye color is a distinct part of your appearance. It's included on a driver’s license and other forms of identification. It is also one of the primary descriptors used in a missing person’s report.

The iris is the pigmented part of your eye. Its color is determined by genes. Many basic level biology courses used to use eye color to break down how certain genes are passed on from parents to children. However, scientists now understand that eye color genetics is more complex, with multiple genes play a part in determining eye color.

The production of melanin in the iris is what influences eye color. More melanin produces a darker coloring, while less makes for lighter eyes. Green eyes are the rarest, but there exist anecdotal reports that gray eyes are even rarer.

Eye color isn’t just a superfluous part of your appearance. It can also say something about a person’s health.

The Anatomy of the Iris

Rare Eye Colors

Here are some of the rarest eye colors. 

Gray Eyes 

There’s not much information on gray colored eyes. However, a review of eye color classification shows that it is indeed considered a different eye color from blue.

People in Northern countries tend to have lighter colored eyes. In comparison, darker eyes are common in warmer locales for much the same reason people have darker skin in Southern countries.

In studies, gray and blue are often lumped together. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) explains that around 27% of people in the U.S. have blue eyes. They also include a category of other—which may include of gray eyes—that makes up 1% of the population.

Green Eyes

According to the AAO, green eyes are one of the rarest eye colors. Only 2% of the global population has green eyes.


People with heterochromia have two different colored eyes. Some people are born with it. It can happen at birth in conjunction with conditions such as piebaldism and Horner’s syndrome.

You can also develop heterochromia later in life. It can occur due to injury, medication, or illness. It’s rare for people to have heterochromia. In the U.S., fewer than 200,000 people have this condition.

The Science Behind Having Two Different Colored Irises

It is possible for your eye color to change in adulthood. While lighting and environment may influence eye color perception, diseases, medications, and injury can also impact eye color later in life.

Brown freckles can develop in your iris over time, and while most are harmless, they can sometimes be cancerous. Some conditions, like Fuchs heterochromic iridocyclitis, can cause you to lose pigment in your iris, making the eyes appear lighter in color.


Several different genes play a part in determining your eye color. Most of them have something to do with the transport, production, and storage of melanin. Melanin is a pigment found in the skin, hair, and eyes. More melanin in the iris will produce brown eyes, while less of it may mean green, blue, or gray eyes.

While scientists—and probably your high school biology teacher—used to think that eye color inheritance was a simple matter of dominant and recessive genes, they now know that this isn’t the case.

Two people with brown eyes, for example, can indeed have a child with lighter eyes. Brown eyes are common, but there is no single dominant gene for brown eye color as was once believed.

Besides the amount of melanin produced, how much is present in the front of the iris and the back of the iris, as well as the composition of the stroma layer in between, determines eye color. Multiple genes are at work in determining these variables, and much about this is still not understood.

How Do Genetics Determine Eye Color?

It’s possible to change your eye color using cosmetic contact lenses, but you need to be careful because improper use increases your chance of getting an infection. The AAO recommends seeing an eye care professional before using cosmetic contact lenses. You should also never buy contact lenses that don’t require a prescription.

The AAO also warns against surgery to change the color of your eyes. This kind of surgery can have serious side effects, including blindness and vision issues.

Eye Color and Health

Eye color may seem like something that just has to do with your appearance. However, some studies suggest that certain eye colors may increase a person’s risk of certain health conditions.

Research from 2011, for instance, suggests a link between blue eyes and type 1 diabetes. Similarly, a review from 2015 suggests a possible link between eye color and hearing loss. Evidence points to the possibility that people with darker eyes may have a reduced risk of non-age-related hearing loss.

A 2014 study presented at the American Pain Society meeting in 2014 concluded that women with light-colored eyes had a higher reported pain tolerance during pregnancy than those with darker eyes. However, it should be noted that the sample size for this study was relatively small, with a total of 58 women.

A similarly small-sized study of 60 subjects had the same finding when testing pressure pain thresholds and for pain related to cold. However, remember that correlation does not equal causation and more study is needed to prove these effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Grey eyes are very rare, but it's difficult to know exactly what percentage of the population has them. People with grey eyes are often counted with people with blue eyes, which account for 27% of people in the U.S.

  • Yes, it is possible for a person to naturally have red eyes, but they're more of a light red or pink color instead of a bright red. This can happen to people who have albinism, a condition that causes less pigment to develop in a person's skin, eyes, and hair. If a person with albinism has clear irises due to a lack of melanin, blood vessels in their eyes become visible and result in the light red and pink appearance.

    Learn More:Types and Symptoms of Albinism

  • Eye color change can be caused by genetics, disease, medication, and trauma. For example, some medications that treat glaucoma, a condition that causes increased eye pressure, can cause eye color to change over time.

  • About 18% of the U.S. population has hazel eyes. This is due to light brown pigment in the iris interacting with blue light in the eye, which results in green, speckled, or hazel eyes.

Thanks for your feedback!

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Mukamal R. Why are brown eyes most common? American Academy of Ophthalmology. April 7, 2017.

  2. Grigore M, Avram A. Iris colour classification scales—then and now. Rom J Ophthalmol. 2015;59(1):29-33.

  3. Katsara M-A, Nothnagel M. True colors: A literature review on the spatial distribution of eye and hair pigmentation. Forensic Science International: Genetics. 2019;39:109-118. doi:10.1016/j.fsigen.2019.01.001

  4. Gudgel DT. Your blue eyes aren’t really blue. American Academy of Ophthalmology. November 30, 2016.

  5. Boyd K. Eye color: unique as a fingerprint. American Academy of Ophthalmology. December 5, 2017.

  6. Turbert D. Heterochromia. American Academy of Ophthalmology. February 3, 2017.

  7. Rehman HU. Heterochromia. CMAJ. 2008;179(5):447-448. doi:10.1503%2Fcmaj.070497

  8. Why are my eyes changing color? American Academy of Ophthalmology. February 28, 2019.

  9. Southworth L. Eye color. Stanford at The Tech. 2007.

  10. Gudgel DT. Are costume contact lenses safe? American Academy of Ophthalmology. 2020.

  11. American Academy of Ophthalmology. Iris implant surgery to change eye color can be dangerous, american academy of ophthalmology warns. October 31, 2014.

  12. Stasio ED, Maggi D, Berardesca E, et al. Blue eyes as a risk factor for type 1 diabetes. Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews. 2011;27(6):609-613. doi:10.1002/dmrr.1214

  13. Mujica-Mota MA, Schermbrucker J, Daniel SJ. Eye color as a risk factor for acquired sensorineural hearing loss: a review. Hear Res. 2015;320:1-10. doi:10.1016/j.heares.2014.12.002

  14. Pietzak R. Can eye color predict pain tolerance? UPMC & Pitt Health Sciences News Blog.

  15. Holmgaard H, Hansen EØ, Dong NP, Dixen LB, Nielsen GA, Poulsen JN, Gazerani P. Individuals with dark eyes and hair exhibit higher pain sensitivity. Somatosens Mot Res. 2017 Mar;34(1):21-26. doi:10.1080/08990220.2016.1276439

  16. Boyd, K. American Academy of Ophthalmology. Eye color: Unique as a fingerprint. Published December 5, 2017.

  17. Rauch, K. American Academy of Ophthalmology. Why are my eyes changing color? Published January 27, 2021.

Additional Reading

Gray eyes: A rare and beautiful eye color

HomeEye Care

Human eyes come in many colors — brown, blue, green, hazel, amber, and even violet or gray eyes. Gray eye color is one of the loveliest and most uncommon, a trait shared by only 3% of the world’s population. The color and intensity of gray eyes varies from person to person and can include dark gray, gray-green and gray-blue.

