Factgirl's fact of the day:
In the mountains of Kentucky, the descendants of a French immigrant named
Martin Fulgate were known as The Blue People of Appalachia.
Due to excessive intermarriage, a recessive gene that blocked the production
of the enzyme diaphorase was rampant. Diaphorase breaks down methemoglobin
in red blood cells. When methemoglobin remains in the blood, it makes cells
appear blue, rather than the pink associated with Caucasians. There are no
other health risks associated with this condition.
As the family dispersed after WW2, there was less and less inbreeding and as
of today there is only one blue person left. 25 year old Ben Stacy.
-it's a fact!
sources: Robert J. Huskey's Human Biology 121
The Handy Science Answer Book; Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh