Thursday, December 06, 2007

Strange Maps: The geography of blondness

Strange Maps also provided us webcrawlers recently with a link to a site, Eupedia, which includes a series of maps meant to orient the reader to some interesting features of European society. They are not all of the same quality. The map of "traditional religious majorities by region in Europe" really offends my sense of reality (see Kaliningrad). But it's still good fun.

The map above, called "The Percentage of Light Hair in Europe" is particularly neat, though I have no idea whether it has any validity. My vast background in human genetics (I have human genes, and they go back a long way!) allows me to say that this map suggests a shocking fact: a freak mutation that occurred on the shores of the Gulf of Bothnia has produced a weird looking bunch of people who have managed to convince much of the rest of humanity to bleach their hair to "fit in."

Madonna may be the current leader of this propaganda effort.

Full disclosure: In some countries I would be called blond, and my hair is lighter than most.

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