As geneticists have made interesting discoveries over the past few years, I always wanted to know if anyone has been able to trace the origination of Asian eyes.
It is quite easy to identify whether a person is from Asia; they have small, almond-shaped, and slanty eyes. Although this is a common characteristic, they also have big, round eyes. Most people assume that the epicanthal fold is the main feature for identifying Asians. However, you should keep in mind that a person will still look Asian from the side, even though you can’t see the epicanthal fold.
When you compare Caucasian and Asian skulls, you will always find the latter’s orbital bones to be on the flatter spectrum. Also, when you look at the brow ridge, you can see it continuing with their eyes. Due to this reason, their eyelids are flat, instead of sloping inwards.
To trace the origins of Asian eyes, you have to go through large volumes of genetic analyses, artifacts, and fossil records. If you go back far enough, you will find out that most of the Asian genes come from Africa all the way to India, before going to South East Asia, and then heading towards the Northern regions. As the people migrating to these regions need constant access to water for survival, they were always close to the coast. The reason why I am talking about this is that you need to know about the migration paths to find the true origin.
There was an article I came across while reading the New York Times which has an explanation for the Asian feature. Due to gene mutation, the Asians got several features, which made it easier to survive in the regions they inhabited. I would like to point out that this article assumed that their eyelids had extra fat as an insulation against the cold environment. However, this assumption has been proven wrong.
I also came across a post about a BBC Radio 4’s program in which a geneticist talked about one person who was responsible for introducing one of the biggest changes in the world. During a time when humans were interested in hunting and gathering food, he was the only one who grew and harvested crops. Over time, his hard work allowed his village to prosper. As he had several children, he spread his knowledge to them. Known as the farmer gene, it spread to different places such as Eastern China, Japan, India, Greece, and Rome, before spreading to the remaining areas of Europe. The reason why this is interesting is that the man had an epicanthic fold, which was passed on to every generation.
Also, I found that scientists have narrowed down the gene which accounts for Asian eyes, which is EDAR, which is at least 30,000 years old. It is also responsible for other features, such as straight hair, thick hair shafts, decreased eyebrow and beard thickness, and attachment of the lobe to name a few.