Eye color actually refers to the color of the iris, a ring of tissue that surrounds the pupil. The pupil is an opening at the center of the iris that appears black, while the white part of your eye is called the sclera.

The color of the iris depends on the presence of a brown pigment called melanin, the same pigment that determines skin color and hair color. Eyes with a lot of melanin are darker, and eyes with less melanin are blue, green, hazel, amber or gray.

NOTE: You may see references to "grey" rather than "gray" eyes, but it’s the same eye color. "Gray" is simply the preferred spelling in American English, while "grey" is the British English spelling used primarily in the U.K.

Are gray eyes recessive or dominant?

Gray eyes are neither recessive nor dominant. Scientists used to think that a person’s eye color was caused by one dominant gene, and that brown eyes were dominant while lighter eyes (blue, green, hazel and gray) were recessive. A recessive gene only shows up when there are two copies of it present. It was thought that if you inherited one gene for brown eyes and one gene for blue eyes, the gene for brown eyes would dominate and both of your eyes would be brown. Today scientists know this is not the case and that many genes play a role in how eye color develops. Most of those genes help regulate melanin.

Are there different shades of gray eyes?

Gray eyes can appear in various shades, including dark gray, gray-blue, gray-green or almost hazel. The intensity of gray eyes depends on the individual. 

People with gray eyes may also note that their eyes seem to change color depending on the color of clothing (or eye makeup) the individual is wearing, or how bright the surrounding lighting is. 

Even mood can appear to change the tint of gray, because pupils dilate (open wider) when someone is experiencing extreme emotions, such as grief or joy. When that happens, gray eyes can appear darker — though of course the color itself doesn’t actually change. This effect can also happen with certain medications, such as opioids, which enlarge the pupils.

SEE RELATED:Eye anatomy: A closer look at the parts of the eye

What causes gray eyes?

In all eyes, the amount of melanin in the iris regulates eye color. This brown pigment absorbs light, and the color of the eye depends in large part on how much melanin the eye contains. Every iris contains two layers of tissue, one in front and one in back, joined by connective tissue in the middle called the stroma. 

Dark eyes contain a lot of melanin in both the front and back layers of the iris. Very little light is reflected back out, which is why the eyes appear brown or black. In lighter eyes, there is less melanin, and it is located in the back layer. 

Though scientists don’t yet know exactly what causes gray eye color, they believe that the genetics at work are likely the same as — or very similar to — the genetics behind the development of blue eyes. 

Gray eyes may contain just enough melanin in the front layer to dim the blue wavelengths of light that are reflected back by the tissue of the eye. Dark gray eyes have a bit more melanin in that front layer than pale gray eyes. 

Scientists also think that the fibers in the stroma may scatter light in such a way that the iris appears gray.

Gray eyes are more sensitive to light

When melanin pigment absorbs light, it helps protect the eyes. People with light colored eyes (blue, green or gray) are more likely to be sensitive to bright light. If this describes you, you can protect your eyes with UV-blocking polarized sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats on bright sunny days.

Gray eyes increase the risk of certain eye cancers

The more melanin your iris contains, the more protected you are from the sun’s damaging rays. Individuals with gray eyes have less melanin and are at greater risk for an eye cancer called ocular melanoma. This cancer is very rare, affecting six in every one million adults in the U.S. annually, but it’s a good idea to wear those UV-blocking sunglasses in any case.

Gray eyes may protect against certain skin disorders and autoimmune diseases 

If you’ve got gray eyes, you are less likely to suffer from a skin disorder called vitiligo, a condition in which your immune system attacks cells with melanin pigment and leaves behind irregular patches of white skin. Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease, and it’s associated with a higher incidence of Type 1 diabetes, autoimmune thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Researchers think that people with gray eyes are less likely to get all these autoimmune diseases.

Other possible benefits of gray eyes and light eyes

People with light-colored eyes, including gray eyes, consume more alcohol than those with dark eyes, according to a 2001 study that looked at data from two surveys of over 12,000 individuals. Meanwhile, those with dark eyes are more sensitive to alcohol and become intoxicated more easily — drinking less as a result. 

Similarly, people with gray eyes may be less sensitive to medications than those with darker eyes. Studies dating from the 1970s and 1980s confirm an overall greater sensitivity to stimuli in participants with dark eyes. 

Even giving birth seems to cause less pain and anxiety to those with light-colored eyes, such as blue or gray eyes. 

SEE RELATED:Eye color: How it develops and why it changes

Page published in January 2021

Page updated in September 2021


Gray eyes greenish

6 Rare and Unique Eye Colors

My name is Tatiana, but my friends and family call me Tutta. I love writing articles about what makes each of us unique and rare.

The eyes certainly are windows to the soul, and if you know anything about eyes or windows, you know they come in many different tints and colors!

Mostly you see brown or blue eyes when you look at the people around you, but some people wind up with really cool and rare eye colors. Here are some of the rarest eye colors and how they happen.

What Determines the Color of Your Eyes?

Many people will argue that the color of your eyes is purely genetic which, for the most part, is true. However, there’s still not a lot known about the specific genes that determine a person’s eye color. We do know that rarer eye color genes are recessive, so perhaps it’s just a matter of the right genes coming together to bring forth the phenomena.

What we do know about eye color determination is that it involves two pigments: melanin (brown pigment), and lipochrome (yellow pigment). It also depends on how the iris scatters light. Light blue eyes indicate an absence of melanin or brown pigmentation. Conversely, when you see someone with dark brown eyes, they have an abundance of melanin.

The Rarest Eye Colors and How They Occur

Eye ColorCause(s)


Increased or decreased pigmentation in one iris or part of an iris.


One pupil is larger than the other making one eye look darker.

Red or Pink

Little to no melanin due to albinism.


Lack of melanin mixed with light reflecting off of red blood vessels.


Very little melanin with a high amount of collagen in the stroma.


A little melanin, a large amount of lipochrome, and Rayleigh scattering of light.


A little melanin with a large amount of lipochrome.


Melanin concentrated in the outer portion of the iris causing a multicolored appearance that usually ranges from copper to green depending on the light.

So What Is the Rarest Eye Color?

Although red/violet and heterochromic eyes are extremely rare (seen in less than 1% in the population), it's hard to quantify exactly which eye color is the rarest, but if you have never seen any of the ones listed below, it’s because they're not common. This list is from the rarest to the more common, and if your eye color is listed, consider yourself a gem.

While it may seem like only a few people have rare eye colors, the truth is that everyone's eye colors are unique to them, just like fingerprints. No two people share the same shape or color of eyes. So even if you have brown eyes, your eye color is unique!

Rarest and Most Beautiful Eye Colors in the World

1. Heterochromia and Anisocoria

Heterochromia and anisocoria are sometimes mistaken for each other. Most people think David Bowie had two different eye colors, when in fact, he had anisocoria.


Heterochromia is a rare eye condition where a person's irises are different colors. There are three types of heterochromia:

  • Complete Heterochromia: One iris is a completely different color than the other.
  • Partial Heterochromia: A spot in an iris is an entirely different color than the rest of the iris.
  • Central Heterochromia: An inner ring is a different color than the outer area of the iris.

