Mysterious origin of Solomon Islands’ dark-skinned blonds revealed: Riddle of Solomon solved: Scientists find South Sea islanders’ blond hair didn’t come from Europeans, but evolved separately. Many assumed blonde hair came from Europeans. ‘Homegrown’ gene actually evolved separately. 5-10% of population have distinctive blond gene. Islanders believed blond hair came from the sun, or a diet rich in fish. Researchers have discovered a single gene that caused inhabitants of the Solomon Islands to have the unique combination of very dark skin and very blond hair.
On Thursday, the journal Science reported that a single gene mutation is responsible for the unique pairing. Perhaps most interesting, the findings debunk theories that residents of the Solomon Islands got their blond hair from intermarrying with European explorers.
“[T]he human characteristic of blond hair arose independently in equatorial Oceania,” study researcher Eimear Kenny said in a statement. “That’s quite unexpected and fascinating.”
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