Science Of Skin Colour.

He is black, She is fair, omg look at her boyfriend. How can she be with that black guy. We often hear such senseless sentences from people around us.

People literally judge each other based on their skin colour without realising that it has nothing to do with the person that they are. Skin colour doesn’t change the fact that every person on this planet has got Same brain, Same heart, Same blood, Same physique and Same emotions.

People who call themselves anti-racist also become judgemental at one point or another in their lives. 

That’s why perhaps you would like to know a little science behind the human skin colour.

Why human skin colour is so diversified on this planet?   

Whatever the colour, our skin has gone through some great adaptation process.

When UV light hits us from sun it affects each of us a little differently .

It’s all about Melanin. The body’s natural sunscreen. This is the pigment that gives skin and hair its colour. This melanin comes from skin cells called melanocytes and has two basic forms. There’s eumelanin which gives a range of brown skin tones and black, brown and blond hair. The other is Pheomelanin that causes reddish brown and red hair.

But humans weren’t always like this. Our varying skin tones were formed by an evolutionary process driven by the Sun. Around 50,000 years ago, when human ancestors migrated north from Africa into Europe and Asia.

Before migration these ancestors were living in regions saturated by high amount of Sun’s UV rays. When skin is exposed to UV-rays for long periods of time, The UV light damages the DNA in our cells, and skin starts to burn. If that damage is severe, the cells mutations can lead to Melanoma, A deadly skin cancer. 

Sunscreens as we know it today didn’t exist 50,000 years ago. So how did our ancestors cope with such harsh skin burning UV-rays?

The key to survival lay in their own personal sunscreen manufactured beneath the skin: Melanin.

The type and amount of melanin in your skin determines whether you are more or less protected from the sun.

It is our skin’s response when sunlight strikes it. When skin is exposed to UV light, it triggers the special light sensitive receptors. Which produces the melanin to shield skin from damage. For lighter skin people that extra skin melanin darkens their skin and produces a tan. Over the course of generations humans living at the sun saturated latitudes in Africa adapted to have higher melanin production. Giving skin a darker colour. This built in skin protection mechanism helped them from deadly skin cancer. Gradually made them evolutionary fitter and capable of passing these traits to the future generations.

But soon some of these sun-adopted ancestors migrated northward out of the sun saturated zone and spread across the earth. The further north they traveled the less direct sunshine they faced. Their skin over some course of time happened to produce less melanin because they were exposed to small amounts of UV rays and their skin colour gradually lightened. As a result of our ancestors adaptability, Today planet is full of people with wide range of skin colours. Typically we see darker skin in hot and sunny regions around equator and lighter skin colours fanning outward as the sunshine dwindles. 

Therefore, skin colour is nothing more than an adaptive traits for living on the rock that orbits the sun. 

It may absorb light but it certainly does not reflect character.  

The bottomline is there is only one race on this planet. The Human Race.

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