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The science of skin color - Angela Koine Flynn

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View full lesson: https://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-science-of-skin-color-angela-koine-flynn When ultraviolet sunlight hits our skin, it affects each of us differently. Depending on skin color, it’ll take only minutes of exposure to turn one person beetroot-pink, while another requires hours to experience the slightest change. What’s to account for that difference, and how did our skin come to take on so many different hues to begin with? Angela Koine Flynn describes the science of skin color. Lesson by Angela Koine Flynn, animation by Tomás Pichardo-Espaillat.
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Text Comments (3424)
W. H. (1 day ago)
Evolution is a silly theory and not science.
Lolwa Allunicorn (4 days ago)
I’m *YOLO*
Vilo (5 days ago)
The end tho
applause for last sentence please...
but i was born with very pale white skin o0o
i geuss i got alot of meliton???
i dont sun burn only on my ears and tip of nose ;-;
sebatian (12 days ago)
NO!!!!!!!!!! we are different species...some scientists agree!
Marley Aiden (14 days ago)
hey lady sorry we Africans DON'T have body hair apart from head which is very hard
Brad Wilson (20 days ago)
But in the far north—where low light levels would favor pale skin—the team found a different picture in hunter-gatherers: Seven people from the 7700-year-old Motala archaeological site in southern Sweden had both light skin gene variants, SLC24A5 and SLC45A2. They also had a third gene, HERC2/OCA2, which causes blue eyes and may also contribute to light skin and blond hair. Thus ancient hunter-gatherers of the far north were already pale and blue-eyed, but those of central and southern Europe had darker skin. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/04/how-europeans-evolved-white-skin There are also effects of elevation levels, blood flow, oxygen, iron ..etc.
Ls Vijay (20 days ago)
White people say this is fake.
1206 Avenger (21 days ago)
Do afro-americans or afro-europeans have a higher tendency of developing rickets then? Its a curious question, I myself live in the tropics, be gentle if possible.
Manira Sara (22 days ago)
Interesting
Luc Turcotte (22 days ago)
Great video! We maybe are all humans, but it's great that we have difference races, cultures and ethnicities. If you we all had the same skin colour, same hair colour, same eye colour, same culture, etc... life would be very boring!
MJade (24 days ago)
(((Okay but also we mixed with Neanderthals / Denisovans and our own selves with varying degrees of albinisms))) But here's what they don't make clear, ever! ... If you're pale you ARE MISSING GENES! Brown skin is not "extra melanin". Because we are not covered in hair!! Therefore default is we are exposed to the sun. Therefore default is melanin! Pale skin on the other hand most certainly is lesssss genetic material !! They make it sound so careful and delicate and adaptive... 😅😬 I'm saying this to the white people who believe they have genes for their coloring (my sis was one of them, and very snooty about it). You dont have blue eyeball pigment! You don't have special gold hair pigment! You have eumelanin not covered by melanin. And lack of pigment in your iris. Simple!😄😄
The Visionary (27 days ago)
Wasn’t this theory debunked with the current brown eskimos?? 😂
J (24 days ago)
Brown Eskimos is only genetic disorder, has nothing to do with this topic about Sun UV effect on skin
Prem Kumar (1 month ago)
It won't reflects character............nice
J (24 days ago)
That has nothing to do with video...or does it...lol
Candis Jackson (1 month ago)
Wow this is so not true
Maya Thompson (1 month ago)
I wish I was darker... :(
Angel is Incroyable (1 month ago)
3:47 How I know you guys are lying is because you never seen a dark-skinned turn light in the cold weather. NEVER! It's not evolution!!
Samuel kings (14 days ago)
This takes thousands of years to happen lol, plus we leave in a modern society, where we now have sunscreens, air conditioner, houses etc less exposure to direct elements
Angel is Incroyable (1 month ago)
It's not evolution it's genetics. The skin grew lighter because of the genetics degredation.
Janae Young (1 month ago)
Yeah it was a genetic mutation
Angel is Incroyable (1 month ago)
IT'S NOT EVOLUTION!!!!
tarozama (1 month ago)
Well....you had me till you said, "evolutionary". Please just stick to what we can prove, not theory.
