What Is an Albino?

A person whose body cannot produce pigment, or coloring matter, in its organs is called an albino. Albinism is most easily recognized in the skin, hair, and eyes. True albinos have very pale white skin, white hair, and pink eyes. An albino’s eyes show up as pink because the tiny red blood vessels in the iris, or colored part of the eye, show through. In normal people, the colored iris hides this pinkness.

Albinism is usually inherited from one’s parents, but it can also be caused by a change in the genes, the tiny chemical particles that carry traits from parents to children.
Albinism can occur in animals too. White mice and white rabbits with pink eyes are true albinos. White gorillas and some white horses are albinos too.

The San Blas Indians, who live on islands off the coast of Panama in Central America, have the highest proportion of albino births in the world, 7 out of every 1,000 births. This has created the myth of a tribe of “White Indians”!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

7 thoughts on “What Is an Albino?”

  1. ‘true’ albinos do not always have pink eyes. and their are any different kinds of albinism, some of which only affect the eyes. Albinos have pale blue or slate grey eyes usually. Also, Albinos need a gene from BOTH parents to inherit the disorder, seeing as the gene for albinism is recessive, meaning a person would need two copies of the gene (one from each parent.) Once again, pink eyes is not a characteristic of a ‘true’ albino, in fact, pink eyes are less common in albinos than blue, hazel, or slate grey eyes.

  2. Well i am albino and you are wrong not albinos have pink eyes. i am albino and i have blue eyes. and i have some pigment that i can have a little bit of a tan on me. but albinos tend to burn in the sun because of the less pigment. and yes you are right you must have a gene from BOTH parents to receive it. Just ask me a True albino person here.

  3. yes you are very right i am an albino an i do not have pink eyes i have hazel eyes but the thing i don’t understand is i am the only albino in my whole family my perants arn’t albinos so why am i ?

  4. you dont need a gene from BOTH parents. you only need the dominant gene. so if the male in the family has the albino gene, chances are that you will get it.

  5. ok first off when you say really people get a life maybe you should think about that before you post something saying that at 8:08 in the MORNING. and second the dominant gene doesn’t evolve around just males so please go back to science class

  6. My grand daughters father is albino and is very white with white hair and with red colored eyes that jolt back and forth from left to right. Naturally she GD is mixed mother white and father black / albino I honestly thought she would have some effects of the her father. And she is about to celebrate her 5th birthday. She has the most beautiful colored brown eyes and moa colored skin, You would never no that she is Redds daughter by looking at her she does resemble him in facial features but no albinoism. :-)

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