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trumancoyote
01-06-2006, 02:13 AM
So the misses is working on a Scifi project, and he's got this race that on one planet is white and, on another, blue-ish. Same race, though.

He was trying to think of something that'd make this possible, and I was wondering: say the species has blue blood, would a planet of lower gravity cause more of their blood to be closer to the surface of their skin, resulting in a blue-tinted appearance? Or is that just ludicrous?

And, if it WAS possible, would there only be certain portions of their body that became blue, or would it be all over? The assumption, I believe, is that they're pretty humanoid in appearance.

Any science noids wanna help me out? :)

TheIT
01-06-2006, 02:21 AM
Perhaps something in their diet on the two different planets affects their coloration? Or maybe instead of their melatonin equivalent yielding brown pigment it yields blue? Instead of "tanning", they'd "blue". Does one planet get more sunshine than the other? If one of the natives travels from one planet to the other, would their color change?

More questions, I know, but maybe they'll help spark some ideas.

trumancoyote
01-06-2006, 02:25 AM
Those are both good ideas. The ones intended to be blue-ish ARE going to be on an ocean-ish planet, so being sunburned is a good idear.

If someone of the other planet came to theirs, then yes, s/he would also change color. But the thing is, it's almost like a caste system. That is, the species on the ocean planet doesn't WANT to look like their brethren on their (technically) home planet. It's a willful discoloration.

He at first had written that they purposely mutilated themselves, but that's something that occurs all too often in his work, so he's trying to move away from it.

Thank you very much for your ideas :)

TheIT
01-06-2006, 02:34 AM
Glad to help. As for diet, I believe the reason flamingos are pink are because they eat a lot of shellfish and pick up the pigment. If the race tends to be colorless, perhaps the shellfish on the ocean planet contain a blue pigment which causes a reaction in whomever eats it after a time. You might also want to research albinoism.

IggytheDestroyer
01-06-2006, 02:43 AM
Glad to help. As for diet, I believe the reason flamingos are pink are because they eat a lot of shellfish and pick up the pigment. If the race tends to be colorless, perhaps the shellfish on the ocean planet contain a blue pigment which causes a reaction in whomever eats it after a time. You might also want to research albinoism.True. I happen to be pizza color.

Peggy
01-06-2006, 03:53 AM
He was trying to think of something that'd make this possible, and I was wondering: say the species has blue blood, would a planet of lower gravity cause more of their blood to be closer to the surface of their skin, resulting in a blue-tinted appearance? Or is that just ludicrous?I don't think that gravity affects how close to the skin the blood vessels would be, even though it does have an effect on overall circulation. If the "white" aliens are the same species as the "blue" aliens, one thing that might make a difference is the paleness of the skin or the thickness of the skin over the blood vessels. Of course if you want to be "scientific" you'd have to explain why the blood is blue in the first place. Humans have red blood because of oxygen bound to the iron in hemaglobin. Vulcan blood is green because it contains copper (yes, I'm a geek). I'm not sure what would be the basis of blue blood.

If someone of the other planet came to theirs, then yes, s/he would also change color. But the thing is, it's almost like a caste system. That is, the species on the ocean planet doesn't WANT to look like their brethren on their (technically) home planet. It's a willful discoloration.I like TheIT's idea of having diet-based pigmentation. It could have started because the "blues" had to eat a particular diet because of poverty, lack of other foods or other reasons (maybe religious?). Eventually this would set them apart from the main population and allow them to take special pride in their coloring. Wannabies might try to "fit in" by wearing make-up, if the coloration took a long time to achieve or if the "blues" restricted access to the special food to their own community. Definitely a lot of story potential there.

(The flamigos example is cool. The only equivalent I know of that affects people is carotenosis, which is caused by eating too many carrots.)

Another possibility is to have the skin color be due to outside factors - an example being the Toureg (sp?) called "blue people" because their skin was (is?) stained blue by the indigo dye in their clothing. Again, that is something that a character could choose to adopt.

MarkButler
01-06-2006, 04:47 AM
Some tribal cultures change their appearance as a sign of adulthood. Putting on tattoos, giant earlobes, etc. Getting "blued" could be a sign of manhood if you went with an artificial reason. Peoples skin changes when in a dye, so perhaps the "sacred pools" have a naturally occuring dye and over the years it becomes permanent, like a tattoo.

Birol
01-06-2006, 04:49 AM
Along with the flamingo idea, I remember reading an article about a zoo having trouble with its polar bears turning green because of the chlorine in their swimming pool.

smallthunder
01-06-2006, 10:17 AM
The beautiful color of Flamingoes (and a number of other colorful birds) is acquired from their diet. The small crustaceans and algae that the flamingoes eat contain carotinoid and other natural pigments that are processed in the body and deposited in the growing feathers. (Carotene is one of the most common carotinoid pigments and is what makes Carrots and other vegetables orange in color.) Only specific red chemical compounds will color Flamingoes. This means that you can't turn a Flamingo blue by feeding it blue colored food. At the zoo we add a product called Roxanthin Red to their food. This is what gives Flamingoes their bright "Pink" color.

I personally thing the idea of a food-based pigment ... coloring relating to poor nutrition originally ... and leading to a caste system based on skin color eventually ... is a great idea.

reni
01-06-2006, 09:54 PM
I like TheIT's idea of having diet-based pigmentation. It could have started because the "blues" had to eat a particular diet because of poverty, lack of other foods or other reasons

I like this, too, as it raises a few interesting points. On Earth, blue is a color which rarely appears in food items. A study or two (can't remember who conducted them) showed people who were presented with blue-dyed foods tended to lose their appetites. It was speculated that this tendency goes back to the cave man days, when unusual colors in nature indicated inedible or unsafe matter.

While the two different factions of people are of the same race, are all living things on each planet also similar? If not, you have a lot of room to play with the "blue food = blue people" concept. I'm not sure how this would allow for visitors from the other planet to also turn blue, however ...

Aconite
01-06-2006, 10:36 PM
He was trying to think of something that'd make this possible,
Google "Blue people of Kentucky." No kidding.

Birol
01-06-2006, 11:08 PM
Interesting.

trumancoyote
01-07-2006, 12:25 AM
That's awesome. I wanna do more research on this! Wee!

Thanks so much, everyone, for your help :)

Maryn
01-08-2006, 09:14 PM
A small aside--I didn't know flamingos could only go pink, but I've seen proof every fall for years that certain of the fluffier breeds of chickens can go many, many colors: blue, purple, golden, pink, green. They're on display at a local pumpkin patch, and the staff says it's all in the feed. The only difficulty is making sure they can't get at each other's food, for months at a time.

Maryn, who likes the whole idea of a purple chicken (and wonders about the meat)

Maryn
01-09-2006, 05:04 PM
http://www.persephonelee.com/0slh/YushchenkoAdventuresPartI.gif cracked me up.

Maryn, who prefers crack up to crackdown