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I was scrolling through my Instagram feed absentmindedly when I saw a post of Dua Lipa with her little sister, Rina Lipa.
I always have a secret fangirl moment whenever I see Dua Lipa. I mean who in the world doesn’t right? That girl is alluring, sexy, cool, funny all rolled into one. But this time around, I am all eyes on her sister instead.
Goodness me, who else spots those distinctive eyes? Am I seeing two colors in her right eye, or is that just the light playing a trick?
Alright, I know I have two presentations tomorrow, but this is what I need to find out right now and no one is gonna stop me.
So I went on Rina Lipa’s profile and scrolled through her feed frantically looking for close up photos of her face. And when I found one, I zoomed in the max possible to make sure I was not mistaken.
And OMG her right eye really is brown and blue at the same time!
I even returned to her feed and checked against a few more just so to confirm the observation.
The "findings" are the same: colour consistency is observed, hypothesis is confirmed—Rina Lipa has a brown and blue right eye, and it is stunning.
Of course I couldn’t just leave it as it is, I needed to find out why and how anyone’s eye can have such special traits. Three seconds on Google gave me the answer—Heterochromia.
To start off, the eye color is determined mainly by the concentration of this type of pigment called melanin. So heterochromia, referring to the difference in the iris coloration (but sometimes also in hair or skin), is largely caused by a mutation of the gene that regulates the melanin concentration, and hence resulting in the colour difference. While in most cases it has a genetic causation, it may sometimes also happen due to an eye injury or infection. It is not such a rare condition, with six out of a thousand people having it at birth.
Depending on how the gene has mutated or the state of the injury, heterochromia manifests itself in three main types.
The most common type is central heterochromia, where there is a ring or spikes of different colour around the pupil. It is usually the most subtle and hence the least visible type.
The second type is what Rina has—sectoral heterochromia. It is what you see over here, part of the iris is simply of a different colour from the rest.
The third type is the rarest and it is called complete heterochromia, where one eye is completely of a different colour from the other. One search on the internet tells me that this pro baseball pitcher named Max Scherzer is kind of famous for that—no idea who he is, but those eyes indeed make him look like two different people from the sides.
There used to be some superstitious old saying that people with heterochromatic eyes have a heightened sense of supernatural connection as their special eyes allegedly allow them to see both the worlds in heaven and in the underworld. In even more ancient times, they were accused of that particular eye having to be switched out with that of a witch’s.
Well thanks to modern science development, we can now prove that the eyesight of people with heterochromia is no different from any of us. They don’t see an inch clearer or blurrier due to their condition, so there is no way Rina Lipa is looking at the latest happening in heaven and hell right now. If anything, her unique eye only makes her more intriguing and one more reason for us to be all jelly over their wonderful Lipa genes.