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Meet The Southeast Sulawesi Tribe With Piercing Blue Eyes Resulting From Rare Genetic Disorder

Photo: @geo.rock888

Culture

Meet The Southeast Sulawesi Tribe With Piercing Blue Eyes Resulting From Rare Genetic Disorder

A tribe in Indonesia has gone viral on social media after some of its members were photographed highlighting their bright blue eyes.

The Buton tribe, inhabitants of the island of Buton in Southeast Sulawesi, developed characteristic blue eyes as a result of a rare genetic disorder called Waardenburg syndrome.

Buton
Image via @geo.rock888

It is said that not all Butonese have the condition, which may or may not be inherited, according to the National Library of Medicine.

Buton
Image via @geo.rock888

Waardenburg syndrome causes hearing loss and changes in pigmentation of the hair, skin and eyes, often leaving those affected with very pale blue eyes or different colored eyes (such as one blue eye and one brown eye).

Buton
Image via @geo.rock888

In the case of the tribe’s unique members, electric blue eyes stand out as seen in images recently taken by Korchnoi Pasaribu (@geo.rock888).

Image via @geo.rock888

Pasaribu, a geologist by profession, enjoys photography in his free time. He started the hobby at age 14.

Image via @geo.rock888

“They are very friendly, very welcoming. They are not shy to be photographed,” Pasaribu told NextShark of the Buton tribe.

Image via @geo.rock888

The exact history of how Waardenburg syndrome developed in the tribe is unclear. According to estimates, the condition affects one in 40,000 people.

Image via @geo.rock888
Image via @geo.rock888
Image via @geo.rock888
Image via @geo.rock888
Image via @geo.rock888
Image via @geo.rock888

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