(Image via Reader’s Digest)

Jess Winkler, Writer

There are many people that live with genetic mutations every day, people with blue eyes are mutants, people with color blindness are mutants, even people with down syndrome or almost all syndromes are mutants, but that’s okay! About one percent of people have a mutation! Mutations happen when there is a mistake in copying the DNA in a baby, or when the DNA gets altered over the generations. There are thousands of people all around the world that live and function with mutations, and some of them are so common people don’t think twice about it. 

One mutation that everyone overlooks is blue eyes. A lot of people don’t know this, even some people that have blue eyes themselves, but blue eyes come from an altercation in the OCA2 gene making the eye color the absence of pigment. “The mutation affected the so-called OCA2 gene, which is involved in the production of melanin, the pigment that gives color to our hair, eyes, and skin,” says live science. The mutation happened over time, about 10,000 years ago everyone had brown and green eyes, no blue. Your eye is composed of 2 pigments, red and brown. The color of your eye depends on how those 2 pigments combine in your iris. Brown eyes have the most pigment while blue eyes have the least. Blue is the lack of pigment in your eye which is what makes it a mutation. Although there are some people that have 2 different colored eyes, this is called Heterochromia, this happens when your eyes have 2 different makeups of pigment (Like me). This is extra complicated because while one eye has one combination of pigments, the other eye has a whole new combination. This shows how weird our body can be!

Syndromes like Down syndrome or Turner syndrome are mutations in the DNA that change the physical and mental properties of the person. 32.3% of people in the US that have down syndrome, so Mutations of that sort are not very uncommon. “Acquired (or somatic) mutations occur at some time during a person’s life and are present only in certain cells, not in every cell in the body,” says national library of medicine. The mutation of DNA is only found in certain cells, the other cells are left untouched and normal. This is why many people with disorders or mutations look the same as everyone else, but with a few changes. 

While mutations aren’t getting the abilities to climb walls, or turning into the Hulk when we get mad, they are still more common than you think. Thousands of people get them, so they are nothing to be worried about. There are tons of different types of mutations, like color blindness, and the deletion and substitution of DNA. Mutations are all around us, some of them can be hidden, some can shine through our eyes or facial makeup. No matter what mutations we have, or absence thereof, we are all great and amazing in our own ways, and mutations only add to that.