Why Are There Different Skin Colors?
THE MOST IMPORTANT ADAPTATION THAT EARLY HUMANS DEVELOPED? THE ABILITY TO SURVIVE SUNLIGHT. In the heart of sub-Saharan Africa, where it is believed that all humans originally came from, the sun is incredibly intense. For early humans living near the Equator, they were getting pounded by sunlight and radiation all year long, and excessive UV radiation can be very harmful to the skin, resulting in abnormal growth of cells (cell mutation), increased risks of cancer, and destroy essential vitamins in the body. Conveniently enough, melanin functions as a shield against ultraviolet radiation, thus protecting the cells from the many dangers of excess exposure. Over thousands of generations, as our ape ancestors’ skin became more and more exposed to sunlight, humans adapted to have higher levels of melanin, particularly eumelanin, to block those harmful rays.
For this reason, we see darker-skinned people most commonly near the Equator, where sunlight is in abundance throughout the year; this extends beyond Africa – to Asia, South America, and the Middle East as well! Interestingly enough, it wasn’t until less than 100,000 years ago that skin color began to change.
Humans were dark-skinned for the vast majority of their history. However, as human beings began spreading throughout the globe – into Europe, northern Asia, and eventually the Americas, they discovered areas with decidedly less sunshine. This is where the second stumble in the human history of skin color arose – vitamin deficiency.
One of the key vitamins for human health is vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium and other minerals that are essential for bone growth and repair. Unfortunately, our primary source of vitamin D is linked to sunshine; the radiation actually helps to synthesize vitamin D in the skin, in conjunction with another chemical. Thus, for people living in colder climates, or areas which experience darkness for extended periods of time throughout the year, having dark skin meant blocking that radiation, and thus lacking in vitamin D.
Reverse adaptation occurred as humanity sprawled across the planet to different climes, and eventually, their skin color faded over the course of many generations. In northern Europe or Scandinavia, where sunlight is limited for many parts of the year, people’s skin is extremely pale, almost translucent, to ensure that when they are exposed to that precious sunlight, their skin is able to make enough vitamin D to keep the body healthy!
The black skin colour is healthy and very beautiful; do not bleach it ugly to skin cancer and loose all the protection it is naturally assigned to give
Do you know that MELANIN is the fundamental unit of the universe and exists in four forms…cosmic, planetary, the plant kingdom as CHLOROPHYLL and the animal kingdom as MELANIN
The important thing to remember about skin color is this – every human on this planet shares a common ancestor from about 200,000 years ago in the heart of Africa, and they definitely had dark skin.
If we want to make a better world, we need to focus on what unites us, not what makes us different. After all, skin color really is only skin deep!
INFORMATION FOR THE WISE!
RECONSIDER BEFORE YOU lighten your skin.
I LOVE MY MELANIN.
I AM BLACK EXCELLENCE.
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Live a melanin inspired week.
Have a great sunday.
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