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Mystery of Appalachia's 'Blue Family' solved


Posted on Friday, 17 February, 2012 | Comment icon 30 comments | News tip by: Still Waters


Image credit: expired

 
The mystery surrounding a 19th century family whose inbred children had blue skin has been solved.

Through a combination of recessive genes and inbreeding, the children of the Fugate family suffered from a condition called methaemoglobinaemia which limits the carrying of oxygen to the blood and renders the skin blue in colour. "They weren’t sick; it was just the way they look," said nurse Ruth Pendergrass.

"Dating back to the early 1800s, an isolated family in eastern Kentucky - who can trace their roots back to a French orphan - started producing children who were blue."

  View: Full article |  Source: Daily Mail

  Discuss: View comments (30)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #21 Posted by jaguarsky on 19 February, 2012, 17:21
I grew up in the "tri-state" area, eastern Kentucky, SW, Ohio and western WV. I heard of these folks long ago. It really is unfair, as was mentioned previously, to call them inbred, which really does have a negative connotation. You have to remember that those were very different times, there were many fewer families in small rural areas. While the gene pool was small it was not a kiddie pool. I was surprised when I read this article though to find that the family was French. I was going to go the way of Billy Connelly's "Pale blue Scotsman".
Comment icon #22 Posted by Myles on 20 February, 2012, 18:21
I'm still not buying into the posted photo. They look too blue. Other pics of this condition show them as a blue/grey color.
Comment icon #23 Posted by J. K. on 20 February, 2012, 19:26
I thought that the whole photo is colorized, almost in a pointillist manner. Black and white photography was more common at the time when it looks like the photo was taken.
Comment icon #24 Posted by JP333 on 20 February, 2012, 21:34
That would be awesome. I wish I was that color.
Comment icon #25 Posted by Myles on 21 February, 2012, 12:22
That would explain it. I hadn't even thought of that.
Comment icon #26 Posted by VvROMULUSvV on 22 February, 2012, 7:50
I believe i have heard that having silver poisoning can also make you blue (skinned that is..)
Comment icon #27 Posted by Miss Pickles on 27 February, 2012, 16:01
Violet-you're turning violet.
Comment icon #28 Posted by psyche101 on 29 February, 2012, 6:37
From Abremelins link: There was intermarriage between the two clans, resulting in 25% of their progency being blue and 50% being asymptomatic carriers. (To be fair, I wouldn’t call it inbreeding. There were 2 different families and how are you to get around if no roads run by your house?!?!) All the same, fascinating, I thought only Scottish people were considered blue? (Saying in Australia because it is sooo bloody cold in Scotland)
Comment icon #29 Posted by psyche101 on 29 February, 2012, 6:38
Rodger .... Rodger.
Comment icon #30 Posted by MattAsh13 on 22 March, 2012, 14:28
When I read the part where the blue sent his sick wife to the hospital, and the doctors payed more attention to him instead. I was like: rofl.


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