Is It Possible To Have Purple Eyes?

The thought of someone having a purple eye color sounds like something right out of a superhero movie. But believe it or not, purple eyes are not limited solely to those with super powers. While we've all seen people with brown, blue, green, or hazel eyes, finding someone with purple eyes is a rare occurrence. With nearly 80% of the world's population possessing brown eyes, less than 1% of people worldwide have been found to have purple eyes (via World Atlas). How is it that such a rich, rare color is possible?

Experts at All About Vision explain that our eye color is determined by the pigmentation of the iris — specifically the melanin contained within. Melanin is made up of naturally occurring molecules that influence the color of our skin, eyes, and hair (via StatPearls). The more melanin present, the darker your resulting eye color — less melanin, and your eye color will be of a lighter shade.

So how much melanin is needed to end up with purple eyes? The answer may surprise you.

Those with albinism can have the appearance of purple eyes

According to experts at Eye Exam, you need absolutely zero pigment to achieve a purple eye color, a condition known as albinism. It sounds contradictory, but those who actually lack pigmentation in the iris are more prone to purple eyes. But lack of pigmentation is only half of the recipe needed for purple eyes, the other half is light.

Those with albinism often have eyes that appear clear or translucent in color (via Mayo Clinic). Therefore, without pigment, the iris cannot effectively limit the entrance of light into the eye. As a result, the light enters the eye and bounces off the eyes' red blood vessels, creating a shade of violet.

It's important to note, however, that one cannot naturally be born with violet eyes (via Medical News Today). Nor can our eyes change to a purple color during infancy, a rumored condition which has been referred to as Alexandria's Genesis, but has since been debunked.

So yes, while incredibly rare, people with purple eyes can be found — so keep your eyes peeled!