It’s quite an unusual type of eye coloring that some individuals have, and while many people wear contacts to make their eye color more uniform, I think it’s beautiful, and such a rarity should be flaunted!


Anisocoria is when one pupil is larger than the other pupil. This can make someone look like they have two different eye colors when they do not.

Anisocoria can be present at birth, and there is usually only a few millimeters of difference between the two pupils. It can also be a result of nerve palsy or a traumatic eye injury. This can cause a much more significant difference in pupil size, making the eye with the dilated pupil look much darker than the other eye.

2. Red, Pink, and Violet Eyes

Red or Pink Eyes

Two major conditions cause a red or pinkish eye color: albinism and blood leaking into the iris. Although albinos usually have very, very light blue eyes due to a lack of pigment, some forms of albinism can cause eyes to appear red or pink.

Violet Eyes

Oh, what a purplish blue! This eye color is most often found in people with albinism. It is said that you cannot truly have violet eyes without albinism. Mix a lack of pigment with the red from light reflecting off of blood vessels in the eyes, and you get a beautiful violet!

3. Grey Eyes

Grey eyes can sometimes be mistaken for light blue eyes. It is thought that what makes these eyes appear grey rather than blue has to do with the amount of collagen present in the stroma. This interferes with the Rayleigh scattering, causing the light to reflect the color grey rather than blue.

4. Green Eyes

Very little melanin, a burst of lipochrome, and the Rayleigh scattering of light that reflects off the yellow stroma can make for a variety of shades of green. With only 2% of the world’s population having green eyes, it’s definitely rare!

Did You Know?

Only 2% of the world's population has green eyes! Talk about a rarity! Next time you see someone rocking natural greens, let them in on this cool fact.

5. Amber Eyes

This beautiful, golden eye color is often confused with hazel. The difference is that hazel eyes have brown and green in them, while amber eyes are a solid, uniform dark orangey color. With a little melanin and a whole lot of lipochrome, eyes of this shade almost appear to be glowing! A few different animals have this eye color, but it’s a true rarity in humans.

6. Hazel Eyes

You probably know someone with hazel eyes. While hazel eyes may seem fairly common, they only account for about 5% of the world's population. Hazel eyes have a concentration of melanin on the outside of the iris, giving the eye a multicolored appearance.

Are There Really Black Eyes?

Some people think that black eyes are one of the rarest eye colors. Have you ever seen someone with eyes that seem black as night? Although they appear black, they are really just a very, very dark brown, which is caused by an abundance of melanin. You may only be able to determine the pupil from the iris when looking at the eye with a bright light!

Eye Color Statistics From Most Common to Most Rare

RankEye ColorEstimated Percentage of World PopulationMost Common Regions of the World




Dark Brown: East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Lighter Brown: Europe, West Asia, and the Americas.




Europe with the largest population being from Finland.












Central, Western, and Northern Europe.




Northern and Eastern Europe.









Rarest Hair and Eye Color Combinations

Although there is a lack of research, many sources claim that the rarest combination is blue eyes with red hair.

Which Eye Color Is the Most Common?

Although we don't know for sure which eye color is the rarest, we do know that brown eyes are the most common. Between 55% and 79% of people in the world have them. Light brown eyes are commonly seen in West Asia, Europe, and the Americas, while dark brown eyes are most common in Africa and East and Southeast Asia.

Did We All Have Brown Eyes?

It is believed that the human race started out having brown eyes, and due to genetic mutations, other colors came about. Perhaps this is why brown is the most common (but no less beautiful)!

Many people who have perfect vision choose to wear contacts just to have a rare eye color. So if you already flaunt one of these colors naturally, consider yourself lucky!

Originally, we all had brown eyes. But a genetic mutation affecting the OCA2 gene in our chromosomes resulted in the creation of a 'switch,' which literally 'turned off' the ability to produce brown eyes.

— Professor Hans Eiberg, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Copenhagen

This May Look Like Partial Heterochromia at First Glance

Is It Melanoma?

If you have any of these symptoms, check with your doctor as soon as possible.

  • A sensation of flashes or specks of dust in your vision (floaters).
  • A growing dark spot on the iris.
  • A change in the shape of the dark circle (pupil) at the center of your eye.
  • Poor or blurry vision in one eye.
  • A loss of peripheral vision.

Can You Permanently Change Your Eye Color?

There are ways to make your brown eyes blue. A controversial laser surgery can remove the melanin in your eye, resulting in a clearer stroma that allows Rayleigh scattering, so your eyes look blue. Some doctors use silicone implants to permanently change eye color. Either way, there are significant risks involved.

As with most surgeries, there are risks with this permanent change. One risk is the melanin can potentially cause blockages to the fluid draining from the eye, causing excess pressure or glaucoma. A silicone implant can also create a blockage and increased pressure in the eye, causing inflammation and damage to the eye's structures. Patients have been rendered wholly or partially blind as a result of these surgeries.

Doctors have reported that many people who want to change their eye color had a friend or sibling who was constantly complimented on their light eye color. In those cases, doctors suggest confronting those feelings through therapy rather than undergoing risky surgery.

If you want to change your eye color, your best and safest bet is to be fitted for color contacts by a licensed ophthalmologist.


  • Melanin: A dark brown to black pigment in hair, skin, and the iris of the eye in people and animals.
  • Lipochrome: A fat-soluble pigment that is the natural yellow coloring of butter, egg, yolk, and yellow corn.
  • Rayleigh Scattering: The scattering of light without a change of wavelength. This is what makes the sky look blue, since blue light is scattered more easily than red.


10 Things You Didn't Know About Your Eyes


Destiny Bailey on August 26, 2020:

Im a ginger with blue eyes. But I have Partial Heterochromia! But only my left eye is partially brown. Its super noticeable during different seasons/months. My eyes change with my hair.

KAT on August 25, 2020:

I have central Heterochromia. Blue eyes with a green ring around the pupil. If I wear green people think I have green eyes. If I wear other colors most think I have blue eyes.

uwu on August 23, 2020:

I have heterochromia I was born with bright blue eyes but now their hazel in the middle, a small green ring and then a blue outer ring.

[email protected] on August 23, 2020:

My wife has grey eyes. Truly beautiful eyes. The exact color shifts with what she's wearing. If she wants blue eyes, she wears a blue blouse etc. Fascinating to watch to watch her eyes change as she goes from a purple robe (grey violet) to a green shirt (green gray.) Makeup also will shift her eye color.

Hi on August 23, 2020:

My eye consists of three colours: around the pupil they are amber, and around that ( most of my eye) they are a dark green. And lining all of that is a thin area of brown. Is that common?

Hehe on August 23, 2020:

I have central heterochromnia but my parents will not believe me! The ring around my pupil is amber and the rest of my eye is dark green. But they look dark brown/ green from a distance! Anybody else in the heterochromnia club?!

Jess on August 22, 2020:

I can't tell if I have hazel eyes or amber eyes. my eyes look amber but have green rings around them.

Airon jones on August 22, 2020:

I have grey and I'm not from where it says.

Autumn on August 20, 2020:

I have green eyes btw

sapphire on August 19, 2020:

l like your eye l wish l had your eye l have Brown eye

Ok on August 17, 2020:

I have hazel.

