Why are dark-skinned blondes born in the Solomon Islands
Categories: NationsBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/why-are-dark-skinned-blondes-born-in-the-solomon-islands
The Solomon Islands is a small archipelago lost in the Pacific Ocean. It is inhabited by Melanesians — a dark-skinned people whose representatives are not easy to distinguish from the population of Africa. But 10 percent of the islanders, which is about 50 thousand people, have blonde hair at the same time! There are other blonde Melanesians in Oceania, but the Solomon Islands have the most of them. Where did the dark-skinned people get blond curls?
Scientists have been struggling with this question for more than two centuries. There were a lot of hypotheses, from quite realistic to frankly stupid. Some argued that the reason should be found in the fish menu of the islanders, others were sure that it was all about the scorching sun and salt water. Someone even suspected Melanesians of coloring their hair with coral lime.
One of the most popular versions of the 20th century associated the hair color of the islanders with Europeans. It was assumed that the white hair was received by those in whose veins the blood of sailors and colonizers flows.
With the advent of genetics, the question began to be studied more thoughtfully. It turned out that all Melanesians with blond hair, the shade of hairstyles is exactly the same. The inhabitants of Europe do not do this — there are many variations of blondes there.
In this regard, geneticists decided that the blondes of the archipelago have the same genetic mutation. To confirm or refute this theory, 100 islanders were surveyed. Half of them were blonde, and half had the typical Melanesian dark hair.
In 2012, the mystery that tormented many generations of researchers was revealed. A blood test showed that blonds have a mutation of the TYRP1 gene responsible for hair color. The gene mutated thousands of years ago, so the islanders with white curls appeared long before the discovery of the archipelago by Europeans. This mutation is characteristic of Oceania and is not found anywhere else in the world.
But meetings with residents of Europe and the USA for Melanesians did not pass without a trace. From the guests from across the ocean, they received a new religion - a cargo cult.