Eye color
Eye color is a polygenic phenotypic character and is determined by two distinct factors: the pigmentation
A pigment is a material that changes the color of reflected or transmitted light as the result of wavelength-selective absorption. This physical process differs from fluorescence, phosphorescence, and other forms of luminescence, in which a material emits light.Many materials selectively absorb...

 of the eye
Human eye
The human eye is an organ which reacts to light for several purposes. As a conscious sense organ, the eye allows vision. Rod and cone cells in the retina allow conscious light perception and vision including color differentiation and the perception of depth...

's iris
Iris (anatomy)
The iris is a thin, circular structure in the eye, responsible for controlling the diameter and size of the pupils and thus the amount of light reaching the retina. "Eye color" is the color of the iris, which can be green, blue, or brown. In some cases it can be hazel , grey, violet, or even pink...

 and the frequency-dependence of the scattering
Scattering is a general physical process where some forms of radiation, such as light, sound, or moving particles, are forced to deviate from a straight trajectory by one or more localized non-uniformities in the medium through which they pass. In conventional use, this also includes deviation of...

 of light by the turbid
Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by individual particles that are generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to smoke in air. The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality....

 medium in the stroma of the iris
Stroma of iris
The stroma of the iris consists of fibers and cells.The former are made up of delicate bundles of fibrous tissue; a few fibers at the circumference of the iris have a circular direction; but the majority radiate toward the pupil, forming by their interlacement delicate meshes in which the vessels...


In humans, the pigmentation of the iris varies from light brown to black, depending on the concentration of melanin
Melanin is a pigment that is ubiquitous in nature, being found in most organisms . In animals melanin pigments are derivatives of the amino acid tyrosine. The most common form of biological melanin is eumelanin, a brown-black polymer of dihydroxyindole carboxylic acids, and their reduced forms...

 in the iris pigment epithelium
Iris pigment epithelium
The iris pigment epithelium is a two-cell thick layer of cuboidal cells lying behind the iris. Both layers are jet black due to the numerous large melanosomes which pack the cytoplasm of each cell. Towards the central axis, the IPE terminates at the pupillary margin...

 (located the back of the iris), the melanin content within the iris stroma (located at the front of the iris), and the cellular density of the stroma.