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  #1  
Old 15 May 2007, 04:49 PM
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Default Eyes changing color?

I've met a woman who claims that her eyes can change color when she's experiencing a powerful emotion. I'm pretty certain that this is completely impossible, of course. Eyes can change color over time, but not such a short time. They can appear to change color under different lighting or when you put in colored contacts, but I'm pretty sure that's not what she meant.

Wikipedia has a section on the topic, but there are no citations. How quickly can eyes change color?

I'd also like to know, how common is the misconception that a person's eyes can change color depending on mood? Is it more or less common than the "she was so scared her hair turned white overnight" myth? Has anybody else ever met somebody who claims that their eyes can change color?
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  #2  
Old 15 May 2007, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Billion View Post
Has anybody else ever met somebody who claims that their eyes can change color?
Yes, this guy I went out with. Haven't tested it yet.

I'm sure it's due to lighting and angle changes...if she says it's because of a "powerful emotion," it could be that her eyes have tears in them, or that she's looking down, etc., thereby changing the light and angles.
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  #3  
Old 15 May 2007, 05:01 PM
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My eyes have been shown to change color. Two experiences, I was laying with my head on a boyfriends lap- never changed position- and he saw my eyes turn green (I was getting very aroused). Second-when I was in grade school, there was this weird type of school picture they took that had a full face pic, with a profile in the black overhead. When they took that pic I was my normal self for the first pic, which shows blue eyes, then they insisted that I look straight at the light, which pissed me off, and the profile shows green eyes.
This appears to be a hereditary trait in that my Dad, my maternal grandfather, me and my daughter all have this type of eyes.
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Old 15 May 2007, 05:03 PM
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Hazel eyes appear to change color. I believe that the change comes from the environment including lighting and what the person is wearing.

I have hazel eyes and they do appear to change colors. At one time I believed this was a mood thing, but I am not certain that I was just young and stupid at the time.
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  #5  
Old 15 May 2007, 05:04 PM
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Eyes can appear to change color quite quickly. My eyes, for instance, have flecks of many different colors and a darker rim around the edge of the iris. My eyes are hazel, and usually look light green. When I get angry, my pupils dilate, which changes the way the iris looks. It accentuates that dark rim and makes my eyes look very dark, almost black. Of course, that also happens in the dark, but nobody sees it then. And it happens when I drink too much, but nobody's paying attention then.
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  #6  
Old 15 May 2007, 05:07 PM
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Errr...I've made that claim in the past myself. My eyes are hazel, and I used to think that when I got teary, they looked greener. I say used to because until I read this thread I hadn't thought of it for about 15-20 years.

Maybe I should do some experimenting...
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  #7  
Old 15 May 2007, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Billion View Post
I've met a woman who claims that her eyes can change color when she's experiencing a powerful emotion. I'm pretty certain that this is completely impossible, of course. Eyes can change color over time, but not such a short time. They can appear to change color under different lighting or when you put in colored contacts, but I'm pretty sure that's not what she meant.

Wikipedia has a section on the topic, but there are no citations. How quickly can eyes change color?

I'd also like to know, how common is the misconception that a person's eyes can change color depending on mood? Is it more or less common than the "she was so scared her hair turned white overnight" myth? Has anybody else ever met somebody who claims that their eyes can change color?
Mine do. Well, not really, but they look like they do.
(I've just had to go and check the mirror in the toilets to confirm this!)
My outer iris is kind of a blue/green/grey mix. My inner iris is brown/hazel.
When my pupils are large all you see is the outer bit so they look a kind of greyish blend. When my pupils are smaller the brown/hazel colour shows and seems to dominate.

I guess mood should affect this as it does normally affect pupil size. But for some reason I have huge pupils most of the time and only really bright light makes my pupils small and therefore my eyes hazel.
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  #8  
Old 15 May 2007, 07:32 PM
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Shifty Eyes

I would have been willing to swear that eyes don't change color until I had my daughter. When she was born and through her childhood, they were quite blue. Somewhere around puberty, they turned much more of a green color, and will change depending on lighting and what she's wearing - sometimes they're a dark green, other times they're almost yellow. (Which meshes nicely with the accusations of her being raised by wolves.)

Just depends on mood, temperature, lots of things. Of course, I can't determine if it's merely an optical illusion based on ambient light, reflection, etc. But I will tell you this, that she was born with blue eyes and now has green/hazel-looking eyes.

Ali "you beautiful little weirdo" Baba
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Old 15 May 2007, 07:34 PM
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DD and I have gray eyes (hers are grayer, mine have a bit more blue to them). They don't change color, but different color clothing will make them look a different color: it's a reflection thing, I think. So some shades of green make our eyes look green, some shades of deep purple make them look purplish, and there are several shades of gray-blue, blue and blue-greeen that appear to "match" my eyes.
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  #10  
Old 15 May 2007, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kismet View Post
Eyes can appear to change color quite quickly. My eyes, for instance, have flecks of many different colors and a darker rim around the edge of the iris. My eyes are hazel, and usually look light green. When I get angry, my pupils dilate, which changes the way the iris looks. It accentuates that dark rim and makes my eyes look very dark, almost black. Of course, that also happens in the dark, but nobody sees it then. And it happens when I drink too much, but nobody's paying attention then.
I think that's kind of what happens with most hazel eyed people. Though in reading that wiki article I realized that there are two different type of hazel. There is true hazel, and what they call green-brown which is what I have and I think you have as well. It's a green eye with a hazel or gold center.
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  #11  
Old 15 May 2007, 09:20 PM
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I have gray eyes and depending on what color I wear, they can look storm gray or bright green.

