Riddle of Solomon solved: Scientists find South Sea islanders’ blond hair didn’t come from Europeans, but evolved separately

from Daily Mail

    • 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

By Rob Waugh

PUBLISHED: 06:13 EST, 4 May 2012 | UPDATED: 06:59 EST, 4 May 2012

The inhabitants of the Solomon Islands – east of Papua New Guinea – are very dark-skinned – but have puzzled scientists for decades with their blond hair.

Now a genetic study has found that the islanders have a ‘homegrown’ gene that gives them blond hair – and it’s different from the one in Europeans.

‘Its frequency is between 5 and 10 percent across the Solomon Islands, which is about the same as where I’m from,’ said study author Eimear Kenny, PhD, who was born in Ireland.

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