Mysteries/Unexplained

Red-haired people have these genetic superpowers, say scientists

Redheads have different genes from the rest of the world.

Red haired children are quite often singled out, and this petty bullying can continue well into adulthood.

All of this is part of a deeply enduring prejudice that has existed for centuries against redheads who have often found themselves accused of being something strange or perhaps even sinister because of the color of their hair. Now it transpires that the genetics of red-haired people are not only unusual because of the rare pigmentation of their hair. In fact, they are different from the rest of the world’s population in some other ways.

Red hair is most commonly associated with Scottish and Irish heritage meaning that the ancestors of redheads today most likely lived in cold regions which do not get a great deal of sun. This has led to people with ginger hair also having pale skin and inadequate protection against the sun which means that they are more vulnerable to skin cancer than most people.

They Produce Their Own Vitamin D

However, there is an incredible advantage to this genetic heritage. Red haired people are unique in that they can create their own vitamin D without exposure to the sun meaning that they are less at risk from diseases associated with a lack of vitamin such as rickets.

Perhaps more strangely given the providence of red hair in regions of cold weather, scientists believe that the MC1R gene which detects changes in temperature is much more keenly attuned in redheads than the majority of the population. This means that natural redheads feel the cold and the heat much more acutely than others.

They Need More Anesthesia Than Other People And Have A Higher Pain Threshold

Less explicable is the discovery by a number of investigations which have found that redheads are more robust than the general population. Not only can people with red hair cope with more pain, whether through electric shocks or stabbing sharp pains than the rest of the population, but they also require around 20% more anesthetic to truly knock them out.

They smell better

Another old legend about red-haired people is that they simply smell better than everyone else. Since the nineteenth century, it has been commented upon that those with red hair give off a pleasing smell. As it happens, the skin of red-haired people tends to be more acidic than the average which results in fragrance being broken down in such a way as to produce a stronger smell.

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