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Name: Clover
Status: student
Grade: 9-12
Location: IL
Country: USA
Date: Fall 2013

My friends were talking about eye color today and I brought up that Elizabeth Taylor had naturally purple eyes, but how is that possible? How can you get purple eyes?

Hi Clover,

Thanks for the question. Eye color is determined by pigments in the eye. The amount and type of pigment produced will determine the color of the eye. It is possible that pharmaceuticals could alter the expression of these pigments and thereby cause the color of the eye to change temporarily or perhaps permanently. I suspect with Elizabeth Taylor, that she is wearing colored contact lenses.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have more questions. Thanks Jeff

Hello, Eye color is a very interesting topic. First of all, many people have various shades of many colors due to the fact that they have more than one eye color stacked upon one another. Look closely at some of your friends and you will see that they may actually have layers of different colors that you can detect. Depending upon how these layers work together will determine the actual eye color. Secondly, there are genes that give patterns in the iris that will reflect light differently depending upon the lighting conditions surrounding the person.

Elizabeth Taylor was sighted to have violet eyes in certain lighting. It is very likely that she had multiple eye color and probably some iris pattern that gave this color.

Steve Sample

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