Genetics determine so much about us as people, from the color of our eyes to the size of our noses to how short or tall we end up. That explains why we’re all so diverse in a number of ways, thanks to these the tiny codes and directives that determine who we become. But blonde, brunette, jet black, or ginger, we’re all pretty much alike on the inside, right?

Surprisingly enough, no — gingers are actually the result of a genetic mutation on the MC1R gene, according to the National Institutes of Health. That explains why being a redhead is so hard to fake, given that it’s written into our DNA on the genetic level. Also, you can now enjoy being able to call your redheaded friends mutants — because they are!

Because of the mutation, redheads have less of the dark pigment (eumelanin) and more of the red pigment (pheomelanin) that dictate the shades and hues of our hair and skin. The result is fairer skin, redder hair, and paler eyes than the average person, and, of course, more of those trademark ginger freckles.

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