Crazy Eye Colors

Crazy Eye Colors

July 27, 2020

What color are your eyes? Are they brown, blue, or some other color? The crazy thing is, some people have two different color eyes. This is called “heterochroma iridum” (which means “more than one color of the iris”). Only between 6 and 11 people out of every 1,000 have this. But it happens a lot more among our furry friends. White cats, who are also called odd-eyed cats, always have one eye that’s blue, because they always start with two blue eyes when they’re born. Then one eye changes to copper, orange, yellow, or green in a few months. Among dogs, many huskies have different-colored eyes, always one blue, one brown. And two-color-eye horses always have one brown eye, while the other is blue, gray or white. The funny thing is, since animals don’t use mirrors, they don’t even know they have two colors!

Wee ones: If you have 2 blue eyes and your cat has 1 blue eye, how many blue eyes do you have together?

Little kids: If your dogsled is being pulled by 6 odd-eyed huskies, how many blue eyes do they have all together?  Bonus: How many eyes do they have in total?

Big kids: If the stable has 18 horses and half have 2 brown eyes while the rest have just 1 brown eye, how many brown eyes do they have?  Bonus: Only 1/20 of all cats are white, and only about 1/2 of those are odd-eyed. So out of 80 cats, how many of them should be white cats with different colored eyes?




Wee ones: 3 blue eyes.

Little kids: 6 blue eyes, since huskies always have 1 blue eye.  Bonus: 12 eyes.

Big kids: 27 brown eyes, since 9 of the horses have 2 brown eyes, 9 have just 1.  Bonus: Just 2, since only 4 of the 80 are white to begin with.

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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