If somebody had told me before today that my baby blue eyes are actually brown, I would have told them to go see an eye doctor -- but as it turns out, they would have been right.
We're aware that optical illusions can play tricks on our brains, but did you know that our eye colors aren't exactly as they appear, either? According to Dr. Gary Heiting, a licensed optometrist and senior editor of the eye care website All About Vision, everyone has brown eyes even if they look like they're a different color. It all just depends on how much of the pigment melanin -- which is also found in hair and skin -- is in your eyes.
"Everyone has melanin in the iris of their eye, and the amount that they have determines their eye color," Heiting told CNN. "There's really only (this) one type of pigment."
Melanin is a dark brown color, but it can absorb and reflect varying amounts of light. More melanin means more absorption and less reflection, which makes eyes appear brown.
Less melanin means less absorption and more reflection of light on the blue end of the color spectrum, resulting in blue eyes.
This also explains why some babies are born with blue eyes but end up with darker eyes -- their melanin is still forming, and they accumulate more of it as they grow.
Read More: 8 Eye Issues That Might Mean Something Serious Is Going On With Your Health
Green and hazel eyes fall in between brown and blue eyes. Some amounts of melanin may even cause a person's eyes to look like they change color depending on what lighting they're in.
(via 22 Words / CNN)
Pretty crazy, right? It's amazing how light can alter everything we see. Be sure to share this with all your blue- and green-eyed friends!