Are Zebras White with Black Stripes or Black with White Stripes?

Photo by Martin Olsen on Unsplash

Even though many animals have striped bodies, zebras are the ones that are actually famous for theirs. The recognizable striped pattern zebras naturally have has been an inspiration to many artists and designers over time. When talking about this, one question always pops out – are zebras actually white with black stripes or the other way around?

Each zebra has a unique set of stripes. In that sense, they are similar to human fingerprints. Their skin contains melanocyte, a pigment cell that produces the black pigment. Humans have those same cells and they are responsible for our skin color. With zebras, the pigment is also responsible for the fur color, which means that the black stripes are the spots where the melanocyte cells are active. The white stripes are the spots where those cells are inactive, but they still exist. This means that zebras are, technically, black with white stripes.