Health

Why Everyone Really Has Brown Eyes: A Doctor-Turned-Journalist Explains This + More

by Lisa Hirsch Lozano 3:21 PM, March 27, 2017

Aired March 28, 2017

Ever wonder why your mom has blue eyes and you ended up with brown eyes? Or why your partner just can’t stop snoring? Or why women don’t have Adam’s apples?

Doctor-turned-journalist Dr. James Hamblin, the author of the human body “operating manual” If Our Bodies Could Talk, is here with simple explanations to all of these questions.

Why Are My Eyes Blue? (Or Brown... Or Hazel...)

The surprising answer is: everyone’s eye are brown. Dr. Hamblin explains, “We only have this one pigment, melanin. It’s not blue, it’s not green, it’s brown. … Those colors [that people perceive] are just different concentrations of the same pigment.” In other words, the more melanin you have, the more brown your eyes will appear, the less you have, the more blue.

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In addition, Dr. Hamblin says lighting has a big impact on how people perceive your eye color.

Why Do Some People Have Dimples?

So it’s not just a crevice in your skin that causes dimples -- it’s the muscle underneath! “It’s a little difference in the muscle that pulls your face back when you smile,” Dr. Hamblin explains. People without dimples have a muscle that goes straight from their cheekbone to mouth, while those with dimples have “a little bit of a fork” in path of their muscle.

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Why Do Men Have Adam’s Apples (And Women Don’t)?

Surprise -- women have them too! They’re just smaller. Dr. Hamblin explains that testosterone causes the larynx to grow, which causes an “Adam’s apple” lump on your neck. He also says that men’s voices are deeper because their vocal cords are longer and thicker.

What Causes a Deviated Septum?

The septum divides both halves of your nose, and when it gets crooked or wrinkled, it can impede your nasal passage, causing snoring and other issues. The surgery to correct this can make “someone’s whole life change,” Dr. Hamblin says. (And if surgery gets their snoring under control, it can change their partner’s life too, Rach points out.)

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