Irish people are known for having many quirky attributes. Not only a nation of saints and scholars, but we are also great craic on a night out.
But it is not just a thirst for knowledge and a wonderful sense of humour that stands the Irish apart. Our dazzling good looks do us justice too.
Long flowing ginger hair and porcelain skin make the women of Ireland things of natural beauty while the men sport a rugged, if not a little pale look, enhanced by being exposed to around 365 days of rain every year.
However, maintaining a ghostly shade of white is not always easy. Without the right sun cream many Irish people can be left with painfully burnt skin before losing the top layer a week later.
But what is the cause of this attractive, yet over-sensitive skin colour?
According to researchers at Penn State University, translucent Irish can thank a genetic code inherited from a single person around 10,000 years ago.
A native of either India or the Middle East, carrying the skin pigmentation gene logged as SLC24A5, passed it to the people of Ireland through his ancestors.
Further research suggests that this hereditary makeup of pale-skin genes began to be genetically controlled around 8,000 years ago.
Ireland’s geographical location meant that most settlers were from northern Europe and predominately white.
This fed into the already fair-skinned population, expanding the gene pool.
Further studies at University College London suggest the growth of fair-skinned Irish might also be thanks to basic human instinct.
Research shows that some of the original people of Ireland found the ‘classic Irish look’ somewhat irresistible, therefore reproducing offspring with similar genes.
Having a pretty pale complexion, however, is not without its dangers. Fair people are more at risk of skin damage and even some cancers.
Burning in the sun is a common concern while harsh winters can cause the skin to become cracked and sore.
But whatever the cause for our nation’s unique genetic make-up there is no doubt the Irish are the fairest of them all while sturdy enough to brave the elements in a bid to protect our pasty ancestry.