AN INCESTUOUS family renowned for their blue skin suffered from a rare genetic condition that was passed down throughout the centuries.

The Fugates first settled in rural Kentucky during the nineteenth century.

Members of the Fugate family were known for their blue skin
The Lost Creek Medicine Show

Methemoglobinemia is an extremely rare condition and can cause a person’s lips to turn people[/caption]

Martin, who migrated from France, was the first known member to have a genetic defect that caused the condition methemoglobinemia.

He and his wife Elizabeth Smart were not related but they both had an extremely rare condition that only affects 0.035 percent of people around the world.

It’s caused when blood doesn’t carry as much oxygen around the body as it should.

Hematologist Dr. Ayalew Tefferi revealed that the condition can cause lips to turn purple and the blood may look chocolate brown, ABC reported.

The color of Elizabeth’s skin remains slightly unclear as it’s difficult to tell from the black-and-white photographs which existed.

Her skin was “pale and white as the mountain laurel that blooms every spring around the creek,” according to All That’s Interesting.

Elizabeth gave birth to seven kids and four of them had blue skin.

The gene that caused methemoglobinemia was recessive meaning it wouldn’t have affected future generations if they hadn’t married within their own family.

But, Elizabeth and Martin’s son Zacariah married his auntie.

The Fugates married other cousins, as well as descendants from other families such as Combs, Smith, Ritchie, and Stacy.

During the nineteenth century, rural Kentucky was cut off from major cities as there were no train links.

Dennis Stacy, an amateur genealogist, told the magazine Science 82: “When they settled this country back then, there were no roads. It was hard to get out so they intermarried.”

The so-called bluest out of all the Fugate children was Luna Stacy, who had 13 kids and lived until she was 84.

She was the child of Levi Fugate and his first cousin Hannah Ritchie.

Carrie Lee Kilburn, a nurse, said: “Luna was bluish all over.

“Her lips were as dark as a bruise. She was as blue a woman as I ever saw.”

But, doctors only saw her a handful of times, reports say.

It’s thought that she wasn’t rushed to the hospital for any serious condition.

Benjy Stacy, who was born in 1975, is thought to be the latest member of the Fugate family.

He was born more than 150 years later after Martin first settled in Kentucky.

Doctors were left stunned when they realized that Benjy had blue skin when he was born.

They reportedly scrambled to give him a blood transfusion but his grandma intervened just before the procedure.

The woman reportedly told medics: “Have you ever heard of Troublesome Creek?”

She told doctors that her grandmother Luna had blue skin.

It prompted medics to realize that Benjy’s blue skin was caused by the condition he had inherited.

Benjy, who reportedly lives in Alaska, lost the blue tint from his skin within weeks.

But, it was revealed that his lips could still turn blue or purple whenever he got angry.

His mom revealed that the then-youngster was of “huge interest” to medics in the hospital and alleged that they would try to make him upset or cry.

Methemoglobinemia is caused when blood doesn’t carry as much oxygen around the body

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