Isaiah Stonehouse on August 16, 2020:

My Eyes are A DARK cAramel my moms are a lighter shade of caramel my dads eyes change with what he wears

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 14, 2020:

Interesting about color of the eyes. I have dark color eyes my son has green eyes like his dad

baylee fields on August 11, 2020:

I think I have melanoma but my parents and sister won't believe me I have 3/5 symptoms of melanoma I don't know what to do and I'm nine years old :(

- on August 09, 2020:

I have amber eyes but its lookin like light brown too

Sombody on August 08, 2020:

I have a Stormy blue eye color with some gray in it, and I just realized that I have central heterochromia that is (according to my mom) a bluish gray/violet gray, but it looks kind of yellow to me (it blends in pretty well). I went through every comment and I only found a small handful with my eye color (the blue-gray part at least).

the killer 1 on August 06, 2020:

my eyes have blue on the outside but brown on the inside

shan on August 05, 2020:

i think i have central heterochromia eyes and the middle is brown and the outside is green sometimes but other times it’s grey and it can also be green-gray, blue-green, or blue-grey. i have no idea what it actually is?

????? on August 04, 2020:

My friend has heterochromia eyes and I have brown eyes and I love them

Faiza on August 04, 2020:

I have brown eyes even though it is really common I love my eyes the way they are.

Kim kardisian on August 04, 2020:

Omg .I have brown eyes

someone on August 01, 2020:

I took a picture of my eyes a while ago and I just saw that they were completely grey, but with some yellow spots, making them look green-grey

Seba on July 31, 2020:

I have dark eyes but when in light it will be like hazel mixed with grey

Miley on July 30, 2020:

I have dark blue eyes with a brown stripe on the top of my pupil on my left eye and my Grandma has hazel eyes with a brown stripe on the bottom of her pupil on her left eye. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!

Quenton Kerns on July 30, 2020:

My eyes change to what I’m wearing

Jason on July 28, 2020:

My eyes are a hazel green color that either is a light or dark green, that can be nourish also. It also has a little brown spot on one of my irises so idrk what to call that.

lotti on July 27, 2020:

my eyes go from brown to yellow to green so can someone tell me what colour my eyes are cause i dont know

Saint Nine on July 22, 2020:

Alex, they did say that there is no such thing as black eyes, they're very dark brown, so dark that it's impossible to distinguish the iris from the pupil unless you look very closely in bright sunlight. Even then it's difficult as the bright light would make the pupil very small. The other possibility is that you have very large pupils, so large that only the outer ring of the iris is visible. I've always had large pupils, but as my eyes are pale blue - turquoise, the iris is still clearly visible.

Hazel eyes always have an element of amber or light brown, hence the name, so I wouldn't call blue-green eyes hazel.

Everyone's eyes change colour all the time, just that this is less noticeable in some people than in others, eg in brown eyes. Generally, the darker your eyes the harder it is to spot the difference. For example, as I said, mine vary from pale greyish blue to turquoise.

Eye colour is also affected by your environment: they'll look different in artificial light and sunlight and are also affected by the light's intensity. If you're eyes are bloodshot, ie the whites are pink - red, that will also affect the appearance of your irises.

My original post, which was a long time ago, mentioned the two most unusual eyes I've ever come across: one girl I knew had bottle green eyes, a truly beautiful colour. What was even more striking was that in bright sunlight there were little flecks of yellowish orange near her pupils. The other unusual eye colour was silver. They really were a very pale grey without the slightest hint of blue and hard a dark, almost black, thin ring around the outer edge of the iris. They were striking to say the least and I've never seen eyes anything like them since. The same goes for the bottle green eyes, although I've seen eyes that are close, usually not such a deep green. I've found that green eyes are much more common in Germany than here (in the UK). I find green eyes particularly attractive, so notice them more than blue or brown.

One last comment, I once saw an African man that had cornflower blue eyes. He was very dark skinned, probably because this was in Greece during a heatwave, so he will have had quite a tan, but they were also very striking.

on July 21, 2020:

I have no idea what my eyes are called some people might consider them hazel but I have mainly blue and green and not a lot of brown.

citrusun on July 21, 2020:

i have blue, green, grey, and amber central hetechromatic eyes. what color would i put on a test or description of me??? none of the colors really stand out

Alex on July 20, 2020:


on July 20, 2020:

Are blue green eyes considered hazel?

Cey on July 20, 2020:

I have blue eyes with minute amounts of brown that darken or lighten due to mood, such as if angry or depressed they darken but if happy or relaxed it becomes very light blue.

person on July 19, 2020:

i have greenish grey with brown streaks

me on July 17, 2020:

i have grey eyes

Landon Adams on July 16, 2020:

Mine are sometimes Blue and Green and can change to Blue and Yellow

Jan G on July 12, 2020:

I have yellow green eyes, the colour of cats eyes

me on July 12, 2020:

I have heterochicrema one eye is green and the other is grey or silver

Sarah langford on July 10, 2020:

I have very green eyes. They charge colour constantly. They are emerald green

Jolie on July 10, 2020:

My eyes share three colors, I have what I believe to be central Heterochromia, I have a hazel color closest to my pupil and green on the outer area, and a very thin line of grey circuling my whole iris.

Neisha on July 08, 2020:

I wish I had blue but brown their so pretty when you get your in the sunlight

Nonna yo beeswax on July 07, 2020:

I have hazel eyes, but the inner ring is black then it becomes a mix between brown and mostly green. They look weird

... on July 06, 2020:

I have a dark green/blue (it looks black when I look in the mirror) ring around the outside of my iris, but my eye color is Hazel. I don't know if I have Central Heterochromia but the center of my iris is an amber-ish color. My family says I have very beautiful eyes, I don't think I do, I prefer green eyes or people who have Complete Heterochromia.

Ashee on July 04, 2020:

I have grey eyes with yellow around my pupils (central heterochromia). Didn't know my eyes were so cool lmao.

Rose on July 01, 2020:

I'm always told I have brown eyes but when you look close up in a brighter light, My left eye has a part on the outside of my iris (not touching the pupil) were its blue with some yellow flecks and my right eye has a greenish-blue color to the right in the middle of my iris (not touching the pupil or the edge near the sclera.

Quinn on June 30, 2020:

My eyes are sea green, with a bluish-green ring at edge, and a touch of yellow around the pupil. When I see people with fake green contacts, I laugh and say why?

Erreur on June 30, 2020:

Report Unburied Cables, Exposed Wires, or Downed Lines - Home phone Support

Rarest_eyes_ever on June 28, 2020:

I have violet eyes

Abhi on June 25, 2020:

I had light brown eyes as a child, which then a few years later looked like amber, it then became hazel (central heterochromia) with light brown closer to the iris and green at the outer rings. I read somewhere people with hazel eyes must have both parents with hazel eyes or europen ancestry. Is that true?

Scott on June 25, 2020:

My natural pigmentation is turquoise but my eyes can change from green to blue to "black" to brown to hazel to amber and then back to turquoise. My dad is the same . So how hare is turquoise and how rare is my eye changing colour like that? I was born in Cavan in Ireland and my dad is from Dublin

Lori A Spurgeon on June 25, 2020:

I have light green or gray eyes with brown flecks. The color changes. Some say I have green eyes or hazel eyes. Ive traced my family history to the northern border of England on both sides of my moms family.

Random on June 24, 2020:

People are saying the rarest is green when the rarest is grey because 1% of the world have it while 2% of the world have green eyes

Don't ask on June 24, 2020:

Cool there's nothing special bout mine

Kinza on June 24, 2020:

I have central hetrochromia of green and brown color

Ellie on June 22, 2020:

I have green eyes but there’s a little bit of brown in the middle some people say my eyes are green and some say there hazel

Sindhu Chakraborty on June 22, 2020:

I have Blue with a tinch of brown in the left eye and black with a tinch of blue in the right eye. What is called? is this something rare or special ?

