Originally Posted by outboard
Was there a time when the people of Spain had mostly blonde hair and blue eyes? Was the rest of Europe that way before the Northern Africans invaded the continent? I assume the darker traits come from Northern Africa but am not sure if 1000 years ago they all had the blonde hair and blue eyes through out Europe.
The stores about the Black Irish are also interesting. I was told that there were Spanish ships that were sunk by the the English about 500 years ago and the sailors swam to Ireland and were accepted. This is why some Irish have dark eyebrows and jet black hair. Any thoughts on this one?
No, I think darker mediterranean features have been predominant in most of Europe and that Blond hair and blue eyes is a more recent development orginating in Scandinavia and the Baltic States. Contrary to your stated notion, it was likely the spread of the Celts westward and especially the Germanic invasion which brought lighter traits to Western Europe. For instance we know that the original Britons were short stocky dark complected types. Their phenotype survives in Wales and parts of Ireland. The Shipwrecked Spaniards legend is BS. Besides all Spaniards don't have jet black hair etc. There are a few blonds in Spain today who largley the result of germanic settlers and perhaps celts.
One interesting thing is that blond hair and light eyes are found among North Africans too. How they got there is a bit of a mystery.