Melody (1 month ago)
See, not only is dark skin beautiful but it’s extremely helpful too ;-;
susa Michael (1 month ago)
How about the hair
Shubhan Ravi (1 month ago)
The last line...👏👏
Anayah Harris (1 month ago)
awwww beautiful video! I love science!
Porscha Bonita (1 month ago)
Love you for this
Letz Talk (1 month ago)
All my skin questions are answered.
Cynthia Sanchez (2 months ago)
So wait, humans were ALL dark skinned once?! ...... Brooooo😮🤯
Laura Beth (1 month ago)
Yeah, Africa is the birthplace of civilization
Why is Donald Trump orange?
Miu Nguyen (2 months ago)
They didn't explain asians.
ElevenDwarfs 1 (2 months ago)
I hate the stereotypes with the different types of skin tone.
RedOnTheHead - (2 months ago)
Many people think race only has to do with skin color but that really isn't true their are many other physical differences like difference in bone structure and muscle density and many other things even facial features
Because I can (2 months ago)
They should teach us this in school right? 🤓
Kayla was here (2 months ago)
we all come from african people my dubs thats why its possible for blacks to have european hair lol and features my dub guy
EyeMaji Nation (2 months ago)
We can thank Carl Linnaeus & Johann Friedrich Blummenbach specifically for the creation and concept of Race and the classification of HUE-Manity into Racial categories..Also for the creation of the word Caucasian of which was placed at the top of the Racial hierarchy which was also used as a means of Social control during the times of Chattel slavery(As well as the present) which lead to forced segregation based solely on skin color as well as social status based solely on skin color here in North America and beyond no wonder a video on the science of skin color which is only touching the surface of who we are!!!
Yasmin Yehia (2 months ago)
That one video that ends racism
hush gully (2 months ago)
eye opener
what is word process? where did it begin? To say that skin was always another color then turn brown
Vann Terry (2 months ago)
Shiuld have had a African American narrator.
Laura Beth (1 month ago)
You..cant even see them? Why does it matter?
AJITH P.J (2 months ago)
Racism is literally Fault in our Star
AJITH P.J (2 months ago)
There is nothing called 'race'. It's just culture.
K Nyansa (2 months ago)
This sounds more like theory rather than facts. Was this white person around 50,000 years ago. Wake up everyone.
Laura Beth (1 month ago)
+K Nyansa ok..? I mean it's not a theory but if you don't accept it do you at least have a reason why, or like, your own theory
K Nyansa (1 month ago)
+Laura Beth white logics is not my logics. I don't embrace eurocentric logics. So eff off
Laura Beth (1 month ago)
You....did you even go to school???
Green 505 (2 months ago)
I like my white skin.
Ja Ich (2 months ago)
Everybody in Europe knows this already. We learn it in school.
Ulster Groundhopper (2 months ago)
And when my mum showed me this, all I could say was "This still doesn't explain why I'm green?" All she kept saying was ask your dad when he gets home...............from Alpha centauri.
HoneyedHylian (2 months ago)
I'm curious - If people moved to cooler, drier areas, why did they never adapt to it? Why do we need constant application of lotions and oils to keep our skin balanced? Also, why are inuits not caucasian. I'm not trying to say anyone is wrong, but I feel like these kinds of questions also need to be observed.
But the sun doesn’t cause cancer.
Laura Beth (1 month ago)
It causes melenomas, yeah my dude.
Kendra Lee (2 months ago)
Don’t trying to be rude but I was just wondering
Pacific Signs (2 months ago)
Let Trump watch dis
REX NETWORK (2 months ago)
So white people hate us cause we have a tan 🤔
Aalivia Subliminals (2 months ago)
please share this
cc splat (2 months ago)
My skin is confusing... Its not dark... but its not too light...
Laura Beth (1 month ago)
Then youre just somewhere in the middle. You have protection from uv rays and your skin can absorb nutrients
american/ filipino (3 months ago)
So people from Africa and Asia is more protected from the sun 😟😕
Peace Guard (3 months ago)
The video itself said that darkening of the skin made those people fitter. Then it teaches people of how you're not supposed to induce any other facts than sun accomodation from skin color.