Tyne on June 20, 2020:

I have no clue what my eye colour is. Some say greyish some just say blue but i kinda think their smokey blue?.. is that even an eye colour?

Brenna on June 18, 2020:

My friend has the one with one blue eye and one violet. She also has albilsim

i eat poo i drink pee i breathe fart on June 18, 2020:

I have green eyes with a dark blue tint on the outside edges and people always say they can look into my eyes and see themselves get swallowed up

Justin on June 16, 2020:

I have green eyes with a dark blue tint on the outside edges and people always say they can look into my eyes and see themselves get swallowed up

Sophie on June 16, 2020:

I have grey eyes in the middle and then they have light blue as a ring

Andrei on June 16, 2020:

Talking about violet eyes... There was a single person in this world that hat those kind of eyes, that person was Elizabeth Taylor, a really good actor.

Ivyz on June 16, 2020:

My daughter has blue eyes but there's something special about her eyes i've never seen before she has Center heterochromia in both of her eyes they both are blue with a really light blue or gray ring around her pupils they've been that way since birth

Gill on June 15, 2020:

I have Hazel

Kaci on June 13, 2020:

I have blue-grey eye's

Linnie on June 13, 2020:

My eyes are grey with yellow around my pupils.

This_Girl_Is_Being_Hacked (but call me Sonia) on June 12, 2020:

My eyes are blue with a green ring around the iris.

Oliver on June 06, 2020:

My eyes are a somewhat dark-ish blue with a green ring around my pupil

Amanda on June 03, 2020:

I have green and orange eyes but my mom doesn’t believe me.

Ethan Yang on June 02, 2020:

WHAT IS THE RAREST EYE COLOR? Green Eyed People, 156,000,000 or 2% Amber Eyed People: 390,000,000 or 5% Violet, NOT red, 600 people have it or 0.00000076% people have it

Megan on May 31, 2020:

I don’t know what eye colour I have because my dominant colour swiches from a blue-grey//blue-green shade,it’s never a dominant colour unless I but a filter on it and on top of that I’ve got what I think is sectoral+central Heterochromia

Holo on May 30, 2020:

I have grey eyes

Bria on May 29, 2020:

Mine are green!

Christel on May 28, 2020:

I have four colors starts with grey on the out side then blue then green with yellow in the center. But i didnt see any about them.

✞✞✞ on May 28, 2020:

I dint found my eye color :/

Kaylee on May 27, 2020:

I somehow have eyes that are green, blue, and grey yet I don't have Heterochromia.

James on May 26, 2020:

My eys change from blue,green,grey

Maggie on May 26, 2020:

Luna, you're eyes sound very interesting, and also very beautiful!

Fancy Poet Girl on May 26, 2020:

I have blue eyes with light brown/golden/amber rings around my irises. I never knew why, but now I do. I think I have Central Heterochromia.

Junisjill on May 26, 2020:

I have silverish eyes with a ring of brown in them

D.V. on May 24, 2020:

I use to think my eyes were ether blue or green, but apparently their grey.

Alexandra powers on May 23, 2020:

I have medium blue eyes and my dad has hazel green eyes

Hello on May 22, 2020:

I have greenish - grey eyes with a ring of amber (central Heterochromia) and Anisocoria.


bruh on May 22, 2020:

hah i have the most boring brown eyes ever. they don't even have any variation, like a lighter ring or that weird pattern like in the green eyes. everyone else in the comment section who apparently have super cool eye colours.. damn, you're lucky :')

... on May 21, 2020:

I have Blue Gold Brown eyes

Dusk Wilson on May 20, 2020:

I have Grey eyes

manahil tahir on May 19, 2020:

I have green hazel eyes ...some people say they r gree and some say they r brown but they r hazel☺

Emaan on May 19, 2020:

I have amber hazel eyes that colour change

me on May 18, 2020:

i have amber eyes with heterochromia

Just a person on May 18, 2020:

I have grey eyes-

Everyone says they're a light blue so i'm actually not sure but they look pretty grey to me-

Azzy on May 17, 2020:

I have I think.. Blue Hazel eyes. Cause they change in different lighting.

Brooke on May 16, 2020:

I have green brown and blue eyes, is that common or?

Luna on May 15, 2020:

I have one purple eye, and one silver eye. Is that weird?

a loli on May 14, 2020:

when you have dark blue eyes and black eyes mixed

Sara Moore on May 13, 2020:

I have blue eyes with brown spots

Anonymous on May 12, 2020:

I have blue eyes with a brown/hazel-ish ring around the pupil. Thats Central Heterochromia right?

Whitney on May 12, 2020:

I have Amber eyes but they are dark unless in the sun witch get mistake e's for brown or hazel.

Weird eyed person on May 10, 2020:

Mine are sort of hazel sometimes other time they are blue sometimes they have a little red in them. A couple times I have seen them with almost all the colors of the rainbow, it had red, orange, yellow, green blue. The only thing it was missing was purple and pink! My eyes also change color based on my mood but sometimes they are different colors. What is wrong with my eyes?!?

Lucy on May 10, 2020:

What if your eye has red oxide in the middle dark yellow browny green then a browny blue

Dehan on May 08, 2020:

Is it possible to have an entire gray eye color, while the other one is violet/purple??

The Surprising Truth About Gray Eyes Revealed
grey eyes


Hunting for information on grey eyes? Hoping to find out how many people have grey eyes on the planet? According to research, it is estimated that only 3% of the population has grey eyes.

When one considers that an estimated 7 billion people live on planet earth, this means only 210,000,000 million humans have grey as their eye color.

Grey eyes can come in different shades, including hues of smokey blue, green and in some cases, hazel-brown. Much depends on the person, lighting, atmospheric conditions and x-variables.

[Where do green eyes come from?]

Given interest in eye color among readers of this blog, I thought it might be fun to pen a piece that’s all about people with grey eyes.

As a matter of transparency, you should know that I have brown eyes. I’m mentioning this to demonstrate I am not bias in any of the material that follows.

Grey eyes with gold specs


Trying to define grey eyes is difficult. That’s because all of us experience eye color (in ourselves and others) uniquely.

In the case of smoke colored eyes, the intensity of greyness present depends upon the person. Some women have a blue-grey expression while some men have green-grey.

An individual is said to have grey eyes when the dominate color falls between blue, brown and green, casting off a mystical look that is highly desired.

Over the centuries, many people have attributed the trait of grey eyes to supernatural, empathic abilities. While not grounded in science, it’s fun to think about, particularly if this is your eye color.

grey eyes man


This article is designed to offer a comprehensive review of grey eyes. On this page, you will:

  • Learn about grey eyes in people
  • Explore the science of eye color
  • Examine the role of eye color and heredity
  • Explore how eye color can be changed to grey
  • Review the impact of health and grey eyes
  • Assess the influence of other colors on smoky eyes
  • Look at celebrities with grey eyes
  • Survey grey eye myths
  • Determine best makeup options for grey eyes
  • Take an eye color poll
  • Watch videos on eye color

Science of Green Eyes

Melanin content in eye color of people with green, amber, hazel, brown, blue, violet and gray and black eyes
Eye ColorMelanin Amount: Front Layer of IrisMelanin Amount: Back Layer of IrisDominant Pigmentation
HazelMedium: Less than green. More than brownNormalEumelanin and Pheomelanin
GreenCloser to blue; less than brownNormalPheomelanin
GreyLess than green and hazelNormalEumelanin mix
Violet/PurpleSmall to noneSmall to littleUnknown
BlackHeavyHeavyBlack Eumelanin
AmberLess than brownLightEumelanin and Pheomelanin
Heterochromia grey eye and brownish blue eye


Where do grey colored eyes come from? That’s a question that’s frequently asked among those who have this smokey hue or see it in others.

