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SCIENCE: What if humans had photosynthetic skin?

green man - deposit photos

The series “Imaginary Earths” speculates what the world might be like if one key aspect of life changed, whether related to the planet or humanity.

Green skin is common in science fiction, from little green men to Hera Syndulla from “Star Wars Rebels” to Gamora from “Guardians of the Galaxy.” But what if green skin were not just for fictional aliens? If humans had green skin, for instance, what if it granted us the ability to perform photosynthesis, which plants use to live off of sunlight?

Let’s analyze what science says about similar abilities in other animals and ask award-winning science-fiction author John Scalzi how he thinks humans might hypothetically benefit from photosynthetic skin.

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