In nature, there is the phenomenon of albinism. The word itself came from the Latin “albus”, which means “white”. The disease is congenital and is accompanied by a lack of melanin pigment. As a result, the skin, hair, iris of the eye get an unusual color. Such people are called “white ravens” and quite justifiably. Albinos stand out from the crowd and attract attention. For some it’s a curse, but for someone it’s an advantage. But albinos are just another part of our multi-faceted life. In any case, this question is interesting, requiring a special relationship. After all, many facts on the subject of albinism are simply unknown to many.
Statistics of albinism.
Numbers tell us amazing things about this phenomenon. It turns out that it is not so rare. In European countries albino is one of twenty thousand people. More often, such deviations occur in the Negroid race. When the scientists conducted a survey of 14,292 Nigerian children, five albinos were found among them at once. Thus the proportion is about one to three thousand. And among the Indians of Panama living on the coast of the San Blas Bay, the frequency is generally amazing – 1 case for 132 people. In the world scale, albinos are 1% of people, which in absolute terms is not small. Geneticists have proved by their studies that the gene of albinism in humans is not at all a rarity. Simply, it is in a recessive position and is not active. The hidden gene carrier is every seventy people.
Health of albinos.
The absence of a pigment is explained by the complete or partial blockade of the tyrosinase enzyme. It is needed for the production of melatonin, which is responsible for the color of the tissues. But that’s why such a failure occurs – it’s unclear. Depigmentation can be of two types – primary and secondary. In the first case, it is a congenital disorder, and in the second case, it is about the acquired disorder, which sometimes means not complete but partial depigmentation. So for those who like the appearance of albinos, you can try to change your appearance. Lightening of the skin can occur with the help of solar radiation, and the hair can be whitened with ordinary peroxide. But the full, or total albinism, is a rather difficult case for a person. In fact then pigmentation is absent in general. As a result, a person suffers all his life from the fear of light, his eyes get sick. This is manifested in low visual acuity, strabismus, cataracts. The skin becomes dry and sensitive, quickly and easily reacting to burns. Incomplete albinism is completely solved with the help of cosmetics. In this case, white spots may appear on the skin, gray hair appears in the hair, and the eyelashes become colorless. It is still easier for such albinos, because their health is partially affected. A failure in the body often entails serious pathologies in the structure of tissues and organs. That is why embryos-albinos often do not survive until the birth, dying even in the early stages of development. Those who managed to survive have to endure a lot of inconveniences and limitations in their lives.
Children of the Moon.
Throughout history, albinos have always attracted attention, they have been shown in circuses as a curiosity. But in small ethnic groups this phenomenon was quite common because of frequent marriages of relatives. At once in 700 families with a rich pedigree people with such diseases were noted. The centers of albinism were found in Northern Ireland. And in Southern Panama in the Caribe-kun tribe scientists have discovered hundreds of albinos. The hot tropical sun had a bad effect on their well-being, so they had to lead a nocturnal life. So the aborigines were nicknamed “The Children of the Moon”. And in cases of partial albinism, when the skin was covered with light spots, it was compared to the skin of pedigree horses.
Legends of vampires.
The albinos look unusual, their behavior seems strange too. So their connection with vampires seems to many to be natural. One hundred years ago, albinos were generally chased, and others were worshiped by them.Around unusual people, legends and superstitions began to take shape, which was caused by an external resemblance to vampires. It was believed that the eyes of these people are not without reason red, as if they were shining. In fact, most spotted albinos have a grayish or light blue eye color. Red, if present, is due to poorly colored pigment of the iris of the eye. She misses the rays of the sun. The same, reflecting from the retina penetrated by the blood vessels, create a classic reddish shade. So there were “rabbit eyes”. Albinos usually do not tolerate direct sunlight, risking getting burned or getting cancer. For ordinary people, this appearance and behavior look suspicious. But at the present time, subject to the use of protective clothing and glasses, albinos are not much different from others.
Hunting for albinos.
