The Island Where 10 Percent Of The Population Can Only See In Black And White


In 1775, a typhoon hit the atoll of Pingelap, located in the Pacific Ocean. The storm killed as many as 20 people, and King was one of the survivors. This population bottleneck, which occurred hundreds of years later, would end up being the root cause of utter colorblindness in a sizeable portion of the world’s population.

The inability to differentiate between colors or detect color distinctions is the definition of color blindness that most individuals understand. According to the National Eye Institute, people of Northern European descent account for around 8 percent of those who are colorblind in the green-red spectrum.

In contrast, just 0.5 percent of women fall into this category. On the other hand, around ten percent of the population of the atoll of Pingelap is affected by a considerably more uncommon illness known as full achromatopsia, sometimes known as total color blindness.

People with the illness cannot perceive colors and can only distinguish shades of black, white, and gray. It is because the cones in their eyes that are responsible for color perception are entirely dysfunctional.

In addition, those with total achromatopsia may also have sensitivity to light, a reduction in the clarity of their vision, and involuntary eye movements. The ailment that the residents of Pingelap suffer from is exceptionally unusual.

Let us reanalyze the hurricane and the monarch. On Pingelap, which had a population that was already relatively small, the storm that struck in 1775 wiped off practically the entire population, leaving only 19 islanders and their King on the atoll.

In addition to the fact that this is an embarrassing issue to bring up concerning the King, it would also end up leading to eyesight difficulties on the island, as it is possible that the King possessed a recessive gene that led to the ailment.

Because so few individuals lived on the atoll, there was a significant amount of inbreeding, and the gene eventually became standard across the population. It is estimated that one in every 30,000 individuals worldwide is afflicted by it, but in Pingelap, it might impact up to 10% of the population.

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