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Redheads reign in rainy countries

In a major DNA project that aims to explain the "mysteries" of red hair, researchers have claimed that Britain may be the most red-headed nation in the world just because of its cloudy weather.

world Updated: Nov 09, 2012 01:08 IST

In a major DNA project that aims to explain the "mysteries" of red hair, researchers have claimed that Britain may be the most red-headed nation in the world just because of its cloudy weather.

Provisional statistics indicate that 2-6% of northwest Europeans are redheads as compared to an average of 1-2% in the world population.

But in the UK, the numbers are much higher, with 13% of Scots, 10% of the Irish, and 6% of individuals in England having red hair.

Red hair, which is characteristic of people with very fair skin, freckles and intolerance to sunshine, should in theory appear most often in the far north of Europe.

However, according to researchers from a project by BritainsDNA, Britain may be the most red-headed part of the world simply because it gets more cloud than Scandinavia because of its maritime climate.