Humans migrated from Africa about 60000 years. And in these years humans physical features undergone significantly in terms of skin color, hair, eye color and facial features.

So, with this we can say that given 10000 years of span we can see a significant noticeable new changes in physical features of humans? like some humans with new skin color (apart from today's white, black and brown), new color eye balls, big heads etc.?

  • $\begingroup$ @tyersome Below answer gave me appropriate answer. Thanks $\endgroup$
    – barath
    Commented Apr 13, 2020 at 3:42
  • $\begingroup$ @tyersome : The link you provided was more specific to evolution of human in future whereas mine was more specific to evolution changes in terms of a window/range of 10000 years. So, below answer is more appropriate. $\endgroup$
    – barath
    Commented Apr 13, 2020 at 13:27

1 Answer 1


Yes & perhaps (or probably?) no, depending on what you define as significant changes.

Less than 10,000 years ago everyone in the british isles & the rest of europe were dark skinned so the answer if (unlike me) you consider the change in skin color a significant change is obviously a resounding yes.

Here's what English people looked like 10,000 years ago

enter image description here

Darker skinned than you were expecting perhaps.

If as suggested in this article white skin arrived in Europe around 5,000 years ago that only leaves 2,000 years before early Greek & Roman art we have available which shows it as ubiquitous, so it perhaps took only 2,000 years or so (maybe less) to become dominant in europe, that's fast.

Using 20 years as the measure of a generation that's only 100 generations, so, very fast.

Timeline of human prehistory

The first reconstruction in the link below is a reconstruction of a Neanderthal woman found in a cave in Gibraltar. She died at least 30,000 years ago.

Here she is, the skin tone may not be accurate but we do know from gene's recovered from Neanderthal remains that they were relatively light skinned.

enter image description here

Personally I don't consider her appearance to be significantly different from modern humans.

29 Reconstructed Faces Of Ancient People

So my answer based on what I consider significant changes would be no.

But for you or others the answer may well be yes.

And of course a mutation for a new eye colour could appear at any time in one individual & spread like wildfire practically overnight just because we think it's unusual & 'cool' (aka sexual selection) so if eye color ticks your boxes it's a very definite yes.

  • $\begingroup$ Your first link - curiosity.com/topics/… gives me the answer. 10000 years before there were no light skinned in Europe and it took less than 10000 years for homosepiens to get the lighter skin? I presumed it would take about 100000 years for such big change like skin color. $\endgroup$
    – barath
    Commented Apr 13, 2020 at 3:38
  • $\begingroup$ I thought it might :) $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Commented Apr 13, 2020 at 3:40
  • $\begingroup$ "about 10,000 years", nope, a mutation can spread pretty fast if it's beneficial or selected for by sexual selection, once it appears, blue eyes spread fast too when they turned up, what takes a long time is the mutation, it's a lottery & useful (or just non-damaging ones) aren't that likely so 'on average' are often a long time apart, reduce it to only ones that provide a noticeable phenotype change & rarer still. $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Commented Apr 13, 2020 at 3:59
  • $\begingroup$ @barath : Which all means a single change of some sort can just happen, & pretty quickly, but multiple changes to a phenotype such as you need to go from something chimp like to something man like will take a really long time & for that 10,000 years isn't even remotely long enough. $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Commented Apr 13, 2020 at 4:06
  • $\begingroup$ @barath : "such big change like skin color" : Skin, eye or hair colour may be noticeable & obvious but they aren't 'big' changes, not really in any qualitative sense, they can occur with just a single mutation to a single gene so they're really pretty small changes genetically speaking. $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Commented Apr 13, 2020 at 4:15

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