So, the existence of these blue people in remote Kentucky was real enough, and the condition was caused by a genetic mutation. However, the people back in the 19th and early 20th century didn’t know that, of course. In fact, this blue skin was a source of discomfort and embarrassment for many of those who exhibited the phenomenon. It didn’t seem to cause medical complications, but it did make the blue people look decidedly weird.
Some speculated that the anomaly might be caused by a serious underlying illness such as heart or lung disease. Or perhaps the blue people’s blood was closer to the surface of their skin for some reason. Whatever it was, speculation continued unanswered right through to the 1950s.