Long ago, it was thought that the peoples of Europe developed white skin as a means of adapting to the low-level lighting of ice age Europe (an assumption that disregarded why the people of Asia don't look the same in the same latitude, or why the peoples inside the Arctic Circle have darker skin.) But recent evidence has shown that human whitewashing came much later than we thought and seemed tied to the advent of agriculture, the art of manipulating vitamin-D-low plant species into food. And other, similarly recent, evidence is showing that the diversity of phenotypes has more to do with individual mutations than geographic or latitudinal distribution.
In an alternate Earth, humankind had undergone more numerous mutations, some from individuals, others from admixtures with other hominid species--for argument's sake, let's say satyrs, fauns, dwarves and giants. The end result--an anatomically modern human species whose skin has spots, stripes and other natural patterns on a plain canvas (we humans have only the plain canvas), all of which feature every shade of...
White (Alabaster, Alice blue, Anti-flash white, Antique white, Azure white, Beige, Blond, Bone, Champagne, Cornsilk, Cosmic latte, Cream, Eggshell, Floral white, Flax, Ghost white, Honeydew, Isabelline, Ivory, Lavender blush, Lemon chiffon, Linen, Magnolia, Mint cream, Navajo white, Nyanza, Old lace, Papaya whip, Peach, Pearl, Seashell, Snow, Splashed white, Vanilla, White, White smoke)
Grey (Grey, Ash grey, Battleship grey, Blue-grey, Cadet grey, Charcoal, Cinerous, Cool grey, Davy's grey, Dim gray, Eigengrau, Feldgrau, Jet, Marengo, Nickel, Payne's grey, Gunmetal, Platinum, Silver, Slate grey, Taupe, Purple taupe, Medium taupe, Rose quartz, Taupe grey, Timberwolf, White smoke)
- Red (Alizarin crimson, Amaranth, American rose, Apricot, Auburn, Blood red, Burgundy, Candy Apple Red, Cardinal, Carmine, Carnelian, Cerise, Chocolate Cosmos, Cinnabar, Coquelicot, Coral, Crimson, Dark red, Electric crimson, Fire brick, Flame, Folly, Fuchsia, Hollywood cerise, Indian red, Magenta, Maroon, Mahogany, Mystic red, Oxblood, Persian red, Pink, Raspberry, Red, Red-violet, Redwood, Rose, Rosewood, Rosso corsa, Ruby, Russet, Rust, Scarlet, Tea rose, Terra cotta, Tomato, Turkey red, Tuscan red, Tyrian purple, Venetian red, Vermilion, Wine)
- Pink (Amaranth pink, Baker-Miller pink, Boto pink, Brilliant rose, Brink pink, Carnation pink, Cerise, Cherry blossom pink, Coral pink, Cyclamen, Deep pink, Fairy Tale, French rose, Fuchsia, Hollywood cerise, Hot magenta, Hot pink, Lavender blush, Lavender pink, Magenta, Mexican pink, Mimi Pink, Misty rose, Mountbatten pink, Orchid pink, Pale Dogwood, Persian rose, Pink, Puce, Rose, Rose pink, Rose quartz, Salmon pink, Shocking pink, Thulian pink, Ultra pink)
- Yellow (Amber, Apricot, Arylide yellow, Aureolin, Beige, Buff, Chartreuse, Citron, Citrine, Cream, Dark goldenrod, Ecru, Flax, Gamboge, Gold, Gold (metallic), Goldenrod, Harvest Gold, Jasmine, Jonquil, Khaki, Lemon chiffon, Lemon Lime, Lion, Maize, Mikado yellow, Mindaro, Mustard, Naples yellow, Navajo white, Old gold, Olive, Papaya whip, Peach yellow, Saffron, School bus yellow, Selective yellow, Stil de grain yellow, Straw, Sunglow, Sunset, Vanilla, Wheat, Yellow)
- Black (Bistre, Black, Black bean, Black olive, Café noir, Charcoal, Dark purple, Ebony, Eerie black, Eigengrau, Jet, Licorice, Midnight blue, Onyx, Outer space, Oxford blue, Raisin black, Russian violet, Smoky black)
- Brown (Auburn, Almond, Beaver, Bistre, Bole, Bronze, Brown, Brown sugar, Buff, Burgundy, Burnt sienna, Burnt umber, Camel, Caramel, Chamoisee, Chestnut, Chocolate, Citron, Cocoa Brown, Coffee, Copper, Cordovan, Coyote, Desert sand, Drab dark brown, Earth yellow, Ecru, Fallow, Fawn, Field drab, Fulvous, Khaki, Lion, Liver, Mahogany, Maroon, Ochre, Olive, Raw umber, Redwood, Rufous, Russet, Rust, Sand, Sandy brown, Seal brown, Sepia, Sienna, Sinopia, Tan, Taupe, Tawny, Umber, Walnut brown, Wenge, Wheat)
- Orange (Amber, Apricot, Atomic tangerine, Bittersweet, Buff, Burnt orange, Butterscotch, Caramel, Carrot orange, Champagne, Citron, Coral, Dark salmon, Deep carrot orange, ECE/SAE Amber, Flame, Fulvous, Gamboge, Gold, Gold (metallic), International orange, Lion, Mahogany, Mango, Marigold, Old gold, Orange, Orange (web), Orange-red, Orange peel, Papaya whip, Peach, Peach-orange, Peach-yellow, Persian orange, Persimmon, Portland Orange, Princeton Orange, Pumpkin Rust, Safety orange, Salmon, Satin sheen gold, Scarlet, Sunset, Tangelo, Tangerine, Tawny, Tea rose, Tomato, UT Orange, Vermilion)
That's fine in a fantastical setting and worth exploring, but the question is, are such transitions between different color shades natural, or do they need to be subtler, like our skin color differences?