LIFE

The Blue People Of Kentucky

This isn’t about aliens or monsters or whatever, it’s about some real guys and gals in America that turned blue.

No, no, no, don’t worry, I’m not going to try to convince you there are a bunch of blue aliens living in Kentucky. I’ve got (slightly) more sense than that. This is a true, short story about some real life people who turned into smurfs. Well, they didn’t get the hats or anything but their skin turned blue thanks to weird genetic shenanigans.

A French chap called Martin Fugate moved to the hills of Kentucky around the start of the 19th century. He married a pale skinned, ginger American lady called Elizabeth Smith and they settled on the banks of Troublesome Creek where they started a secluded life in the wilds of Kentucky. So far so good.

The happy couple (I assume they were happy, I just added that word in as a bit of artistic licence, they may have been as miserable as sin for all I know, they lived on the banks of Troublesome Creek after all) and fired out 7 kids in total.

Nothing untoward so far, except four of their kids were blue. Whoops. The family bred with another nearby inbred clan who were equally isolated and coincidentally carried the same gene. Over the years more and more blue skinned additions were added to the family.

Blue Fugates - Kentucky Family - Old Photo

It sounds stupid I know, and from the original picture above you can see it looks like it has been recoloured. Why anyone would recolour their kids blue is another question, but it’s obviously not the real colouring as cameras weren’t exactly spectacular back then. The answer however lies in medical text books, rather than on Venus, unfortunately. The condition is known as Methemoglobinemia, catchy huh? Now here’s the science you’ve been waiting for…

☛ Read Next: 10 Of The Weirdest Diseases On Earth


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