A Rare Disease has Given this Tribe Bright Blue Eyes

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Blue eyes have always been a symbol of unique beauty. But in a country like Indonesia, blue eyes are not natural. The majority population of the country has black hair and black eyes. However, some members of a local tribe in Indonesia have glowing Blue eyes.
These eyes are the cause of pain instead of beauty for these tribes. The colour of their eyes changed because of a rare disease.


Waardenburg syndrome is a disease that results in loss of hearing, and change in colour in different body parts. The condition is infrequent. It occurs in about one in 42000 people. The disease is caused by changes in several genes that affect the operation of neural crest cells in foetal development. In the case of the Waardenburg syndrome, both or either one of the eyes can turn bright blue.

Wallenberg syndrome has its effect specifically in ethnic groups where the characteristic of Blue eyes is scarce. The changes in the eye colour are evident in the photographs by Indonesian geologist and amateur photographer Korchanoi Pasaribu.


The Buton tribe is located on the island of Buton in the Sulawesi region of Indonesia. A few people of this tribe suffer from Waardenburg syndrome, and one or both their eyes have turned bright blue.


Pasaribu visited Buton Island last month. He took some pictures of tribal people with surprisingly bright Blue eyes. Pasaribu posted photos on Instagram, and the images are going viral. People are sharing photos of the people of Buton Island.

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