RJ – The Deep Dark Secrets of Skin Color

R. Jackson

The Deep Dark Secrets of Skin Color

The DNA of people around the world has records of living things that are related to one another, from way, way back in time. From this information, we can learn the origins of human skin color. Human skin color may be different because of the diets, climates and geographic locations faced by or ancestors.

One possible explanation for the differences in human skin color is geography. Early humans who moved farther away from the equator in search of food or places to stay developed lighter skin colors because of the low amounts of UV rays they were getting from the sun. The humans who stayed closer to the equator kept their dark skin color because they needed all of the UV rays they could get to stay healthy.(“Human Skin Color Variation”) Human skin color has different ways of working by getting more UV or not letting UV rays into the body.

Another explanation for the differences in human skin color is climate. Over a period of time scientist believe that the early humans shed their body hair and developed sweat glands to keep them cool in hotter climates than their own. But this was not such a good thing. After they shed their hair, they were now open to intense ultraviolet light. (“Human Skin Color Variation”)

So to protect their skin from the harmful UV rays from the sun the early humans developed dark skin. The bodies of our ancestors adapted to the way of life to increase the levels of melanin, which could now protect them from the sun.

One final explanation for our different skin color is our diets. Early humans who ate diets with high amounts of sea food had an alternate source of vitamin D. So, for example, native people from Alaska and Canada can remain dark skinned because of their diets. Also, UV rays reflected by the snow don’t harm them that much as humans in high UV areas with light skin. People who were getting just the right amount of vitamin D from their seafood diet did not have to develop lighter skin colors because they already got the right amount of vitamin D in their bodies. (“Human Skin Color Variation”)

In conclusion, these are just a few ways of how human skin colors are different because of the diets early humans had, the climate changes they endured, and, finally, the geographic locations in which they lived. The changing of the different skin colors happened over millions and millions of years and gave us the skin colors we have today.

Works Cited

 “Human Skill Color Variation.” Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Web. 29 October 2012.


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