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  1. #1
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    Alien Blood Color

    I'm thinking of writing a science fiction story, though at the moment I do not even have a plot, but it doesn't matter. I'm taking it slow. I probably spend too much time working out details in my head, but anyway, I thought maybe the main character in this story would be an alien race which looks more or less human, but with blue blood. I'm trying to figure out what such people would look like, as blood color would contribute to complexion. I'd imagine her lips and tongue would be quite blue, humans' are red for the same reason. But what of complexion? I know this probably doesn't really matter to much since I do not even have a plot, but just humor me. If anyone has any ideas, they would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Hello logophiliac and welcome to the forum!

    I moved your thread to the Writing forum because I think you might get more answers.

    Did you do a web search?

    Wikipedia has a page on hemocyanin. That page might lead you on the path you need to find out how copper in mammals might affect skin pigmentation. However, keep in mind, that skin pigmentation (at least, in humans) is a response to UV radiation and the control of that radiation getting through our skin. So, it might be more important to find out what sort of conditions your aliens lived under and how they evolved. Ask yourself and ponder these questions:

    Did they evolve on a planet with a sun like ours (yellow dwarf)? Or maybe a red or blue sun? (Star types here)
    Did they hangout underground before emerging out under the sky? Under water?
    Do they wear clothes or is their skin all they need for protection from the elements? (i.e. fur?)

    I hope that helps.

  3. #3
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    Hey, thanks for the response and for moving it to writing.
    I have googled it quite a bit, I almost never come to forums since I usually find what I need in google. I also have seen information about hemocyanin, and even read a bit of information about cobalt-based blood with cobalt atoms in place of iron in hemoglobin. I haven't really given the sun type much thought, I just imagined them being basically human, melanin in the skin and all that, but the blood color would still affect complexion. If a human loses all blood his body would be quite pale. Assuming Caucasian, he would be completely white. The only reason I'm not is because I have red blood that affects my complexion somewhat. I just thought some other folks might have ideas to throw around.

  4. #4
    I'm assuming you're designing something more or less humanoid here - a Star Trek Alien. The blue tinge to the blood would result in a blue "glow" to the skin in pale-skinned individuals (equivalent to Caucasians), but no noticeable difference in skin color in dark skinned individuals (equivalent to Africans).

    However, you could make a solid case for lips and tongue being blue - that, in fact, might be the most immediately obvious difference. Eyes would turn blue after a night on the town, rather than red.

    The color of visible blood vessels under the skin might or might not be affected, but most likely they would still be blue as the color is an effect of subcutaneous fat.

    I looked up some critters that use hemocyanin, but they're mostly mollusks and produce other pigmentations in their skin.

  5. #5
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    Thank you for your input. I will take such things into consideration.
    And yeah, they are more or less Star Trek aliens, though I was kind of thinking of Star Wars when I came up with the idea. Han Solo certainly could not be human, given that he is from a galaxy far, far away, but he looks exactly human.

  6. #6
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Ah, and that my friend, is the power of fiction. You can make it up!

  7. #7
    Dreamer and Author K.S. Crooks's Avatar
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    blue bloods

    The colour of blood will contribute to skin colour if the blood vessels are close to the surface and the skin pigmentation is lighter in colour. Remember it is harder to see a black person blush than a white person. So it really depends on the colour of your alien's skin. One place you can play with them having blue blood is the eyes, if they have eyes. When eyes become irritated or some people have high emotions (angry, sad, laughing) the blood vessels in their eyes dilate making the whites of their eyes redder.
    For your aliens their eyes would become bluer. Also our blood becomes red when it has oxygen attached, when carbon dioxide is attached our blood has a blue tinge. If you have light skin you can tell the difference between your arteries with red oxygenated blood and veins with bluish deoxygenated blood. Have fun writing.

  8. #8
    G.L. Lathian G.L. Lathian's Avatar
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    If you want them to have blue blood. Give them blue blood. The reader will take what you give them. They're not going to have the time to ponder over the anatomy of your race if you have a good book

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