6 Rare and Unique Eye Colors

Updated on April 10, 2019
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My name is Tatiana, but my friends and family call me Tutta. I love writing articles about what makes each of us unique and rare.

Close up of a hazel eye, which are more rare than you might think.
Close up of a hazel eye, which are more rare than you might think. | Source

The eyes certainly are windows to the soul, and if you know anything about eyes or windows, you know they come in many different tints and colors!

Most commonly, you see brown or blue eyes when you look at the people around you, but some people wind up with really cool and rare eye colors. Here are some of the rarest eye colors and how they happen.

What Determines the Color of Your Eyes?

Many people will argue that the color of your eyes is purely genetic, which for the most part is true. However, there’s still not a lot known about the specific genes that determine a person’s eye color. We do know that rarer eye color genes are recessive, so perhaps it’s just a matter of the right genes coming together to bring forth the phenomena.

What we do know about eye color determination is that it involves two pigments: melanin (brown pigment), and lipochrome (yellow pigment). It also depends on how the iris scatters light. When you see someone with light-blue eyes, it means there is an absence of melanin or brown pigmentation. Conversely, when you see someone with dark-brown eyes, they have an abundance of melanin.

The Rarest Eye Colors and How They Occur

Eye Color
Cause(s)
Heterochromia
Increased or decreased pigmentation in one iris or part of an iris.
Anisocoria
One pupil is larger than the other making one eye look darker.
Red or Pink
Little to no melanin due to albinism.
Violet
Lack of melanin mixed with light reflecting off of red blood vessels.
Grey
Very little melanin with a high amount of collagen in the stroma.
Green
A little melanin, a large amount of lipochrome, and Rayleigh scattering of light.
Amber
A little melanin with a large amount of lipochrome.
Hazel
Melanin concentrated in the outer portion of the iris causing a multicolored appearance that usually ranges from copper to green depending on the light.

So, Which Is the Most Unique?

It's hard to determine exactly which eye color is the rarest, but if you have never seen any of the ones listed below, it’s because they're not common. This list is from the rarest to the more common, and if your eye color is listed, consider yourself a gem.

While it may seem like only a few people have rare eye colors, the truth is that everyone has a unique color to them, just like fingerprints. No two people share the same shape or color of eyes. So even if you have brown eyes, you're eye color is unique!

Rarest and Most Beautiful Eye Colors in the World

1. Heterochromia and Anisocoria

Heterochromia and anisocoria are sometimes mistaken for each other. Most people think David Bowie had two different eye colors, when in fact, he had anisocoria.

This photo shows heterochromia when one eye is partially a different color, rather than the entire iris being a different color.
This photo shows heterochromia when one eye is partially a different color, rather than the entire iris being a different color. | Source

Heterochromia

Heterochromia is a rare eye condition where a person's irises are different colors. There are three types of heterochromia:

  • Complete Heterochromia: One iris is a completely different color than the other iris.
  • Partial Heterochromia: A spot in an iris is an entirely different color than the rest of the iris due to pigmentation differences.
  • Central Heterochromia: When there is an inner ring that is a different color than the outer area of the iris.

Central heterochromia causes melanin to be  concentrated around the pupil.
Central heterochromia causes melanin to be concentrated around the pupil.

It’s quite an unusual type of eye coloring that some individuals have, and while many people wear contacts to make their eye color more uniform, I think it’s beautiful, and such a rarity should be flaunted!

Anisocoria

Anisocoria is when one pupil is larger than the other pupil. This can make someone look like they have two different eye colors when they do not. Anisocoria can be present at birth, and there is usually only a few millimeters of difference between the two.

Anisocoria can also be a result of nerve palsy or a traumatic eye injury. This can cause a much more significant difference in pupil size making the eye with the dilated pupil look much darker than the eye with the normal pupil.

This is an example of anisocoria in green eyes!  Talk about rare!
This is an example of anisocoria in green eyes! Talk about rare! | Source

2. Red, Pink, and Violet Eyes

Red or Pink Eyes

Two major conditions cause a red or pinkish eye color: albinism and blood leaking into the iris. Although albinos tend to have very, very light blue eyes due to a lack of pigment, some forms of albinism can cause eyes to appear red or pink.

