The cooler, cloudier climes for northern Europe make for more redheads—particularly in Scotland and Ireland, a researcher says. About 8% of Scots sport a ginger mane, to less than 2% of all Europeans. The theory, Emily Pritchard tells the Times of London, is that genetic traits that allow sun-unfriendly red hair and fair skin didn’t die out as humans moved from Africa northward.
If you have Scottish and/or Irish ancestry AND red hair, you probably also have VIKING ancestry, according to a new study. The director for Nordic Studies at the University of the Highlands and Islands says red hair is modern evidence of the influence of the ancient Vikings in Celtic lands.