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Amurph's avatar

Can eyes change color? What is the term for this?

Asked by Amurph (401 points ) May 3rd, 2008

My eyes seem to change color, depending on a lot of factors. Time of day, clothes I’m wearing (this makes the most sense to me – as certain colors are highlighted, or noticed), but they also change color depending on what mood I’m in! I’ve tried to look this up repeatedly, but no luck. What is this called?

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19 Answers

ironhiway's avatar

Hazel eye color does, I used to tell people I had mood eyes. They have been dark brown, to light green with yellow specks. I noticed that it seemed to change related to situation or mood. I thought it was unique until I found out this is the characteristic of hazel eyes.
In North America, “hazel” is often used to describe eyes that appear to change color, ranging from light brown to green and even gray, depending on current lighting in the environment.

In North America, “hazel” is often used to describe eyes that appear to change color, ranging from light brown to green and even gray, depending on current lighting in the environment

atr408's avatar

yeah I have hazel eyes. When I wear red they seem to be more yellow and when I’m sad they seem to be very green. My eyes look weird though because the top half is a goldish brown and the bottom half is a tealish green

wildflower's avatar

I’m pretty sure they do. I have weird eyes, a a bit of hazel, a bit of green and a bit of blue and which colour wins is normally a question of energy levels (tired, stressed, rested..) as well as what colours I’m wearing.

atr408's avatar

why do u spell colors like this: colours? It sounds french lol

wildflower's avatar

just be glad I don’t go all out and spell it coulours…....I figured I’d compromise, given the majority of users here are in the U.S.
French I think it’d be more like couleur

atr408's avatar

haha. Ok thanks for compromising

wildflower's avatar

no prob…...like my eyes, I adapt to my surroundings :P

gailcalled's avatar

Colours is the Brit. way. Flavour, lift, brollie, boot (car trunk), theatre, etc. I have hazel eyes and they alter slightly depending on colour I am wearing. (And there are the Greek diphthongs; ie; encyclopaedia.)

Many authors of fiction write about characters w. gray eyes. I have never known what they meant.My kids have leonine eyes – brown, yellow, gold glints.

delirium's avatar

the phenomenon where the the iris changes color towards the pupil is called central heterochromia.

Seesul's avatar

@delrium…interesting mine do that now. I was born with blue eyes, they changed to a blue grey when I was about 6. Then they gradually turned green when I was in High School and have gotten a more vivid green over the years. Recently I noticed that I have a brown ring in the center that wasn’t there before.

@gail the way I heard it, when the colonies separated from Britain, one of the things they did to protest was to drop the u in several words, making American English different than British English. Anyone else out there have anything to back this up?

delirium's avatar

Its caused by ingesting a toxin that your body cannot manage to get rid of.
I have it too. I was bit by a nasty poisonous spider when I was a kid.

atr408's avatar

realy? What other toxins could cause that?

delirium's avatar

Yes and I don’t know. It’d have to be pretty damn serious.

kapuerajam's avatar

Weimeriner’s ( type of dog) change from blue to amber

Amurph's avatar

These are all great answers. But is Hazel the accepted term? A lot of definitions of Hazel that I’ve encountered mention only that the color changes within the eye – from the outside of the iris to the inside, and NOT from moment to moment.

I also hear a lot about eyes changing color throughout ones’ life. What I’m concerned with is: Is there a scientific term for my eyes changing color throughout the day?

atr408; I am so glad to know that I;m not the only one whose eyes turn bright green when they get upset!

MissAnthrope's avatar

This is a great question. My eyes also change color throughout the day and I have always wondered about this. I inherited it from my mom, who also has this trait. Her eyes are usually green, but I always know when she’s tired because her irises turn yellow. Mine vary in color from gray, green, blue, etc. I never know what eye color to pick on forms.

I’m also interested to know if there is a scientific term for this phenomenon. It seems common enough, if a bit unusual.

We4get1918's avatar

according to wikipedia (which I do find as a reliable source) grey eyes, which are often mistook for hazel (as with my eyes that I always say are hazel even though they usually look blue), do tend to change colors based on time of day, surroundings, and possibly mood because of the amount of melinin your body is able to produce at certain times.

skrinkle's avatar

Wow,everyone, thanks for all this great information!
Here are some fun little unexplained experiences from me about how our physical make-up is so well mirrored in our grey,no green,no,blue, no hazel?eyes.I hope they’re enjoyed and maybe inspire more intersting factoids.

I also have always had a darker rim around the iris which I have read is the retina’s natural color reflection showing where my eye failed to add pigment during formation.My blue-eyed father does not have this effect to his eyes.It may be of interest that I was born with a birth defect,I suspect my body had more important things to do with it’s melinin and proteins than to stock up my irises.

From the ages of fifteen to seventeen my favorite snack food was raw carrots,and for a few months at sixteen, my eyes were a bright sea green.

When I’m upset especially if I’ve been crying, my eyes are electric blue.
When I’ve been feeling really good and healthy,I’ll catch my reflection with surprise one day when I notice them to be turquoise,they usually stay so for a few days.

mjazzi's avatar

my eyes change color too it freaks me out sometimes ,they don’t simply change from dark brown into light brown but from brown to light green to gray(closer to silver).my friends and family love it but i find it annoying.my grandma has eyes that change color but not as obvious and as much as mine do, hers change from darkblue to light blue mine never come close toblue.i tried to look it upon the internet too but i found nthn…

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