Albino eyes look can look red or pink due to the lack of pigment in the iris.
Albino eyes look can look red or pink due to the lack of pigment in the iris. | Source

Violet Eyes

Oh, what a purplish blue! This color is most often found in people with albinism. It is said that you cannot truly have violet eyes without albinism. Mix a lack of pigment with the red from light reflecting off of blood vessels in the eyes, and you get a beautiful violet!

3. Grey Eyes

Grey eyes can sometimes be mistaken for light blue eyes, and they do occur in much the same way. It is thought that what makes these eyes appear grey rather than blue has to do with the amount of collagen present in the stroma. This interferes with the Rayleigh scattering, causing the light to reflect the color grey rather than blue.

Grey eyes have more collagen in the stroma than blue eyes, which changes the way light scatters and reflects grey rather than blue.
Grey eyes have more collagen in the stroma than blue eyes, which changes the way light scatters and reflects grey rather than blue.

4. Green Eyes

Very little melanin, a burst of lipochrome, and the Rayleigh scattering of light that reflects off the yellow stroma can make for a variety of shades of green. With only two percent of the world’s population having green eyes, it’s definitely rare!

Green eyes are beautiful and unique.
Green eyes are beautiful and unique. | Source

Did You Know?

Only 2% of the world's population has green eyes! Talk about a rarity! Next time you see someone rocking natural greens, let them in on this cool fact.

5. Amber Eyes

This beautiful, golden eye color is often confused with hazel. The difference is that hazel eyes have brown and green in them, while amber eyes are a solid, uniform color. With a little melanin and a whole lot of lipochrome, eyes of this shade almost appear to be glowing! A few different animals have this eye color, but it’s a true rarity in humans.

Very light brown or amber colored eye.
Very light brown or amber colored eye. | Source

6. Hazel Eyes

While hazel eyes may seem fairly common, you probably know someone with hazel eyes, they only account for about 5% of the world's population. Hazel eyes have a concentration of melanin on the outside of the iris, giving the eye a multicolored appearance.

Are There Really Black Eyes?

Some people think that having black eyes is one of the rarest eye colors. Have you ever seen someone with eyes that seem black as night? Although they appear black, they are really just a very, very dark brown, which is caused by an abundance of melanin. You may only be able to determine the pupil from the iris when looking at the eye with a bright light!

True black eyes do not exist, rather there are brown eyes so dark that it is hard to distinguish between the pupil and the iris in regular light.
True black eyes do not exist, rather there are brown eyes so dark that it is hard to distinguish between the pupil and the iris in regular light. | Source

Eye Color Statistics From Most Common to Most Rare

Rank
Eye Color
Estimated Percentage of World Population
Most Common Regions of the World
1
Brown
55%–79%
Dark Brown: East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Lighter Brown: Europe, West Asia, and the Americas.
2
Blue
8%–10%
Europe with the largest population being from Finland.
3
Hazel
5%
All
4
Amber
5%
All
5
Green
2%
Central, Western, and Northern Europe.
6
Grey
<1%
Northern and Eastern Europe.
7
Red/Violet
<1%
All
8
Heterochromia
<1%
All
Source: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/which-eye-color-is-the-most-common-in-the-world.html

Rarest Hair and Eye Color Combinations

Although there is a lack of research, many sources claim that the rarest hair and eye color combination is blue eyes with red hair.

Did We All Have Brown Eyes?

It is believed that the human race started out having brown eyes, and due to genetic mutations, other colors came about. Perhaps this is why brown is the most common (but no less beautiful)!

Many people who have perfect vision choose to wear contacts just to have a rare eye color. So if you already flaunt one of these colors naturally, consider yourself lucky!

Originally, we all had brown eyes. But a genetic mutation affecting the OCA2 gene in our chromosomes resulted in the creation of a 'switch,' which literally 'turned off' the ability to produce brown eyes.

— Professor Hans Eiberg, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Copenhagen

This May Look Like Partial Heterochromia at First Glance

This is melanoma of the eye, not heterochromia.
This is melanoma of the eye, not heterochromia. | Source

Is It Melanoma?

If you have any of these symptoms, check with your doctor as soon as possible.

  • A sensation of flashes or specks of dust in your vision (floaters).
  • A growing dark spot on the iris.
  • A change in the shape of the dark circle (pupil) at the center of your eye.
  • Poor or blurry vision in one eye.
  • A loss of peripheral vision.

