Hoaxes & Rumors

Alexandria’s Genesis: Real or Fake?

Alexandria’s Genesis: Real or Fake?

Alexandria’s Genesis is an alleged rare genetic mutation which turns eyes purple and results in a loss of body hair.

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It’s not real.

Let’s first take a look at this fictional genetic mutation.

Alexandria’s Genesis

Below is one version of a common description of this alleged mutation.

Alexandria’s Genesis, a.k.a. violet eyes (a genetic mutation).

When someone is born with Alexandria’s Genesis, their eyes are blue or gray at birth. After six months, the eyes begin to change from their original color to purple, and this process lasts six months. During puberty, the color deepens to dark purple, a deep purple, a royal purple, or a violet-blue color and remains that way. It does not affect the person’s eyesight. Those who have this mutation will never grow any facial, body, pubic, or anal hair (not including hair on their head, on their ears, noses, eyebrows and eyelashes). Women also do not menstruate, but are fertile.

Fan Fiction: 1998

Alexandria’s Genesis originated in an article posted to a Daria fan fiction website in the late 1990s by a teenager named Cameron Miquelon under the pseudonym Alexander Lamar Eldritch. Daria was an animated series on MTV which was spun off from Beavis and Butthead.

The original story is no longer online, but a 2001 capture of it is available at the Internet Archive. The author wrote the description below as a “back story” to explain why her characters were written to have purple eyes. It began:

If you have read any of the statistics of my Daria-based fan fiction characters or any of my stories about those characters, you will have noticed that three of my characters (Raven, Rebecca, and Zia) have deep purple eyes. It’s not because they wear contacts in order to hide their real eye colors. It’s because of a genetic mutation called “Alexandria’s Genesis.”

A Legend is Born: 2011

By April 2011, while the Daria fan fiction site was still online (it closed mid-2013), Miquelon’s fictional Alexandria’s Genesis mutation itself mutated into an urban legend, and was by now being passed off as a real medical condition. Memes began circulating on “fact” pages and Tumblr about the fascinating condition, with no mention of the source – or any other sources – as proof that it was real.

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March-April 2011

In early March 2011, a Yahoo Answers user asked “How do people get purple eyes?” One of the answers – presumably found through a Google search – mentioned Alexandria’s Genesis, although the person providing the answer questioned if the condition was real. A similar question also appeared on earlier Yahoo Answers questions (such as the one found here) but the March 2011 question immediately pre-dated the surge in activity on the subject.

By mid-April 2011, blog posts such as this one began discussing Alexandria’s Genesis on Facebook as if it were a real medical condition.

By late April 2011, Alexandria’s Genesis was appearing online with even greater frequency. One can only postulate, but it appears that one of these social media “fact” pages – in attempts at finding interesting facts to post  – stumbled across this official-sounding condition and posted it online in April 2011 (see trends graphic below).

In December 2011, the author – after seeing her fictional condition being discussed online – described it in the following manner:

Something that I made up as a silly back story for my two Daria-based Mary Sues (fan fiction characters who are “perfect” in every manner possible… and then some). Something that, in turn, was a projection of my personal gender identity and body image issues that I was starting to confront in my 20s. This something, in the 15 years since I first wrote it, had taken a life of its own.

This something was Alexandria’s Genesis, a fictional posthuman/alien genetic mutation I created in order to make my Mary Sues (one male, one female) more… special. Alas, AG had also evolved into “children of the violet ray” fodder, all to the point that some individuals legitimately believed that not only was it real, but that they actually had the condition.

The author summed up Alexandria’s Genesis in the following manner:

The short version: Alexandria’s Genesis is not, was not, and will never be a real thing; it was a silly little back story for someone’s entertaining first draft.

One problem encountered by those looking into the veracity of this alleged condition is that the original fan fiction site is no longer available.

The author can also be found commenting on Alexandria’s Genesis on Skeptoid as recently as 2014.

Google Trends: Further Debunking

For those still not convinced, we turn to Google for damning proof that this mutation is indeed a work of fiction. Had Alexandria’s Genesis been a real medical condition, information on it should have been posted online over the years. Google Trends, however, shows virtually no searches on the phrase “Alexandria’s Genesis” prior to early 2011. As you can see, it has had a few significant peaks over the years, with recent peaks as late as December 2014.

Bottom Line

Alexandria’s Genesis is not a real genetic mutation. It was created as a back-story on a Daria fan fiction website in the late 1990s. Memes and fact pages began passing the condition off as real in 2011, citing no evidence whatsoever. Virtually every description of the condition can be traced back to the original 1998 fan fiction work.

Updated November 1, 2015
Originally published April 2014

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