TikTok's Side Eye Challenge: The viral trend explained

10 March 2021, 14:00

DojaCat takes on the Silhouette Challenge in a new TikTok video

Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

"Why did no one tell me your eye are a different colour from the side"

Fancy another TikTok trend? Oh, go on then. In the past few weeks, TikTok users have been doing the 'Hey Lol' by Khaleel trend and the new Bugs Bunny Challenge. Now, people are finding out their "side eye colour" thanks to a new trend that's doing the rounds on the app called the "Side Eye Challenge".

Set to the song, 'After Dark' by Mr Kitty, users film their eyes up close and then look away on the beat of the song to see if their eyes are a different colour.

Here's how to take part and find out what your 'side eye colour' is.

TikTok Side Eye challenge: How to do it
TikTok Side Eye challenge: How to do it. Picture: David Talukdar/NurPhoto via Getty Images, @milliehargreavesx via TikTok

How to do TikTok's Side Eye Challenge

To take part in the trend, all you need to do is hold your camera as close to one of your eyes as possible and then look to the side on the beat of the music.

Depending on the actual colour of your eye, you may end up seeing a different colour when looking at it from a different angle, with different lighting.

However, it's not actually your eye "changing colour". It's all to do with the way the pigment in your iris reacts to light, based on the angle you're viewing it from. When light hits your eye at a different angle, an illusion will occur that might make it look a different colour.

It may work for some, but it doesn't work for everyone. Here are some of the most popular videos on the app so far:

According to a 2005 response from UCSB Scientists about the way eyes appear to 'change colour', there's a reason why people with brown eyes may not see similar results in the challenge as people with blue, grey or green eyes.

Brown eyes are more pigmented and cause more "light absorption", blue or grey eyes have less pigmentation and therefore cause "increased reflectance". The explanation continues: "The more the eye reflects, the more likely it is that colours around you will affect the colour of your eye."

The challenge is different to the other eye colour challenge that popped up on the app back in 2020. For that one, users recorded their eyes while keeping the camera flash on and then used TikTok’s S5 filter to see their "real" eye colour.