Can You Permanently Change Your Eye Color?

There is a way to make your brown eyes blue. A controversial laser surgery can remove the melanin in your eye, resulting in a clearer stroma that allows Rayleigh scattering, so your eyes look blue. Some doctor’s use silicone implants to permanently change eye color. Either way, there are significant risks involved.

There are risks with this permanent change, as there are with most surgeries. One risk is the melanin can potentially cause blockages to the fluid draining from the eye causing excess pressure, or glaucoma. A silicone implant can also create a blockage and increased pressure in the eye causing inflammation and damage to the structures of the eye. Patient’s have been rendered wholly or partially blind as a result of these surgeries.

Doctor’s have reported that many people who want to change their eye color had a friend or sibling who was constantly complimented on their light eye color. In those cases, doctor’s suggest confronting those feelings through therapy rather than undergoing risky surgery.

If you want to change your eye color, your best and safest bet is to be fitted for color contacts by a licensed Ophthalmologist.

Glossary

  • Melanin: A dark brown to black pigment in hair, skin, and the iris of the eye in people and animals.
  • Lipochrome: A fat-soluble pigment that is the natural yellow coloring of butter, egg, yolk, and yellow corn.
  • Rayleigh Scattering: The scattering of light without a change of wavelength. This is what makes the sky look blue, since blue light is scattered more easily than red.

10 Things You Didn't Know About Your Eyes

Comments

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    • profile image

      Jan G 

      37 hours ago

      I have yellow green eyes, the colour of cats eyes

    • profile image

      me 

      39 hours ago

      I have heterochicrema one eye is green and the other is grey or silver

    • profile image

      Sarah langford 

      3 days ago

      I have very green eyes. They charge colour constantly. They are emerald green

    • profile image

      Jolie 

      3 days ago

      My eyes share three colors, I have what I believe to be central Heterochromia, I have a hazel color closest to my pupil and green on the outer area, and a very thin line of grey circuling my whole iris.

    • profile image

      Neisha 

      5 days ago

      I wish I had blue but brown their so pretty when you get your in the sunlight

    • profile image

      Nonna yo beeswax 

      6 days ago

      I have hazel eyes, but the inner ring is black then it becomes a mix between brown and mostly green. They look weird

    • profile image

      ... 

      7 days ago

      I have a dark green/blue (it looks black when I look in the mirror) ring around the outside of my iris, but my eye color is Hazel. I don't know if I have Central Heterochromia but the center of my iris is an amber-ish color. My family says I have very beautiful eyes, I don't think I do, I prefer green eyes or people who have Complete Heterochromia.

    • profile image

      Ashee 

      10 days ago

      I have grey eyes with yellow around my pupils (central heterochromia). Didn't know my eyes were so cool lmao.

    • profile image

      Rose 

      12 days ago

      I'm always told I have brown eyes but when you look close up in a brighter light, My left eye has a part on the outside of my iris (not touching the pupil) were its blue with some yellow flecks and my right eye has a greenish-blue color to the right in the middle of my iris (not touching the pupil or the edge near the sclera.

    • profile image

      Quinn 

      13 days ago

      My eyes are sea green, with a bluish-green ring at edge, and a touch of yellow around the pupil. When I see people with fake green contacts, I laugh and say why?

    • profile image

      Erreur 

      13 days ago

      Report Unburied Cables, Exposed Wires, or Downed Lines - Home phone Support

    • profile image

      Rarest_eyes_ever 

      2 weeks ago

      I have violet eyes

    • profile image

      Abhi 

      2 weeks ago

      I had light brown eyes as a child, which then a few years later looked like amber, it then became hazel (central heterochromia) with light brown closer to the iris and green at the outer rings. I read somewhere people with hazel eyes must have both parents with hazel eyes or europen ancestry. Is that true?

    • profile image

      Scott 

      2 weeks ago

      My natural pigmentation is turquoise but my eyes can change from green to blue to "black" to brown to hazel to amber and then back to turquoise. My dad is the same . So how hare is turquoise and how rare is my eye changing colour like that? I was born in Cavan in Ireland and my dad is from Dublin

    • profile image

      Lori A Spurgeon 

      2 weeks ago

      I have light green or gray eyes with brown flecks. The color changes. Some say I have green eyes or hazel eyes. Ive traced my family history to the northern border of England on both sides of my moms family.

