Melanism Nature’s Incredible Opposite Of Albinism

Samuel Reason | May 24th, 2018

Most people have heard of Albinism which is the congenital disorder that is known by the complete or partial absence of any skin pigments. The pigments are often lacking in the skin, hair, and eyes. Normally this results in white hair and pink eyes when it comes to mammals. When it comes to animals it can be very deadly as they have no protection to UV light or any form of camouflage to avoid deadly predators.

i.pinimg.com

What is less known and spoken about, due to it only existing in the Animal kingdom and not humans is Melanism. This is when the animal is completely black. The development of the dark-colored pigment melanin in the skin. This can be caused due to a genetic disorder but it is in most cases actually naturally evolved due to adaptation.

For example, the black panther is completely black because his genes adapted to become a better form of survival in their natural habitat and environment. They became fitter to survive longer and melanism enabled them to be better camouflaged.

Adaptive melanism is usually heritable and happens in species like squirrels and many felines. However, sometimes melanism is directly caused due to human pollution. One moth is known to have become completely black solely due to the amount of pollution in the air, meaning by being black the peppered moth was better camouflage.

In humans, the mutation that causes completely dark skin does not actually exist. Remember that melanin is essential to human life allowing us to create vitamin D and live healthy lives. In fact, the amount of melanin in a human has adapted related to the further away they traveled from the equator. This is due to melanin protecting our skin from harmful sunlight, so the further from the equator you live the less you need means you are naturally lighter skinned.

Next Article
  • In 1962 Maryland Declared Jousting Their Official State Sport

    One would have thought that jousting was reserved for a bygone time, the medieval ages. A time of knights, kings, and princesses; all galloping furiously on their noble steeds. Tipped from head to toy in ancient armor, jousting was a sport that was much loved for decades. Of course, as we entered the modern times...

    Read More
  • There Has Only Ever Been One Submarine VS Submarine Fight Ever!

    A famous film that dramatized underwater battle for the whole world to see is, of course, The Hunt For Red October, it portrayed a nerve-racking experience with crews deep under the ocean searching for their enemy with sonar. And though it is true that hunting undersea enemies is, of course,...

    Read More
  • Nuclear Pasta The Strongest Material In The Universe

    If you happen to be in the industry of creating the strongest materials in the universe, then you are in luck. We have the recipe and it only takes three easy steps: Find yourself one dying star and put into your favorite boiling pot, boil it until it goes supernova and explodes. Beware this could...

    Read More
  • Sometimes Little Galaxies Are Actually Cannibals

    Astronomers around the globe have long seen big galaxies like the Milkyway swallow up some of their little brothers and sisters. In fact, the sky is full of cannibals. They swallow up stars that are in their cosmic neighbors, and over time eat up whole galaxies. It seems only natural, that even in space, the...

    Read More
  • A 20 Min Extra Commute Is Worse On The Mind Than A Pay Cut

    A new study into what is seen as most negative when it comes to our daily work routines shows that being told you will need to commute an extra 20 mins to get home is just as bad as being informed about a pay cut. When it comes to job satisfaction it seems that commuting...

    Read More
  • The Oolichan Fish That Can Be Used As A Candle

    Oolichan fish is a type of fish that is so greasy it can actually be burnt and used as a candle. Hence it has the popular nickname the candlefish. The Oolichan is seen as a savior for many North Coast First Nations, the indigenous tribes of the Pacific northwest coast. This is because even though...

    Read More
  • Walt Disney’s Not So Happy Family

    You would think that growing up around animated series and seeing the creation of Disneyland first hand, would ensure that you would become a loving and happy family. In the case of Walt Disney’s grandchildren, this is just not the case, Michelle and her twin brother Brad Lund is far from being the happiest family...

    Read More