Where do ball python morphs come from?
There seems to be this huge misunderstanding that every ball python morph sold somehow comes from mutations of normals in captivity. (this is seriously a widespread belief, not just referencing that other post)
This is not so! Most- seriously SO MANY- of the morphs actually are imported from wild caught animals or hatched in captivity from wild caught females.
To this day pastels, hypos, yellowbellies, cinnamon, and many other existing morphs (including recessives) are found in the wild and imported to create new lines.
When the season comes around, you can take a look at importers, such as Outback Reptiles, who will list unique looking individuals and sell them to those looking for the next new morph. They also tens to receive several wild caught pastels, hypos, and possible other morphs like fire.
On occassion, someone may receive a strange looking normal ball python and attempt to prove the gene out as heritable. The animals that do prove genetic are few and far between. Most normals just end up being a variation or have patterning influenced by incubation temperatures.