The Blue People of Troublesome, Kentucky

Less than an Appalachian fairy-tale,  the story of the Fugate family is a true account of blue-skinned hill people. Diagnosed with methemoglobinemia, a hereditary condition which causes blood to carry less oxygen resulting in a bluish discoloration of the skin, the family continued to pass on the trait through intermarriage and inbreeding due in large part to  their high level of isolation in the woods. As elusive as the blue people were, coal mining and railroads resulted in members of the family moving outside of their small community, thus stopping the spread of the gene which functions particularly well in a tight-knit blood line.

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