Monday, March 30, 2015

The Full Moon Effect

Have you ever had a day where things were either just going wrong, people were acting strangely, and simple everyday events just seem totally weird? If so, have you ever heard anyone blame these circumstances on the full moon? Apparently, the tides are not the only thing the moon has control over.

For centuries, people all over the world have believed that the moon exerts some sort of magical power over the earth and its inhabitants. The moon was often blamed for evil, unnatural events, and gave birth to many dark myths and superstitions such as werewolves and vampires, and eventually led to terms such as the "lunar lunacy effect" or the "Transylvania effect." Even today, people believe that the full moon has an effect on erratic behaviors such as suicide, homicide, psychotic hospital admissions, car accidents, etc.

Possible Explanation?:

Miami psychiatrist, Arnold Lieber, came up with the conclusion that, just like how the moon effects the tides of the ocean, it can also effect the water in our bodies. Since our bodies are 80% water, its no surprise that the full moon has an effect on our actions, right?

Unfortunately for Lieber, many scientists have refuted this theory. They state that the gravitational pull of the moon isn't nearly strong enough to effect human emotions and actions. Astronomer George Abell quoted that "a mosquito landing on your arm has more gravitational pull on the human body than the moon." One study in 1992 tried to find a connection between the full moon and suicides with a case study of 20 people, only to find no empirical evidence of a connection. Some believers even blame the full moon for dog bites, and state that twice as many dog bites occur during a full moon than any other day. Scientists decided to examine this theory by looking at the medical records of these reported incidents and found that the dates were inconsistent with the cycle of the full moon. In conclusion, there is currently no evidence of the full moon having effect on our mood and behavior.

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20131029-does-a-full-moon-make-people-mad
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/lunacy-and-the-full-moon/

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