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The Origin of Skin Color

Updated on July 27, 2009


If you live or have lived in countries with vast amounts of races and ethnicities, such as the USA or Canada, you would notice that you may not look like all of your peers. Yes, you may all be humans that walk on two feet, but your skin and hair colors may differ greatly.

In the following hub/blog I will attempt to explain why our skin chose the color that it is, and I will throw in the benefits and dangers that may come from whatever color that we are.


Let me first begin by giving you the following quote, I got it from my biology professor, and I never bothered to remember who said it, so I'm going to call him a great man.

"Evolution is a fact, how it occured is a theory"

I'm going to assume that we all know what evolution is, and I'm going ot hope that most of the readers of this piece do believe in evolution. If you don't know what evolution is, or are unsure of what it is then read/skim over the following Wikipedia article: Click Here

"Hot" Weather

Apes first evolved into humans about 200,000 years ago in Africa, and the color of these humans was a "black" color. These humans had to live very close to the equator, where there is a high concentration of UV rays.

The black color has a great defense mechanism against UV rays, and that color was the primary color of all humans.


As time went by, humans had evolved to great masses and many of them started moving out of Africa to other parts of the world.

These great moves allowed for a revolution in the way people looked, which are the reasons why you are the color that you are.

Many people moved out of Africa to the Middle East to hunt for animals and food, while others went to other parts of the world, much more to the north like Europe and Asia, where the weather is very cold and lacked the high amounts of UV rays that Africa provicded.

These people's bodies started to evolve to withstand the changes that were forced onto the bodies by the new weather.

Human bodies started changing colors, since the darker colors weren't needed any longer due to the much lower UV rays that were brought on by the Earth's atmosphere at these new locations.

So if you are a darker-colored person, and even though you have lived in a northern region for the entirety of your life, your ancestors most likely lived closer to the equator, and if you and the rest of your future offsprings and their offsprings stay in a low-UV area, in a few hundred years your skin color will most likely change to a lighter tone.

Same thing will happen if you are a lighter-colored person, if your future offsprings, and their offsprings live in a high-UV area for a few hundred years, the future offsprings will be born with a darker skin color than what your skin color is.


Your skin color may seem like something you shouldn't pay attention to, but it is something that you should be aware of when selecting a permenant location to live on.

If you are a "white" person, and live in a UV-rich area, you are at a high risk of getting skin cancer, and are advised to stay inside more than the darker-skinned people since your body can't handle much UV rays.

If you are a black person, and live in a low-UV area, you need to go outside a lot, because your body has a tougher time collecting sufficient amounts of vitamin D that are vital for normal human life. The lack of vitamin D is a very tough thing for a person to notice before conditions becoe too dangerous for the human body, which is a very bad thing.


If you have any questions or comments, or if you would like anything else cleared up please either comment here or message me.

I tried my best to be detailed, but in such a massive topic it is tough to be detailed since many attributes of biology, chemistry, and physics go into why you look the way that you look, and this is just a theory backed up with a ton of evidence, so don't take it as a 100% fact, but I do think of it as something very close to the fact. 


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    • pinkhawk profile image

      pinkhawk 7 years ago from Pearl of the Orient

      ...very interesting and it trigger my curiosity about skin colors...oh that's why... thank you very much!

    • gramsmith profile image

      gramsmith 8 years ago

      Hi Glare,

      You posted very interesting hub...........Keep on writing.

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 8 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      Some interesting and useful points. This is good to know. Thanks.