    • profile image

      Random 

      2 weeks ago

      People are saying the rarest is green when the rarest is grey because 1% of the world have it while 2% of the world have green eyes

    • profile image

      Don't ask 

      2 weeks ago

      Cool there's nothing special bout mine

    • profile image

      Kinza 

      2 weeks ago

      I have central hetrochromia of green and brown color

    • profile image

      Ellie 

      3 weeks ago

      I have green eyes but there’s a little bit of brown in the middle some people say my eyes are green and some say there hazel

    • profile image

      Sindhu Chakraborty 

      3 weeks ago

      I have Blue with a tinch of brown in the left eye and black with a tinch of blue in the right eye. What is called? is this something rare or special ?

    • profile image

      Tyne 

      3 weeks ago

      I have no clue what my eye colour is. Some say greyish some just say blue but i kinda think their smokey blue?.. is that even an eye colour?

    • profile image

      Brenna 

      3 weeks ago

      My friend has the one with one blue eye and one violet. She also has albilsim

    • profile image

      i eat poo i drink pee i breathe fart 

      3 weeks ago

      I have green eyes with a dark blue tint on the outside edges and people always say they can look into my eyes and see themselves get swallowed up

    • profile image

      Justin 

      3 weeks ago

      I have green eyes with a dark blue tint on the outside edges and people always say they can look into my eyes and see themselves get swallowed up

    • profile image

      Sophie 

      3 weeks ago

      I have grey eyes in the middle and then they have light blue as a ring

    • profile image

      Andrei 

      3 weeks ago

      Talking about violet eyes... There was a single person in this world that hat those kind of eyes, that person was Elizabeth Taylor, a really good actor.

    • profile image

      Ivyz 

      3 weeks ago

      My daughter has blue eyes but there's something special about her eyes i've never seen before she has Center heterochromia in both of her eyes they both are blue with a really light blue or gray ring around her pupils they've been that way since birth

    • profile image

      Gill 

      4 weeks ago

      I have Hazel

    • profile image

      Kaci 

      4 weeks ago

      I have blue-grey eye's

    • profile image

      Linnie 

      4 weeks ago

      My eyes are grey with yellow around my pupils.

    • profile image

      This_Girl_Is_Being_Hacked (but call me Sonia) 

      4 weeks ago

      My eyes are blue with a green ring around the iris.

    • profile image

      Oliver 

      5 weeks ago

      My eyes are a somewhat dark-ish blue with a green ring around my pupil

    • profile image

      Abraham.Zoey 

      5 weeks ago

      5523 W Campus Cir

    • profile image

      Angelica 

      5 weeks ago

      I have green/graywhite/orange Eyes.

    • profile image

      Amanda 

      5 weeks ago

      I have green and orange eyes but my mom doesn’t believe me.

    • profile image

      Ethan Yang 

      5 weeks ago

      WHAT IS THE RAREST EYE COLOR? Green Eyed People, 156,000,000 or 2% Amber Eyed People: 390,000,000 or 5% Violet, NOT red, 600 people have it or 0.00000076% people have it

    • profile image

      Megan 

      6 weeks ago

      I don’t know what eye colour I have because my dominant colour swiches from a blue-grey//blue-green shade,it’s never a dominant colour unless I but a filter on it and on top of that I’ve got what I think is sectoral+central Heterochromia

    • profile image

      Holo 

      6 weeks ago

      I have grey eyes

    • profile image

      Bria 

      6 weeks ago

      Mine are green!

    • profile image

      Christel 

      6 weeks ago

      I have four colors starts with grey on the out side then blue then green with yellow in the center. But i didnt see any about them.

    • profile image

      ✞✞✞ 

      6 weeks ago

      I dint found my eye color :/

    • profile image

      Kaylee 

      6 weeks ago

      I somehow have eyes that are green, blue, and grey yet I don't have Heterochromia.

    • profile image

      James 

      6 weeks ago

      My eys change from blue,green,grey

    • profile image

      Maggie 

      6 weeks ago

      Luna, you're eyes sound very interesting, and also very beautiful!

