Members of Indigenous Indonesian Tribe Have Electric Blue Eyes



Blue eyes are a rare sight in Indonesia, a country where the vast majority of the population has dark hair and dark eyes. However, some members of an indigenous tribe have the most stunning blue eyes because of a rare condition known as Waardenburg Syndrome. Believed to affect about 1 in 42,000 people, Waardenburg Syndrome is characterized by some degree of hearing loss and pigmentation deficiencies, which can include bright blue eyes, or one blue and one brown eye. Buton Island is home to the indigenous Buton people, whose tribe has the most people with Waardenburg Syndrome in the world. Descriptions of the syndrome date back to at least the first half of the 20th century, however it's named after Dutch ophthalmologist and geneticist Petrus Johannes Waardenburg, who described it in 1951. There is currently no treatment or cure for Waardenburg syndrome. Waardenburg Syndrome 2 has also been found in deaf white cats.