Ultimately, eye color is the byproduct of genetics. Your unique eye color is determined by two components: (1) pigmentation of the iris and (2) the specific way light scatters around the globe of the iris itself. Let’s examine both.

The iris’s pigmentation can run the gamut from the darkest blue to the lightest green. Browns and hazels are in the middle. Influencing pigmentation is a substance called melanin; a complex binding agent (polymer) made from tyrosine, an amino acid.

[Learn about dark blue eyes!]

The appearance of grey and shades of grey (i.e. smoke, blue hazel eyes and green hazel) are directly impacted by a phenomenon called Rayleigh scattering; a scientific term that describes how light scatters after riding along the wavelength spectrum.

When I was younger, I used to think that I eye color was somehow magically deposited into the iris. Later, I found out that a person’s eyes really are experienced by the way light diffuses and atomizes across the melanin base.

blue eyes light scatter


There is anthropological evidence to suggest early humans with grey eyes lived around the vast mountain system of Eurasia, nestled between the Black and Caspian Seas. At one time, this swath of land contained a natural land bridge that linked Asia and Europe.

Commonly referred to as the “Silk Route” (aka silk roads), this ancient set of paths was used by early civilizations to barter silk. Historians believe these routes were used between 120 BCE – 1450 CE (Yao, et all, 2000).

The map below provides a good visual of the ancient silk road system.

Silk Route Grey Eyes


Genetic anthropology is an emerging branch of social science that involves DNA testing. Using concrete archaeological, historical and language-based evidence, DNA results are combined with known migratory behaviors of early people to assess behaviors.

As the field continues to grow, scientists learn more and more about the origins of eye color. That’s why today, you can get your own DNA tested through various companies.

After your sample is processed, results are usually sent to you that include ethnic and hereditary factors as part of your family line.

Migratory information is often made available with DNA sampling. When examined in their totality, the results may help to explain your unique eye color.

If you are interested in this, I highly recommend the Ancestry DNA genetic testing kit.

That said, there are specific, scientific reasons for grey eyes.


Old Thinking

Before the year 2008, scientists thought a person’s eye color was mostly determined by one “dominant” gene. Scientists even thought there was an eye color hierarchy. At the bottom rested brown and at the top, blue. Greys and greens were in between.

Under this previous way of thinking, this meant if your father had grey eyes and your mom had brown eyes, you would probably be born with greyish colored eyes.

A parental combo of two grey eyes biologically translated into you having grey eyes. The role of a recessive gene(s) were also thought to somehow influence eye color.

New Thinking

Everything changed after 2008 when a new line of research, published in a 2008 edition of the American Journal of Human Genetics did away with the previous theoretical constructs.

The newly discovered information suggests that 16 genes may influence how color is expressed in the iris.

In everyday language, this means that an infant can be born with almost any eye color, regardless of dominant parental influences. That’s not to say strong hereditary variables aren’t factored into the equation.

The video below offers an excellent overview of eye color, including how genes factor into people having grey, blue, green or brown eyes.

hazel eyes, green eyes, olive eyes, brown blue eyes


Huge parts of Asia, Africa and Europe, plus areas of the middle east, have been homelands to people with grey eyes.

When examining the geologic time scale; a scientific chart that’s used to measure earth’s history, it is thought that grey eyes may have first appeared in people of middle eastern decent sometime during the later parts of the Cenozoic period.

To be even more specific, this would be sometime between the late Pleistocene and early Holocene epochs, 2 to 3 million years ago.

[Hazel eyes learning page]

It’s important to state that all races, including individuals who are Caucasian, African, Asian, Native Indian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic and the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas (pre-Columbians) can have greyish colored eyes.

As mentioned above, scientists believe eye color, like brown, hazel, blue and green were highly influenced by migratory patterns.

Due to inter-mixing of groups, combined with millions of genetic mutations, we see various shades of grey in modern man.

grey eyes geologic time scale


Many people want to know: Can eye color be changed?

The answer is – under some circumstances – yes! People with dark grey, hazel, brown, green or blue eyes all experience change in color from time to time. Causes for these changes include:

  • Mood
  • How light scatters
  • Medical reasons
Grey eyes in a man


If you have smokey eyes, it’s not because mother nature deposited that color into your iris with a dropper. Factually, your eye pigmentation contains tiny specs of brown in them.

Due to the phenomenon of Rayleigh scattering, the color of your eye will reflect back a unique hue.


Believe it or not, your eye color can be influenced by your mood. Specifically, I’m talking about your emotional state. This makes sense when you this about emotional states.

For example, if you are upset because something bad happened, you may cry. This will cause your pupils to dilate and the whites of your eyes to either widen or contract. In turn, more of your natural color will be present when viewed by others.

[Learn about dark amber eyes!]

If you have grey eyes, sadness may make your color turn temporarily blue – as intense blue. It just depends on dilation and lighting.


If your eyes are grey, you are more vulnerable to our sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Essentially, grey eyed individuals can experience the onset of certain ocular cancers, like intraocular melanoma. Eye care specialists recommend light eyed people wear UV protective, polarized sunglasses when exposed to the sun.

grey blue eye close up


Expanding upon the previous material on Rayleigh scattering, it’s important to know how light scatters across the melanin plain and its influence on color expression.

If you have grey eyes, this is why some people may tell you that your color “looks blue” or “steel” or “silver”. It’s all very subjective.

Major influences on eye color also include:

  • Seasonal allergies: If your allergies become activated in fall or spring, resulting in “scratchy eyes”, it can cause the surrounding “whites” of your eyes to appear reddish (bloodshot). Some people’s eyes become super puffy, with large bags that take away from their natural beauty.

[How to get rid of dark circles under eyes]

  • Type of lighting: Artificial lights (light bulbs) can influence how others experience your eye color. The brightness of light reflecting from your iris will either increase or soften your iris’s appearance.
  • Morning vs. Afternoon: The sun’s light may be more intense in the morning, which means your iris will “pick-up” different intensities from the solar spectrum. Later in the afternoon, the intensity reflected back from the spectrum is less.
  • Eye Shadow: Some women wear eye shadow, like matt browns and warm coffee colors, to accentuate the natural grey of the iris. This can cause the desired effect of having mysterious eyes. Eye shadow, when properly applied, can also make blue eyes appear steel or hazel eyes.Consult a beauty expert for more information.
  • Other Colors: The brightness and intensity of grey eyes can be influenced by other colors. For example, browns and purples help to amplify grey. Black and blue take away from grey’s intensity. That’s why clothing choices are important for people with smoke colored eyes.
  • Alcohol and/or Drugs: If you drink alcohol or take certain medications, it can cause your eye color to temporarily change. This is also true of illicit drugs, such as crystal meth, cocaine, MDMA or opioids. The change is mostly due to pupil dilation and vasoconstrictor effects.


Should the color of your eyes suddenly change or if you become aware that your pupils have remained dilated for an extended period of time, call your doctor immediately. There may be a medical reason that needs urgent attention.