    • profile image

      Fancy Poet Girl 

      6 weeks ago

      I have blue eyes with light brown/golden/amber rings around my irises. I never knew why, but now I do. I think I have Central Heterochromia.

    • profile image

      Junisjill 

      7 weeks ago

      I have silverish eyes with a ring of brown in them

    • profile image

      Lis 

      7 weeks ago

      I don’t hv eyes

    • profile image

      D.V. 

      7 weeks ago

      I use to think my eyes were ether blue or green, but apparently their grey.

    • profile image

      Alexandra powers 

      7 weeks ago

      I have medium blue eyes and my dad has hazel green eyes

    • profile image

      Lincoln.Paul 

      7 weeks ago

      6989 Flanders Ave

    • profile image

      Hello 

      7 weeks ago

      I have greenish - grey eyes with a ring of amber (central Heterochromia) and Anisocoria.

      Weird!

    • profile image

      bruh 

      7 weeks ago

      hah i have the most boring brown eyes ever. they don't even have any variation, like a lighter ring or that weird pattern like in the green eyes. everyone else in the comment section who apparently have super cool eye colours.. damn, you're lucky :')

    • profile image

      ... 

      7 weeks ago

      I have Blue Gold Brown eyes

    • profile image

      Dusk Wilson 

      7 weeks ago

      I have Grey eyes

    • profile image

      manahil tahir 

      8 weeks ago

      I have green hazel eyes ...some people say they r gree and some say they r brown but they r hazel☺

    • profile image

      Emaan 

      8 weeks ago

      I have amber hazel eyes that colour change

    • profile image

      me 

      8 weeks ago

      i have amber eyes with heterochromia

    • profile image

      Just a person 

      8 weeks ago

      I have grey eyes-

      Everyone says they're a light blue so i'm actually not sure but they look pretty grey to me-

    • profile image

      Azzy 

      8 weeks ago

      I have I think.. Blue Hazel eyes. Cause they change in different lighting.

    • profile image

      Brooke 

      8 weeks ago

      I have green brown and blue eyes, is that common or?

    • profile image

      Luna 

      8 weeks ago

      I have one purple eye, and one silver eye. Is that weird?

    • profile image

      a loli 

      2 months ago

      when you have dark blue eyes and black eyes mixed

    • profile image

      Sara Moore 

      2 months ago

      I have blue eyes with brown spots

    • profile image

      Anonymous 

      2 months ago

      I have blue eyes with a brown/hazel-ish ring around the pupil. Thats Central Heterochromia right?

    • profile image

      Whitney 

      2 months ago

      I have Amber eyes but they are dark unless in the sun witch get mistake e's for brown or hazel.

    • profile image

      Weird eyed person 

      2 months ago

      Mine are sort of hazel sometimes other time they are blue sometimes they have a little red in them. A couple times I have seen them with almost all the colors of the rainbow, it had red, orange, yellow, green blue. The only thing it was missing was purple and pink! My eyes also change color based on my mood but sometimes they are different colors. What is wrong with my eyes?!?

    • profile image

      Lucy 

      2 months ago

      What if your eye has red oxide in the middle dark yellow browny green then a browny blue

    • profile image

      Dehan 

      2 months ago

      Is it possible to have an entire gray eye color, while the other one is violet/purple??

    • profile image

      Shimmy 

      2 months ago

      my eyes are a dark brown with a hint of dark green around the edges. What would this eye color be called?

    • profile image

      Darby 

      2 months ago

      I have an amber ring around my pupil, then a green ring, then a darker blue ring around the outside

    • profile image

      alyssa 

      2 months ago

      I have grey eyes with a black ring.

    • profile image

      dustin 

      2 months ago

      i have grey eyes but i can see myself in them whne i look in the mirror and others can see themselves to does that mean i have grey mirrored eyes

    • profile image

      tay 

      2 months ago

      I think I have green eyes, but they are blue around the outside and go to green and yellow. I honestly don't know

    • profile image

      dat boy 

      2 months ago

      I have a blue eye color with a amber ring around my pupil.

    • profile image

      Fatima 

      2 months ago

      OMG MY MOM HAS THIS EYE COLOR!

