The Surprising Reason Star Trek's Mr. Spock Has Green Blood

Getty Images
Getty Images

Editor's note: Oops—this story was an April Fool's Day prank!

The pointy ears were the first indication that Star Trek Vulcan Mr. Spock was not of this Earth. As conceived by Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, Spock was the measured voice of reason on the Enterprise, balancing the actions of an impassioned, drop-kicking Captain James T. Kirk. But the ears and demeanor weren't the only giveaways. Occasionally, viewers of the original 1966-69 television series caught sight of Spock’s unusual body chemistry. His blood was green.

The reason for that is, as Spock would say, fascinating.

In a recent video uploaded by the Mütter Museum of medical oddities in Philadelphia, museum director Robert Hicks discusses how Roddenberry drew inspiration from Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker when developing the character of Spock. Born in 1811 in Siam (now Thailand), the brothers developed an international reputation as sideshow performers and fathered 21 children. A roughly 4-inch band of flesh connected them at the torso.

According to Hicks, Roddenberry’s longtime interest in pathology once led him to examine the autopsy report of the Bunkers. The 1875 document made note of the twins having green blood, a curious fact that he adopted for Spock.

The Mütter Museum retains a number of specimens related to the twins, including their conjoined liver. In examining the collection, Hicks discovered a blood sample bottle that was dried out but still held a green tint. Though rare, the presence of sulfur in hemoglobin (called sulfhemoglobinemia) can cause blood to appear green. A 2007 report in the Lancet medical journal detailed a case of a man who had the strange hue because of the migraine medication he was taking.

It’s not known why the Bunkers had green blood. Their health had been compromised, and a variety of factors could have affected a number of their bodily functions. As an achievable special effect, Roddenberry found it to be an excellent way to further characterize Spock as something only half-human.

Hicks says that wasn’t the only way Roddenberry was inspired by Chang and Eng. In the autopsy, which relates details of their final moments, Chang was the first to die due to a blood clot. Eng soon followed. Addressing one of their 21 children, his final words were said to be, “Live long and prosper, my dear son.”

[h/t Mutter Museum]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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Transport Your Living Room to a Galaxy Far, Far Away With These Star Wars Area Rugs From Ruggable

Add some villainy to your living space with this Star Wars area rug.
Add some villainy to your living space with this Star Wars area rug.
Ruggable

There may be no film property more exhaustively licensed than Star Wars. And it's more than just the typical toys, games, and LEGO sets. Since the original movie's release in 1977, it’s been possible to fill your entire home with goods ranging from coffee machines and waffle makers to blankets and costumes for your dog.

Thanks to Ruggable, you can now add area rugs to the list. Ranging in price from $109 to $399, these fully washable Star Wars rugs can display your love of the Skywalker saga right under your feet.

Star Wars rugs work in any kind of room.Ruggable

The designs encompass everything from Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon to Darth Vader’s visage to a toile (French fabric) rug depicting iconic scenes from the films.

If you prefer subtlety, you can also opt for graphic design rugs that reveal themselves as Star Wars-inspired only on close inspection, like this TIE Fighter rug.

TIE Fighters can streak through your dining room.Ruggable

Prices range from $109 for a 3-foot-by-5-foot rug to $399 for an 8-foot-by-10-foot version. The rugs also come in 6-foot ($229) or 8-foot ($329) round varieties. You can find them on Ruggable.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.