Pan-European Nationalist (2 months ago)
Peace Guard Actually it doesn’t, it’s called gene expression, it can take generations for the differences to show, but it’s happens none the less. For one humans are slow to adaptation because we have a longer lifespan and have fewer generation over that lifespan, while this can be seen in insects who can quickly adapt to changing conditions in the space of a few years because they can have thousands of new generations over a space of time humanity only has one. These changes can range from camouflage to climate adaptability.
Peace Guard (2 months ago)
+ Pan-European National Conservative Accomodations going along with skin color differences are a product of thousands years of evolution in different environments. It takes much more than sudden change of your place of residence for them to stop working.
Pan-European Nationalist (2 months ago)
Peace Guard it doesn’t, it said it depends on were you are for skin colour to have have the intended advantages.
Abhishek Mittal (3 months ago)
Why there is no mention of Albinism
Mersauff (3 months ago)
So what about not only skin colour? That's one part - light in the climate. What about height, nose size, muscle size and brain capacity? What is your argument about people living in remote climates that have greater adapting capabilities and greater IQ than people living in tropical Countries.
Knd 2Trill (3 months ago)
The moving north part is a lie
I'm a faggot but, (3 months ago)
Well, i hate my ancestors.
Chingiz Zhylkybayev (3 months ago)
Why do native Siberians, Inuit and Aleuts have much darker skin than Norse people if all of them were supposed to adapt for similar weather conditions?
Pan-European Nationalist (2 months ago)
Chingiz Zhylkybayev because peoples in northern Siberia are recent migrants in the past couple thousand years. It takes many more to show such adaptations, for instance, Asians in China and Japan tend to have lighter sin tones than Asians in south east Asia.
Dita Indah (3 months ago)
Share video link without translation plis👐👐
JustTrish :3 (3 months ago)
Everyone came from Africa 😳 impressing
Nancy Hany (3 months ago)
First of all it's since so you ahould think before believing any theory 🙈 Simply when i started to watch this video at the first couple of minutes i was in my way to agree, but my mind starts to think If our skin adapted as it says , why light skin people who lives in the middle of africa for mora than a thousand year didn't chabge there color and they still look in the shades of white skin tones And why african people how lives in USA for more than 500 almost 600 years didn't adapted after this years for the less sun and became white 🤔 Just use your great mind and think😊
Pan-European Nationalist (2 months ago)
Nancy Hany Probably because it takes tens of thousands of years for these adaptations to show. Evolution doesn’t Heineken much differences in a few hundreds years for humans, because humans have longer lifespans, in insects however where there can be hundreds of generations in the span of a human lifetime it’s much easier to see evolution happen in real-time, it took millions of years for humanity to get to were it is today, that’s far more than what we now know as history that has been recorded. But we can test out ancestors and find small mutations and differences with peoples today.
Varsha Singh (3 months ago)
"It may absorb light but, it certainly does not reflect the character!" 👏👍
spuspu Absher (3 months ago)
is it ok if a cop watches this?
Kalyani Waghmare (3 months ago)
Thanks for the last line.... ✋
YouTube Channel (3 months ago)
Amazing ending!!
Faïsel El Katbani (3 months ago)
As a baby and toddler I was white Now im 16 years old and im light brown
Hestius Pan (3 months ago)
That ending thow...TRIGGERED!
AA Productions (3 months ago)
4:34 - What? That's got nothing to do with the topic! Why would you even say that? No one said it "reflects character"! Why would anyone even think that? That line was just so random.
Bea Rose (3 months ago)
Well each race has their benefits
wonder Fm (3 months ago)
"but it certainly doesn't reflect character.."🌱💐
caddo man (3 months ago)
It has also been found that the food we eat effects our skin tone. I love Ted-Ed!
Gabrielt Augusto (3 months ago)
👏👏👏
rahmat tubagus (3 months ago)
I love how video's ending :)
Laura Reis (3 months ago)
This should be shown in all schools for kids. It's comprehensive information and the animation is nice.
MmM ZZzzzp (3 months ago)
I like white skin to tan
VW Ht (4 months ago)
Why don't you mention racial differences of IQ and testosterone level?
VW Ht (2 months ago)
+Perighesade Ednockelwal Then what would be racial differences?
Perighesade Ednockelwal (2 months ago)
Those wouldn't even be racial differences. None of its true. If anything maybe a cultural and historical difference
Rice (3 months ago)
"It may absorb light but it certainly does not affect character."
