In the media
In 2002 BBC News reported that unnamed German experts had concluded that the natural distribution of blond hair would cease within the span of 200 years owing to the genes associated with blond hair being
recessive. The article reported the scientists had said that there is a reportedly low number of people carrying the recessive blond allele, especially in nations of mixed
heritage (for example, the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, New Zealand and Australia). The dominant alleles (
brown eyes) "overthrow" the
recessive genes or metaphorically, endanger them. Subsequently the study was attributed to the
World Health Organization. In the BBC article Prof. Jonathan Rees of the University of Edinburgh cast doubt on the story—he was quoted as saying "The frequency of blondes may drop but they won't disappear."
In October 2002
The New York Times reported that the World Health Organization had no knowledge of this study.
In 2006 the hoax was mentioned by
The Sunday Times when reporting on the publication of a hypothesis of the origins of blonde hair
La Repubblica: "According to the WHO study, the last natural blond is likely to be born in Finland during 2202." It once again traveled quickly across the World Wide Web.
 The hoax has also been featured on the "Threat-Down" segment of the satirical television show
The Colbert Report on March 6, 2006, where
Stephen Colbert suggested a selective breeding program to save blonds.