Morrigan
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  #12  
Old 15 May 2007, 09:24 PM
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Is the effect correlated with the contraction/dilation of the pupil? We know that the iris works like the iris of a camera (or the security shield on Stargate SG-1 -- gawd, I'm such a fanboy!) As the iris expands to contract the pupil, more of it is visible. Could it be that the inner and outer parts are of slightly different colors?

I'm thinking about, say, a deck of cards, where the back of the cards has a pattern that is green at the left, smoothly changing to blue at the right. If someone holds their cards in a tight packet, you'd see one color, but if they "fan" their hand widly, exposing more of the back of the card, you'd see another color.

The stories cited allude to emotional stress and/or bright lights, both of which are known to affect pupil dilation.

Silas (my eyes are black...but only because I told my girlfriend that hers were ugly)
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  #13  
Old 15 May 2007, 09:44 PM
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My eyes are hazel, but do appear to change color on occasion, though not from emotion. More like different lighting and reflection. If I have been crying, and the rims of my eyelids are red, then my eyes appear very yellow. They turn a slightly brighter shade of yellow/gold if I am wearing a lot of dark eyeliner. Then, if I've just re-dyed my hair (I dye it bright red and black) my eyes seem to be green.

I have known many people who claim that emotions change their eye color, my own brother among them. So maybe some people's eyes do change.
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  #14  
Old 15 May 2007, 09:56 PM
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I have blue eyes, but there is a very noticible difference in the color depending on my mood. If I am sick or upset, they go very grey, almost white, when I am happy they are a bright royal blue. I just ran a semi-unscientific pupil test, going from shade to bright lights in front of a 5x magnification mirror, and they appear to get slightly darker blue when my pupils are smaller, so no explanation for the light grey. I know it happens though, cause my fiance has seen it happen and reacted before I even realized I was getting pissed off.

ETA:
Quote:
It would appear, then that hormones may have effect iris pigmentation and this might explain the change in eye color sometimes seen in adults.
From:http://www.eyecarecontacts.com/eyecolor.html
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  #15  
Old 15 May 2007, 10:20 PM
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Shifty Eyes

My eyes are a dark green but also appear to be a much brighter green when I cry. But like is mentioned above, I don't think they are actually changing color.

But just for comparison sake, here are a few pics.

My eyes as a baby (this picture is scanned, they are a blueish grey here):


My eyes on an average day, a greenish-brown:


My eyes looking greener than usual. This time I credit the contrasting eye makeup for bringing out the color, but the same thing happens from tears or the sun:

Last edited by moonlight; 15 May 2007 at 10:32 PM.
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  #16  
Old 16 May 2007, 12:54 AM
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My eyes change color, but I doubt it has anything to do with emotion. Most of the time they are a slate-blue color. If I'm wearing something blue or certain other colors, or certain colors of eye makeup, they appear to be a much deeper shade of blue. Certain other colors of clothing make them look aqua or green. I noticed once after a good cry that they looked very pale green, which I would suspect has something to do with the way the light reflected off the tears rather than the emotion.
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  #17  
Old 16 May 2007, 01:04 AM
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I've been told that my eyes change color when my mood changes. I didn't think it was true until about the fifth person said "hey! whats up with your eyes?" My Native name translates into witch eyes as a matter of fact.
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  #18  
Old 16 May 2007, 01:37 AM
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SOs eyes change color with his mood, and do so quite quickly. Well, if you think 5ish minutes is quickly. Sometimes, he'll walk in the door and the first thing I ask is "What are you so angry about?". When he is angry, his eyes will be bright green.
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  #19  
Old 16 May 2007, 02:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
I would have been willing to swear that eyes don't change color until I had my daughter. When she was born and through her childhood, they were quite blue. Somewhere around puberty, they turned much more of a green color, and will change depending on lighting and what she's wearing - sometimes they're a dark green, other times they're almost yellow. (Which meshes nicely with the accusations of her being raised by wolves.)

Just depends on mood, temperature, lots of things. Of course, I can't determine if it's merely an optical illusion based on ambient light, reflection, etc. But I will tell you this, that she was born with blue eyes and now has green/hazel-looking eyes.

Ali "you beautiful little weirdo" Baba
But many (or most) people are born with blue eyes that later change color. Of course human eyes change color as people are growing up. But I'm very skeptical about claims that eyes actually change color, rather than appear to, depending on mood. Lots of smart people here have suggested explanations for how they can appear to change color in a short time, though.
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  #20  
Old 16 May 2007, 04:03 AM
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My mother, and other family members to a lesser extent, say that my eyes get brighter when I get mad or frustrated (they're usually greyish green, but can turn into a bright and beautiful emerald green apparently). According to mom, this happened most notably when I was in the dentist chair as a younger kid... my eyes seemingly got brighter with each new tool that was shoved into my mouth.
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