- Education and Science
Lunar Lunacy: Fascinating Effects of a Full Moon
Scientific Evidence of Lunar Lunacy
Despite all of the beliefs, no valid scientific study has ever found a significant extraordinary effect of the full Moon on life on Earth. The term lunar effect refers to correlations between specific stages of the roughly 29.5-day lunar cycle and behavior in humans or other living things.
Effects of a Full Moon
I decided to write about Lunar Lunacy since we just had a full moon the other evening. I have always been intrigued with the fascinating topic of a full moon and it's possible effects on mood and behavior in people. So much so, I wrote a research paper on it in my college days and continue to be captivated by the subject.
Let me start out by explaining what a full moon actually is: Wikipedia states that a full moon happens "when the sun and moon are on opposite sides of the earth." Some researchers believe that the gravitational changes that occur during a full moon, may affect a person's physiology make up which can cause changes in behavior. An interesting article in the "Scientific American," talks about the Greek philosopher Aristotle and Roman historian Pliny the Elder-It suggests that the brain is the "moistest" organ in the body and is therefore the most susceptible to the full moon's unfavorable influences which triggers the tides. Miami Psychiatrist Arnold Lieber, a more contemporary author, was another follower of this belief. Conversely, the late astronomer George Abell of the University of California, Los Angeles, noted, "a mosquito sitting on our arm exerts more powerful gravitational pull on us than the moon does."
Let me be clear, research to date has not yet supported the claim that we act loony because of a full moon. There are those on both sides of this debate. In my research, I found proponents of the lunar lunacy theory have either experienced the erratic behavior personally or have witnessed it because of working in a particular field. For purposes of this hub, it doesn't matter to me whether or not research backs up the theory of lunar lunacy. I am merely intrigued with the "what ifs" of this lunar enigma and have experienced it's effects as a counselor.
My experience as a Crisis Phone Counselor showed me how phones rang off the hook when there was a full moon. We were so busy, we made sure to staff accordingly during a lunar event.
Are you a believer that a full moon can affect behavior
Do you believe a full moon can affect a person's behavior
Possible Effects of Lunar Lunacy
Although research has not yet validated the 'Lunar Lunacy effect', this is a list of possible effects that have come from proponents of the theory.
- Mental health issues seem to worsen during full moons. Schizophrenics show the greatest deterioration in mental well-being and quality of life.
- There is increased admissions to psychiatric wards and hospitals during a full moon.
- Suicides and homicides increase during a full moon.
- Phone lines at anonymous phone counseling clinics, ring off the hook during a full moon.
- The word lunatic actually comes from the word "luna" (latin for moon) and has connotations of the belief that a full moon causes deviant behavior.
- A full moon triggers physiological changes in epileptic patients which induces seizures.
- There is an increase in crime during a full moon.
- There is an increase in police calls for domestic disturbances during a full moon.
- Eastern European women notice a problem with menstrual cycles during a full moon.
- There is an increase in traffic accidents during a full moon.
- During the Middle Ages in Europe, the term, "Transylvania Effect" and/or "Lunar Lunacy" was used to describe how a full moon could transform people into werewolves or Vampires.
- Hospitalization for Gastro-intestinal bleeding in males tend to rise when there is a full moon.
- Full moon mythology has persisted throughout history.
Moon and it's Effects
© 2011 Linda Rogers