The article on the mystery of Maya blue led me to the movie Apocalypto. I was hoping to find images of sacrificial victims painted blue. I did find some photos but was surprised to see that the faces were not painted. Given Mel Gibsons reputation for historical accuracy, I am guessing there is a Mayan painting somewhere that shows how the slaves were painted. I just assumed the faces would be blue too.
Do you remember a few months ago when Paul Karason had his 15 minutes of fame? He is blue. He has a condition known as argyia, which is caused by ingesting silver. It seems Paul has been drinking collodial silver for the past 14 years for “health reasons.” Since silver can damage organs and eventually cause death its a scary way to become famous. You would think he might learn a lesson from the story of Captain Fred Walters who had a sideshow career at the turn of the century. He tried to become as blue as possible and in the end died of silver poisoning.
In my research I came across a reason for naturally occuring blue skin. Methemoblobinemia (try saying that three times in a row!) is a rare enzyme deficiency that turns blood blue. The most interesting article describing this hereditary condition was published in Science magazine in 1982 about the Fugate family of Kentucky. From my limited understanding of the condition, it is caused by a lack of oxygen in the blood. When someone says, “She argued until she was blue in the face.” maybe it means “She argued until she cut off the oxygen in her blood.”