The Looney Lunar Lesson


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My father told me that when he was working the night shift in the shop when he was in his early twenties that he kept a calendar of the moon phases. He always made sure to take note of when the full moon was because he said there was a noticeable difference in his workers. They were more aggressive, irritable, and just generally more...weird.

I had heard of a full moon doing strange things to people but I had always written it off as a myth. But if my dad says something, then it must be true. But just to be safe, I'll check this one out with my handy dandy Internet resources.

nov-full-moon.jpg

Upon looking over some scholarly articles, I found out that the word lunatic actually comes from the idea that the full moon can change your behavior (luna=moon).

Those who have studied this area of inquiry have concluded that the effects are due to the moon's influence on water. Because we are about 80% water, the moon can have a significant effect on the molecules in our nervous system. Whoa.

Aggravated assaults occurred more often during a full moon, and so did animal bites, which were significantly higher during a full moon period.

Others dispute that gravitational effects are too small to actually affect our brains in any substantial way, and that there is no evidence to support the "Lunar Lunacy Effect" and that all studies have come up inconclusive. More research on the matter was deemed unnecessary, as there were no concrete statistics to make the studies worthwhile.

But I don't care what the critics say. If my dad believes it, then it's true.

Have you guys ever noticed a change in people's behavior around a full moon?

References:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=lunacy-and-the-full-moon

http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/moon.html

5 Comments

Great post! I'm going to have to side with the scientists on this one, though. I think that all the crimes and strange activity that occur during the full moon is just sheer coincidence. You never know... if we say that the moon causes people to behave strangely, that could lead to crazy werewolf theories, etc.

This is such a cool and innovative post! It's almost a bit eerie though but I still think it's cool. I have always wondered about this and generally just accepted it to be myth, but after looking at the two links you posted below and this article: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/10/121029-hurricane-sandy-path-storm-surge-full-moon-nation-weather-science/ about how hurricane Sandy could have been expected to get worse due to a full moon I was astonished. In this National Geographics article, the idea that during a full moon the moon, Sun, and Earth are all in line with each other intensifying the gravitational pull was highlighted. It even went on to show reasons as to why the water high tides were high during full moons as well.

This is beyond fascinating! Even though effects of lunar lunacy are minimal I think it's crazy how mother nature and things in nature bring us back to our primate state and how something so far away could still affect us down here on Earth. I feel like there are many possible confounding variables though and wish there would be more research done on this effect, especially with animals. There are also other things "Lunar Lunacy" and the full move can have on humans and animals. I know wiki isn't the most reliable source but there's some really cool things on here that I think you should check out.

Yes it is definitely (well at least in my opinion) something worth more investigation! I do agree, Nick, that there could be some people who will take it to the next step and bring in the whole werewolves and vampires aspect. But you will see that with all types of scientific experiments.

Natasha, thanks for that article, I did not realize the moon's connection to Hurricane Sandy, and its affect! Very interesting stuff.

And Jasmin, thanks for the further research, I think wiki is pretty good! I do agree that it is phenomenal how much more connected with nature we are than we think we are. More studies should be done to further prove these connections.

while I was reading your post, I remembered there was an old ritual in Korea. If a women wants to have a baby boy, she should inhale the energy of a full moon. So basically she goes out at night of full moon and inhale the air, looking at the moon. Isn't this interesting? How some people think full moon makes people go crazy, but some think it fulfills you with the energy for having a baby boy. I found that in 2005's study by Mayo Clinics, they recorded the check-in patients during the full moon days. "They found no statistical difference in the number of visits on the three nights surrounding full moons vs. other nights".

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