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Why is Oreb dark skinned?

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iXavior

iXavior

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This thread is not mean't to be offensive in anyway, and it poses a serious question.

From a evolutionary, biological, and ecological perspective, Oreb's skin should not be dark. Oreb is the Magister of House Charron of Teragard. During One of a Kind, Teragard is described as being "a cold place, in both temperature and temperament". The planet is said to be a frigid tundra where people huddle around vents in the earth for warmth.

Dark skin pigmentation is a product of natural selection against folate depletion and DNA damage from UV-sun rays. The only way for humans to develop dark skin on a evolutionary perspective is if they were left to develop thousands of years on a hot or tropical environment. It's not something that occurs during one's lifetime.

Most humans on Gielinor, the Fremmenik especially, are said to hail from Teragard, while some colonized other worlds. Their skins are rather pale, compared to Oreb's. The only regions in game where we can find dark-skinned people is the Kharidian desert and Karamja, which makes sense (sort of) because it's a desert/tropical area that gets harsh sunlight. But these people have lived on Gielinor for centuries, while Oreb came to Gielinor...what? A few years ago? This makes no sense :O
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12-Aug-2017 01:50:59

Hguoh
Mar Gold Premier Club Member 2014

Hguoh

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Native skin pigment doesn't care about temperature. It cares about UV ray exposure. It's true that warmer areas in real life tend to have darker skinned native populations, but this is due to their proximity to the equator and thus exposure to more direct UV rays through less atmosphere than areas farther north or south.

In other words, it really doesn't matter that Teragard is cold. If Oreb's ancestors were from a region of Teragard that gets more direct sun rays and therefore gets more direct UV rays, his skin pigment still makes sense.

12-Aug-2017 04:01:09 - Last edited on 12-Aug-2017 04:02:16 by Hguoh

Gwyndolynn
Aug Gold Premier Club Member 2017

Gwyndolynn

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Hguoh said:
Native skin pigment doesn't care about temperature. It cares about UV ray exposure. It's true that warmer areas in real life tend to have darker skinned native populations, but this is due to their proximity to the equator and thus exposure to more direct UV rays through less atmosphere than areas farther north or south.

In other words, it really doesn't matter that Teragard is cold. If Oreb's ancestors were from a region of Teragard that gets more direct sun rays and therefore gets more direct UV rays, his skin pigment still makes sense.


But what about Robert the Strong? He's white. That would be quite a range of color in one area.

Interesting thoughts though, I had never even considered why.
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12-Aug-2017 08:57:22

Wahisietel
Oct Gold Premier Club Member 2005

Wahisietel

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Gwyndolynn said:
Hguoh said:
Native skin pigment doesn't care about temperature. It cares about UV ray exposure. It's true that warmer areas in real life tend to have darker skinned native populations, but this is due to their proximity to the equator and thus exposure to more direct UV rays through less atmosphere than areas farther north or south.

In other words, it really doesn't matter that Teragard is cold. If Oreb's ancestors were from a region of Teragard that gets more direct sun rays and therefore gets more direct UV rays, his skin pigment still makes sense.


But what about Robert the Strong? He's white. That would be quite a range of color in one area.

Interesting thoughts though, I had never even considered why.


Teragard is a whole planet?
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12-Aug-2017 12:31:55

Sodden Hound
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Sodden Hound

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Yeaaa, Teragard's a whole planet. Robert the Strong being white isn't "quite a range of color". Planets have areas that get more sunlight. House Charron is likely headquarter'd around the equator somewhere, so Oreb is dark skinned due to more sunlight, even if that sunlight isn't enough to warm the planet. Robert being white indicates he's from a region with less sunlight. Mods pls notice me

12-Aug-2017 17:24:50 - Last edited on 12-Aug-2017 17:25:20 by Sodden Hound

Elf of Seren
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Elf of Seren

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Why are the Waterbenders on Avatar dark skinned?

Why are the Inuit dark skinned?

(I don't actually know the answers to these questions, just posing them as a potential counterargument)

Like said above, it's an entire planet with an entire spectrum of color, and any number of biological factors could be affecting it.

12-Aug-2017 19:56:18

Ptolemy Dean

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13-Aug-2017 02:24:41

Hguoh
Mar Gold Premier Club Member 2014

Hguoh

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Elf of Seren said:
Why are the Waterbenders on Avatar dark skinned?

Why are the Inuit dark skinned?

(I don't actually know the answers to these questions, just posing them as a potential counterargument)


This requires a bit of explanation, so bear with me.

There are two factors that appear to play a significant role in driving selection for human skin pigmentation.

The first has been already been brought up in this thread: dark skin inhibits the penetration of UV rays preventing them from breaking down the folate in our bodies. As the ancestors of humanity lost the thick fur that originally performed this task, selection pressures drove the development of dark skin pigmentation. In other words while the species that led to ours likely had pale skin, the first modern humans had dark skin that took the place of the fur they had lost. It is very important to keep this starting point in mind.

The second selectional force on human skin pigmentation is the production of Vitamin D via exposure to UV rays. As humans spread away from the equator, they were exposed to less direct UV rays and were generally unable to produce enough Vitamin D. This created a selectional force for lighter skin as you go further and further from the equator in order to allow for more UV penetration.

So then why do the Inuits, who live far away from the equator, still have their ancestral dark skin? The reason lies in the driving force that led to the re-evolution of lighter skin: Vitamin D deficiency. The Inuit never lost their dark skin because they had an alternative source of Vitamin D: their diet. The Inuit diet involves/involved substantial amounts of fatty fish that are rich in Vitamin D. No shortage of Vitamin D, no selection pressure for pale skin. Therefore, they kept their genes for dark skin pigment.

13-Aug-2017 03:14:20 - Last edited on 13-Aug-2017 03:24:21 by Hguoh

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