    • profile image

      Kattale 

      2 months ago

      My eyes are an interesting shade of turquoise, with a thin ring of yellow around the pupil. I can't find any name for my colour so... i don't know? I feel they might be unique.

    • profile image

      Happy Camper 

      2 months ago

      My eyes are hazel blue. Brown in the middle and somewhat of a green surrounded by blue on the outer.

    • profile image

      Secrets 

      2 months ago

      My eye color is Hazel, sometimes it'll change to brown but is usually hazel. There's some green, amber, grey, and light brown in it. Is that weird or unique? I think both.

    • profile image

      drashhley@aol.com 

      2 months ago

      My grey eyes sometimes look green, especially when the whites are reddened a bit from allergies

    • profile image

      randomname 

      2 months ago

      i have grey eyes and sometimes they look green

    • profile image

      John 

      2 months ago

      My eyes are a hazel blue, is that rare?

    • profile image

      Yumnam Linthoisana 

      2 months ago

      Unfortunately, people with light-coloured eyes are at greater risk of developing eye-related problems resulting from UV damage such as cataracts, macular degeneration and eye cancer. Melanin is a protective pigment and the melanin in the stroma protects the retina from UV damage. Having less melanin means you need to take greater precautions.

    • profile image

      Anonymous 

      2 months ago

      My eyes are a central heterochromia mix of green, yellow and brown. This makes them appear yellow. Idk but i think this might be rare.

    • profile image

      Kristina Schrader 

      2 months ago

      I didn’t realize hazel is as rare as it is. I’ve struggled all my life trying to figure out if my eyes are hazel or green. When I was younger, they were a few different colors. But all I ever see is olive green (with a hint of gray). They don’t change I don’t think. And they’re mainly one color.

      Anyway. Back to hazel. There are so many variations on hazel that I’m sure you could write a whole other piece on just that.

      Honestly, I skimmed your article (guess I’m just not quite in the mood to read as much right now). None-the-less, it was interesting. Thank you.

    • profile image

      Ayo 

      2 months ago

      My eyes are blue/green with Amber in the middle and the outside is a dark blue rim

    • profile image

      Red hair, dark teal eyes 

      2 months ago

      I have red hair and bluish-green eyes, like teal but darker. If that’s not very rare, I would be suprised.

    • profile image

      Eydie 

      2 months ago

      I have green eyes ,and rh- blood.

      I can use both hands.

      An ambidextrous.

    • profile image

      light is here 

      2 months ago

      I have black eyes

    • profile image

      Veronika 

      2 months ago

      My eye colour is like, a bit green, orange, bright yellow, black edges.

    • profile image

      Faolan River Gift 

      3 months ago

      I am Japanese with no European ancestory. I always write brown for my eye color, but my eyes change color from gray, green, to brown. They look hazel upon close inspection. This trait has been passed down although everyone in my family tree has had kids with black hair dark eye Japanese people. I have seen people in my family with hazel and other strangely light colored eyes. The DNA test confirms that my ancestory is not of European origin.

    • profile image

      hi:) 

      3 months ago

      I have green eyes with central heterochromia (The central area is amber)

    • profile image

      Journee Lynne Butler 

      3 months ago

      Hello i have hazel eyes and im american is there a problem with that and if i lazer eye surgury then will it change my eyes.

    • profile image

      Hi 

      3 months ago

      I have green eyes with either brown or hazel inner rings they change but me and my family haven’t found out why

    • profile image

      Jeffy 

      3 months ago

      I have silver outer rims of my eye and dark green comes down to my pupil but not all the way and then I have hazel around my pupil and blue ish green ish color with a tint of silver

    • profile image

      Hewwo_hoomans 

      3 months ago

      Nobody can figure out my eye colour, so uhmm imma say there a greeny colour i guess

    • profile image

      Bruh 

      3 months ago

      I have eyes that one is grey and the other is green, pretty rare?

    • profile image

      Clair3 

      3 months ago

      I have grey eyes and central heterochromia which makes a green ring around my pupil which II think is pretty coolio

    • profile image

      Cool 

      3 months ago

      I have green eyes with color changing hoops around them

    • profile image

      common eye colour 

      3 months ago

      I have just common blue eyes.

    • profile image

      Charli 

      3 months ago

      My eyes are a hazel color with streeks of very light green with some flecks of brown and blue.

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