The colour of your eyes could determine your achievements in life, say scientists.

They claim those with blue eyes are more likely to sparkle academically than those with brown.

They are more intelligent and gain more qualifications because they study more effectively and perform better in exams.

The discovery might help explain the success of such disparate individuals as Stephen Hawking, Alexander Fleming, Marie Curie, Stephen Fry and Lily Cole.

In reaction time trials conducted by U.S. scientists, the brown-eyed performed better, making them more likely to succeed at activities such as football, hockey and rugby.

But the researchers concluded that those with lighter eyes appeared to be better strategic thinkers.

Blue-eyed boys and girls proved to be more successful in activities that required them to plan and structure their time, such as golf, cross-country running - and studying for exams.

Joanna Rowe, professor emeritus at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, who conducted the tests, said the results suggested a hitherto unexplored link between eye colour and academic achievement.

"It is just observed, rather than explained," she said. "There's no scientific answer yet." Dr Tony Fallone, senior psychology lecturer at the University of Bedfordshire, who has also studied eye colour, believes it should be taken more seriously as an indicator of personality and ability.

Most babies have blue eyes but they usually darken as the pigment melanin builds up in the iris.
Less melanin produces green, grey, or light brown eyes. Eyes with very little melanin appear blue or grey.

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