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The Full Moon Effect

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“It’s a full moon” is said to be muttered monthly by police officers, emergency room doctors, and teachers.  The full moon has been linked to murder; suicide, accidents, birthrates, fertility, and some even buy or sell stocks according to the moon’s phases. However, science has pooh-poohed the anecdotal evidence and concluded that the moon’s phases have no effect on the human physic.

In 1986, researchers from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada combined the results of about 100 studies and found “no causal relationship between lunar phenomena and human behavior.”  (Grant, 2008)  There are no changes to the murder rate, suicides do not increase, and craziness in general does not rise. This research shatters the myths that humankind has believed since the cave dweller.

There is a faction of the scientific community who believe that earthquakes and volcanoes increase before and after the full moon.  In an article in Discovery News, Geologist Bill Burton with the US Geological Survey says that this is unlikely that earthquakes are connected to the full moon.

“There are just too many factors that go into seismic activity to make that statement. I think you’d be hard pressed to see a difference in tectonic activity during different lunar phases.” (Rice, 2012)

 So why do these myths of the full moon still prevail?  Well, ingrained beliefs and superstitions are difficult to change.  When elders, the news media, and Hollywood continue to connect strange happenings to the full moon, the population tends to take on those beliefs.

It could be that because of the entire hubbub that surrounds full moon events, people are more observant. Consequently, if an unusual event occurs such as an accident, a person looking into the night sky may associate the unusual event as causal effect of the full moon. If the same event happened at another time in the moon’s phase the correlation or connection would be absent.

The next full moon will be on Saturday, May 5, 2012 and it is called a “super” moon due to its close distance to the earth. What “extreme” craziness will occur from this full moon? The fact remains, that as long as people believe that the full moon affects humans in a negative way, superstitions and myths will surround this monthly phenomenon. So the next time you hear, “It must be the moon.” Remember that it is only an idiom used since humans came out of their caves and looked up at the sky.

Works Cited

Arkowitz, S. O. (2009, Feb). Lunacy and the Full Moon: Scientific America. Retrieved from Scientific America.com: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=lunacy-and-the-full-moon

Grant, A. (2008, March 31). Does a full moon actually affect people’s behavior? Retrieved from Scienceline: http://scienceline.org/2008/03/ask-grant-fullmoon/

Rice, R. (2012, 3 18). No Link Between ‘Super Moon’ and Earthquakes. Retrieved from http://news.discovery.com/earth/super-moon-earthquake-no-link-110318.ht

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

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About bigsmileu1

What good is living life if you don't share all the experiences, mistakes, and knowledge you have gained? I am a grandmother, a wife, a mother of two grown children, a Jr. High Teacher for almost two decades, an elementary principal and I want to share my experiences.

5 responses »

  1. This is really fascinating, You’re an excessively skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and sit up for searching for extra of your fantastic post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks

    Reply
  2. I’ve been fascinated by the moon since I was a young girl and did a school project on the tides and how they are affected by lunar cycles – the spring and neap tides. I always wondered whether the fact that we are composed so much of water made us suceptible to the same cycles, everything being possible in the imagination.

    Some certainly continue to observe practices – I am going to a wedding in Ireland on June 4th a date chosen precisely because it is a full moon, so I wonder if that is an auspicious date to choose or not?

    Reply
    • I, too, have always been fascinated by the full moon. It seems logical to say that if the ocean tides are effected by the moon, humans must be also. However, upon researching this very topic, I found many studies that say this is not true. Many cultures believe that there are significances to the Full Moon and its pull on the earth. Much superstition surrounds the full moon including things that go bump in the night. Vampires, werewolves, and witches come to mind when I think of the full moon. Hollywood has done quite a bit to keep these superstitions alive.

      The wedding couple may have chosen the full moon date because is it often thought to be lucky and good for fertility. Consequently, if the wedding couple feels good sharing their wedding vows on the day of the full moon, then bless them with all the rays of the silvery light.

      Thank you for your comments and intriguing questions. I hope you have a wonderful time at the wedding and on your trip to Ireland. 🙂

      Reply

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