Nesiannn Blue (4 months ago)
Thanks for the awesome vid! I appreciate it
Growthucator Carter (4 months ago)
This video speaks as though people had light skin, it became dark, then through migration it lightened again. Is this accurate?
Growthucator Carter (2 months ago)
Thank you for the response. Where can I go to read more about this?
Pan-European Nationalist (2 months ago)
Growthucator Carter yes, the earliest primates humanity evolved from had light skin and this changed when they began walking the plains and lost the protections of trees from the equator’s rainforests and exposed them to the direct sunlight of the equator which triggered the adaptation. Dark skin requires and external source to trigger this, it doesn’t just occur from nowhere.
Mauricio Alvarez (4 months ago)
Why are there brown skinned Inuit populations?
Lex Luther (4 months ago)
just know jesus wasnt white
雪光 (4 months ago)
"It may absorb light but it certainly does not affect character." here's to all the freaking racists out there. yall should keep tabs on how many times you've discriminate ppl by their skin color. bc that's a no no. how can we achieve world peace if racists keep on discriminating😠
Weird Videos (4 months ago)
As seeing and researching skin colours of countries. You see the more the country weather hot is the more their skin colour darker is. So this science discovery can be understood by exploring global map. India, Africa, brazil and spain colour are darker cause these lands get more sun light. Russia germany canada, mangolia, sweden are lighter cause they get just little sun light due to their wether. People living in Warm weather likes white skin and people living in cold weather likes dark skin. Human tries to get what they have not. To make them complete
Weird Videos (2 months ago)
+Pan-European Nationalist I have not been to Spain or Brazil but I have seen them in media. Offcourse most of Brazilian and spainian are white, but I meant from darker skin that they look brunette. Indian are also white racially, but when you compare them to a German you see the difference. At all I don't say who is better cuase some poeple like lighter skin and some like darker.
Pan-European Nationalist (2 months ago)
Weird Videos I don’t think you have been to Spain or Brazil, because Brazil is a large key mixed race nation by Africans and Europeans, however most of the population is white, also on Spain, they are white, the primary difference between southern and Northern Europeans is that Southern Europeans are more prone to tanning instead of burning and they have darker hair colours on average.
Mayan Chesna Narciso (4 months ago)
'It may absorb light, but it certainly does not reflect character.' Great way of ending the video :D more people need to realize this. Thank you for making such quality videos Ted-Ed!
Iceypumpkin head (4 months ago)
Skin Colors: Dark Brown = Dark Chocolate Brown = Chocolate White = Vanilla :)
uriituw (4 months ago)
Skin color reflects character.
Ajonye (4 months ago)
uriituw you’re welcome, I figured you needed to know that.
uriituw (4 months ago)
Ajonye Thanks for clarifying, Einstein.
Ajonye (4 months ago)
No it doesnt
Seriously? Skin colour does not reflect character? Ruined the whole video with that preachy ending. I thought teded was better then this
Ainsley Illium (4 months ago)
All racists come and watch this!!!!
Briana Clark (4 months ago)
"It began some 50 thousand years ago" (lol.)
Fredrik (4 months ago)
So to conclude this. The gingers are the "other" race?
家毅陈 (4 months ago)
Only one race in this world, all the variation are due to the intensity of light and certain conditions.
家毅陈 (4 months ago)
Ajonye Evolution from the past.
Ajonye (4 months ago)
Humans are not a race, they are a species
Taehyung_Biased (4 months ago)
Mine takes hours to tan :/
Crystal Angel (4 months ago)
In my room I see my skin color is white at the outside it gets darker and it keeps doing it
Georgie Porgie (4 months ago)
" for light skin people, that extra melanin darkens their skin and produces a tan " Me; OH DOES IT NOW?!
I bet 99% of the people who disliked the video don't want to know there from Africa
Tegan Oxley (4 months ago)
This video is half redundant to me because I have ocular albinism:( I'm a ginger though so I'm fine with it :)
Ayam Mee (4 months ago)
Does anyone know how to untan skin? My body looks weird since it's a mix of white and reddish brown (due to long exposure of the sun).
Kimberly York (4 months ago)
skin does not lighten; there is no evolution. Dark skin is determined by your GENES. The intermixing with the Neandertal creatures caused the skin to go pale.

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