Alex Pettyfer grey bluue eyes


Smokey, grey eyes are rare. That said, there are a number of famous people who have them. Admittingly, some of the people I’ve listed below could technically fall into the blue eye category.

Again, it’s all about lighting and the other factors mentioned above that influence color perception.

FYI: A few of these people are no longer with us.

  • Wentworth Miller
  • Mitch Hewer
  • Alex Pettyfer
  • Megan Fox
  • Andreea Diacon
  • Milla Jovovich
  • Anna Arendshorst
  • Josh Henderson (one eye is grey)
  • Davie Bowie
  • Jonathan Rhys Meyers
  • Henry Cavill
  • Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Simon Pegg


There are more myths about grey eyes than I can shake a stick at. Many can be traced back to the ancients with an eye on Greek Mythology.

For example, Perseus from the story of Medusa is said to have had grey eyes.

There is no way I can list all of the myths here. What I’ve tried to do is include the biggies.

  • Grey eyed people are better in bed
  • People with grey eyes are mind readers
  • Pisces men with grey eyes are dangerous
  • Men with grey eyes are sexually gifted
  • Women with grey eyes are charming
  • Grey eyed people are smarter than green eyed people
  • If you have grey eyes, you are psychic
  • People with grey eyes are more spontaneous
  • Guys with grey blue eyes have larger anatomy
  • Women with steel blue eyes are sexually dominant
  • Grey eyed people are just weird


The poll below is designed to assess what you think about eye color. It’s not scientific and shouldn’t be used as proof of what the general population believes.

Still, the results may offer a window of insight into how others feel about eye color.


As silly as it may seem, some people believe that eye color is partially due to aliens from another galaxy depositing their genetic material into early man.

This is highly unlikely. What is possible, however, is that material from outer space that helped to shape our planet hominid adaptation.

Superman (Clark Kent) mythically came from the planet Krypton. He has steel blue, greyish eyes. Perhaps he’s responsible.


With each new day, scientists are learning more about the origin of eye color. One thing is for sure, grey eyes are extremely rare. They also happen to be beautiful to look at.

Some people get so carried away with eye color that they undergo dangerous medical procedures, like the one featured on this ABC story.

If you want to change your eye color to grey, it’s probably best to visit your optometrist and explore contact options.

Finally, see the product recommendations below via Amazon on eye related products that are designed to produce smokey eyes.

Thanks for visiting Men’s Culture. Please like us on Facebook! Circle us On Google+ and check out on Instagram!


Yao, Yong-Gang et al. “Gene Admixture In The Silk Road Region Of China: Evidence From Mtdna And Melanocortin 1 Receptor Polymorphism.”. Genes & Genetic Systems 75.4 (2000): 173-178. Web.



Now discussing:

The Truth About Gray Eyes


By Christine-Marie Liwag Dixon/Aug. 8, 2019 11:46 am EDT/Updated: May 24, 2020 9:56 pm EDT

Gray eyes are anything but what many may associate with the color gray — like gloomy skies and drab and depressing color schemes. If you ever look deeply into a pair of gray eyes, what you may have thought about the color may just be quickly proven wrong. Once you look closely at gray eyes, you'll see that gray is a color that has depth and warmth. Far from being dull and dreary, gray eyes are mesmerizing and captivating. There's something rather alluring and perhaps just a little bit mysterious about gray eyes. Even people blessed with this rare eye color, though, may not know the fascinating story behind their eyes.

Get ready to learn everything you've ever wondered about gray eyes, from the complicated science behind them to the myths that surround them. The truth about gray eyes is as riveting as gray eyes themselves. Whether you have gray eyes yourself or have a loved one with eyes of this unusual hue, after learning these tidbits about gray eyes you'll never look at the color the same way again.

Gray eyes are super rare


You probably don't know many people who have gray eyes, let alone have gray eyes yourself. This is because gray eyes are one of the rarest eye colors in the world. When we say rare, we mean rare. According to World Atlas, less than one percent of the global population has gray eyes, making the color incredibly hard to find.

Gray eyes are also pretty isolated. Unless you're of European ancestry, you don't have much of a chance of inheriting this rare hue. Most of the world has shades of brown eyes, while gray, blue, hazel, and green eyes are typically only found in people who are of European ancestry. Even among those of European descent, gray eyes are still far from common and can be found in people who are of northern or eastern European ancestry. 

The rarity of gray eyes is quite likely a large part of the reason that they are still surrounded by so much mystery. 

Gray eyes are often mistaken for blue eyes


Gray eyes are often mistaken for blue eyes and have, on occasion, even been lumped in with blue eyes by science. While they can often be difficult to tell apart, gray eyes and blue eyes are not the same and you can see the differences if you look carefully. According to the Eye Doctors of Washington website, gray eyes, unlike blue eyes, often have flecks of gold and brown in them. 

If you look closely, you may even see gray eyes changing color. Depending on what a person is wearing and what color light they are in, a person's gray eyes may appear gray, blue, or even green. Their eye color may even appear to change with their mood, as emotions can change the size of a person's pupils which in turn compresses the colors of the iris, making eyes temporarily take on a different hue. It's not quite a superpower, but how many people can say they have chameleon eyes?

Scientists aren't actually sure what causes gray eyes


According to The Tech, scientists aren't sure what causes gray eyes, but there are a couple of theories. 

First, we have to look at the anatomy of the iris, the part of the eye that has color. There are two layers of the iris, and between these two layers is the stroma. In dark eyes, melanin (the pigment that gives eyes their color) is plentiful in the front and back layers of the iris. This melanin then absorbs any light that hits it. In lighter eyes, there is less melanin, so the light goes through the front layer of the iris, reflecting off the melanin in the back of the eye. When it hits the stroma, which is filled with collagen, the light bends and gives off a blueish hue.

Scientists think that dark gray eyes might be the result of a thin layer of melanin in the front layer of the iris, causing a sort of cloud in front of the bent light which then dims the blue color. They also think that light gray eyes might be caused by eyes having very little melanin in the front layer of the iris.

People with gray eyes should always wear sunglasses outdoors for this reason


While having gray eyes might seem lucky because they're so rare, having gray eyes isn't necessarily a good thing. There are some risks associated with having eyes of this hue. If you have gray eyes, you should take special care to protect your eyes from the glare of the sun. "People with light iris color need to be diligent in wearing UV-protected sunglasses," ophthalmologist Ruth Williams told Everyday Health.

The increased risk of cancer is because of the lack of pigment in the eye. Less pigment means less protection from the sun, which means people with gray eyes are at a greater risk for melanoma of the uvea (the eye's middle layer). Having a greater risk of cancer might sound scary, but fortunately this type of cancer is pretty rare. It affects roughly six in every million adults in the U.S. annually, so, if you have gray eyes, there's no need to worry too much as long as you're taking precautions. And hey, at least it's a good excuse to buy a new pair of shades!

People with vitiligo are less likely to have gray eyes


While studies show that people with gray eyes may be more likely to develop uveal cancer, it's not all bad news. People with gray eyes are also less likely to have vitiligo. A study published in Nature Genetics and summarized by the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus website said that, in a study of 3,000 people, just 27 percent of vitiligo patients had blue or gray eyes, 30 percent had green or hazel eyes, and 43 percent had tan or brown eyes.