Albinos are constantly under threat because of superstitions prevailing among the people. On such people, even purposefully hunted, giving parts of the body to fans of black magic. And someone believes that because of albino people are sick near them. In developed countries, such a relationship is no longer met. It seems, even on the black market, not to find parts of the body of albinos. But in more backward countries, the hands and feet of “snow-white” people can become talismans, while others, their parts of the body, are believed to have magical properties. As a result, hunting for albinos becomes very profitable. In Tanzania, the finiteness of such a person is roughly comparable to forty average annual incomes. The cost of the talisman according to the local press can reach 75 thousand dollars. And although the police catch fanatics, the danger for albinos has not been eradicated.
Nowadays, albino people are increasingly becoming objects of mass culture. Indeed, thanks to this gift of nature, they are originally expressive and unusual. Why not use it as a pass to the world of show business and fashion? The first albino model appeared, it became the Chinese Connie Chiu. Not embarrassed designers and her slight strabismus. And she began her career at the age of 25, and not a model, but in reality shows. There the Chinese woman managed to attract attention. Two more albino models are African-American. It’s about Diandra Forrest and Shone Ross. The latter in general became the first male albino, who became a model-professional. Both children were attacked by their peers, who rewarded unusual children with insulting nicknames. But fate rewarded albinos for their patience. And Stephen Thompson managed to become the face of the brand “Givenchy”. He also did not intend to become a model, considering his vocation as music. Now Stephen’s photographs are decorated with magazine covers. There are their own albino models in Russia, one can even mention Anastasia Kumarov.
Associations of albinos.
These people are so rare and unique that they try to find their own kind and get close to them. If there are alliances of red, bald in the world, so why not appear the Union of colorless? They discuss issues related to the attitude of society to albinos. A minority is fighting against persecution and for a normal situation. And in the world there are more and more organizations that defend the rights of albinos. So, in Malawi, it took two years for these people to register their own organization. Discrimination arises from overly light skin, which is so unlike the ordinary. The activists in the association are trying to draw attention to their own problems of the state. Albinos tend to harmoniously adapt to society, because they are the same as others, people. The most active representatives of African albino societies are working on the creation of a whole network of clinics. Adults could get there and medical help and advice on the education of unusual children. Similar clinics have been established in Tanzania.Having united, albinos gradually, step by step, force respect for their problems.
Medicines for albinos.
Often people with genetic abnormalities die before others. But in the case of albinism this is not observed. The disease does not affect the growth of children and their intellectual development, the work of internal organs does not worsen. Previously, albinism was associated with mental retardation, but this is most likely just a coincidence. True, there are some health problems. Speech is about the violation of vision, increased photosensitivity of the skin, predisposition to skin cancer, poor blood clotting (which is why hematomas are easily formed and bleeding is formed). But you can cope with all this. The main weapon – light and sunscreen means, special glasses. A strabismus can be completely corrected with the help of a surgeon. That’s only if in the retina and the nerves of the eyes develop pathological changes, then they can not be fixed. The lack of vitamin D, which the body usually receives with sunlight, can be filled at the expense of special vitamins. And the “antidote” against albinism was never found. Modern scientists are only now experimenting with the correction of the damaged site of the gene and replacing it with normal. But these operations are not carried out in public yet. Usually genes interact with each other, thoughtless change of them can harm the whole chain.
It turns out that albinism also occurs in the animal kingdom. Such creatures are very attractive to humans, but in nature they suffer from this a lot. If the skin of the animal is allocated among the relatives, then it will be much more difficult to hide from the predator. Yes, and the hunter-albino will be seen from afar, which will make it more difficult to pursue the game. Female prefers bright, not monotonous males, which makes reproduction of albinos difficult. Animals have a phenomenon opposite to albinism – melanism. In this case, we are talking about an overestimated level of dark pigment. But it’s still not as conspicuous as a wool with dark spots.
Alibinos in the anime.
Unusual appearance of people is reflected in cartoons, especially albinos “in demand” in the anime. There the heroes either have unusual properties from the very beginning, or they acquire them in the course of the narrative. The roles of albinos in anime differ little from those that formed superstitions: vampires, sick people and even the personification of a rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. In any case, these characters are surrounded by a secret, they know some secrets. Images are in the center of attention. Fans of anime can easily remember the idol-albinos. That’s only in real life, such people are constantly faced with problems that the creators of cartoons prefer not to talk about.