The autoimmune disease causes a person's immune system to attack their pigment cells. The lowered risk for vitiligo suggests that people with gray eyes may have a lower risk for a few other autoimmune diseases as people with vitiligo are at higher risk for a slew of other autoimmune diseases, including thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes, and lupus. While having gray eyes doesn't mean you're immune, it may mean your chances of getting one of these diseases are lower. 

Gray eyes are more sensitive to light


If you are one of the rare people on the planet who has gray eyes, you might find that you're more sensitive to light than your friends and family who have darker colored eyes. It's not your imagination — there's a scientific explanation for why people with lighter eyes are more sensitive to bright light. According to Duke Health, melanin in eyes does more than just make eyes look darker. That pigmentation also helps protect eyes from the light. That's why people with light eyes are more likely to be bothered by harsh lighting, and might be inclined to shy away from going outside on a particularly sunny day. 

This sensitivity to light is called photophobia and it's not a very pleasant condition. People with photophobia may have a mild reaction to light and simply squint when things are too bright for them, but they may also experience pain around the eyes when exposed to bright light. People with photophobia may also have trouble actually seeing or focusing. Fortunately, the effects of photophobia are temporary. While the condition may be uncomfortable, it doesn't result in any permanent loss of vision.

People with gray eyes might drink more


If you know a person with gray eyes who also happens to drink a bit more than average, it might have something to do with their genes. According to a study published in Personality and Individual Differences (via Psychology Today), people with light-colored eyes might be predisposed to drink more. The study showed that people with light eyes may be less sensitive to alcohol than people with dark eyes and that they are able to consume more before becoming intoxicated.

This lack of sensitivity carries over to other areas. Light-eyed people are not just less sensitive to alcohol, but are also less sensitive to medicine, according to a study published in the ominously named Journal of Pain (also via Psychology Today). One of the areas where this lessened sensitivity is useful is when it comes to pain. It seems that people who have light eyes are less sensitive to pain and are better able to tolerate it than their dark-eyed counterparts. This holds true even when the pain is overwhelming. The study showed that women who have light eyes experienced less pain than women with dark eyes when they were giving birth.

There are some strange superstitions about gray eyes


Over the years, people have come up with a lot of strange beliefs about what gray eyes mean. While in modern times we know that gray eyes are just, well, eyes, superstitions can still be fun as long as we don't take them seriously. According to the Encyclopedia of Superstitions, Folklore, and the Occult Sciences of the World, men with gray eyes are the most faithful, but gray eyes also indicate a person "of weak intellect, devoid of wit" and "a plain, plodding, downright drudge." Yikes.

Men with gray eyes might be more faithful than men with eyes of other colors, but the eye color apparently isn't an indicator of a pleasant personality in women. According to Superstitions: 10,000 You Really Need, it's women with blue eyes who are faithful. Gray-eyed woman are instead supposedly greedy.

An old children's rhyme from What They Say in New England: A Book of Signs, Sayings, and Superstitions, originally published in 1896, breaks down what each eye color means. Again, people with gray eyes get the short end of the stick: "Gray eyes, greedy; Blue eyes, beauty; Black eyes, pig-a-pies, Sure to tell lies."

The ancient Greeks associated gray eyes with wisdom


One of the most powerful of the ancient Greek gods was Athena. Athena was the daughter of Zeus, the king of the gods, and the Titan Metis. She was revered as the goddess of war (and conversely, peace) and was also the goddess of arts and crafts. The goddess is probably best remembered, though, as the goddess of wisdom. And, oh yeah, she just so happened to have gray eyes.  

The ancient Greeks viewed gray eyes as a symbol of wisdom, although it's not clear whether it's because the goddess of wisdom had gray eyes or if Athena was described as having gray eyes because the association between gray eyes and wisdom already existed. The gray-eyed deity was also affiliated with owls, another symbol of wisdom that we still associate with wisdom in modern times. Who knew that the mystical power of gray eyes had such a long and magical history? 

People with gray eyes are more strategic thinkers


While the ancient Greeks may have associated gray eyes with wisdom, they probably didn't have much to back it up besides mythology and superstition. Modern scientists, however, have proven that they may have been on to something. It turns out that, while people with gray eyes may not necessarily be wiser, they do seem to have a gift for strategic thinking. 

According to Essilor, a study conducted in the 1990s found that, while people with light eyes tend to think more slowly than people with dark eyes, they also think more strategically. The slower reaction times of people with light eyes is attributed to melanin. People with gray and other light-colored eyes have not just less melanin in their eyes, but also less melanin in their brains, which leads to slower reaction times as a brain works more quickly when it has more melanin.

It was once a common belief that people with gray eyes are better marksmen


Not all of the beliefs surrounding people with gray eyes are superstitious. In 1918, the Sausalito News came out stating that gray-eyed people are better marksmen. The theory wasn't just a shot in the dark, either, but was formed after observing soldiers at Camp Bowie, a military training camp. 

Applied Colloid Chemistry: General Theory, a science text originally published in 1926, also posits the theory that blue-eyed and gray-eyed people are better shots with a rifle. It cited a study that seemed to corroborate the theory, but also added that two thirds of 100,000 white soldiers have blue or gray eyes, which might account for the fact that so many soldiers with blue and gray eyes were found to be better marksmen.

The theory can also be found in the literature of the time. Ambrose Bierce's short story, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, published in 1890, alludes to the belief. "He observed that it was a grey eye and remembered having read that grey eyes were keenest, and that all famous marksmen had them," wrote Bierce as he described a man with a gun.

This is what dreaming of gray eyes means


If you have ever dreamed of a person with gray eyes, it might have a special meaning. According to The Dictionary of Dreams: Every Meaning Interpreted, each eye color has a different meaning in dream interpretation. Now, of course, dream interpretation is not an acknowledged field of science, so we should take these interpretations with a grain of salt.

Brown eyes are the scariest to dream about as they supposedly represent "deceit and perfidy." Blue eyes reportedly indicate that the dreamer is weak when it comes to seeing things through. Gray eyes allegedly "[denote] a love of flattery for the owner."

Like we said, though, it's not an exact science. Dream interpretation can get pretty confusing — especially if you're one of the people who only dreams in black and white. In all likelihood, dreaming of someone with gray eyes is nothing more than just a dream.

Newborns often have gray eyes that later change color


Many babies are born with either gray or blue eyes. While they might have one of these rarer eye colors when they're born, it doesn't necessarily mean that their eyes will still be light once they're all grown up. It's not uncommon for a baby's eye color to change as they get older. This is because eye color depends on melanin, which is secreted by cells called melanocytes. As a baby ages, the melanocytes begin responding to light and secrete more melanin which often makes a baby's eyes grow darker.

While it's still possible a baby born with light blue or gray eyes will keep them, color can deepen until a child is around 3 years old. After that, their eye color is pretty much set, although disease and trauma can change a person's eye color later in life, as can aging. 

People with gray eyes are more competitive


If you've got some gray-eyed friends, you definitely want them on your team at your next game night. It turns out that people with gray eyes have a distinct advantage when it comes to competitions. Studies show that people with gray eyes are more competitive, making them prime teammates (if you care about winning, that is). The study, published by Current Psychology and summarized by Joe, found that people with lighter-colored eyes have a tendency to not just be more competitive, but to also be more skeptical and egocentric.

Why? Like a lot of traits, it comes down to evolution. "The rare-color advantage of light eyed females, is likely to increase the chance of being noticed by a male," said the researchers. "Moreover, competitive personality traits (such as wanting to beat others and being skeptical of others' intentions) secure the long-term commitment necessary for self and offspring survival."


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