If you look up on Sunday night and the skies are clear, you should get a great view of the full moon. But what is the full moon and how often does it happen? And why, for centuries, has the belief persisted that the full moon makes people act a little strange? Loop checks it.
What is the full moon?
The full moon occurs when the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun and the light of the Sun shines directly on it, giving it a circular appearance. Full moons can be seen approximately once a month or, to be more precise, approximately once every 29.53 days, which is the time it takes for the lunar cycle to complete. When the Moon is full, it appears large and bright in the sky.
Sometimes the shadow of the Earth blocks light; That is called a lunar eclipse. But eclipses do not occur as often because both celestial bodies are inclined, so the Moon usually passes north or south of Earth's shadow.
Do full moons drive people crazy?
Then people have thought many times about History. The word madness, which means madness, actually comes from the Latin word for the moon, moon, which underlines the belief that people could be affected by its cycle. The idea of a werewolf, a human who transforms into a ferocious beast upon seeing the full moon, has also existed for hundreds of years.
Today, some people believe that when the Moon is full of crimes, riots and hospital admissions increase. In 2007, a UK police force said it was putting additional officers on patrol for full moon nights due to an increase in violent incidents.
Andy Parr, Brighton police officer, told the BBC: "From my experience, over 19 years as a police officer, no doubt on full moons, we seem to catch people with a weirder behavior, more unruly, argumentative. "
(Image: 1941 illustration of a story about werewolves via WikiCommons)
What does science say?
Over the years, countless studies have analyzed the links between the lunar cycle and things like homicide rates, traffic accidents, mental health episodes, animal behavior and even ice hockey fights. Some found links, while others knocked them down.
In 1985, a group of American and Canadian scholars observed all the studies to date and made a deep immersion in their data. In their research, they found that several of the studies found a link containe d statistical or other errors. In the study of traffic accidents, for example, they discovered that investigators had overlooked the fact that the full moon days they studied usually fell on weekends, when traffic accidents usually went up anyway. His conclusion was unequivocal, stating: "Our review supports the view that there is no causal relationship between lunar phenomena and human behavior."
So the debate ended?
No, not at all. The investigation continues In 1998, a three-month project in a British prison identified an increase in violent incidents around the full moon. In 2000, two studies analyzed whether dogs bit people more during the full moon: one said they did and the other said no.
In 2012, Canadian scientists found no evidence that the Moon influenced the behavior of people with health problems after a three-year study. Two years later, an animal protection group in the United Kingdom said it received 12 percent more calls about animal cruelty when there was a full moon.
In 2013, a study discovered that the lunar cycle affected the way we slept, three years later, another found that we did not. And in 2017, a team discovered that motorcyclists were more likely to crash during the full moon, but said it was because they were distracted by it rather than by any behavioral effect.
Where does that leave us?
Regardless of what science tells us or not, both the anecdotal evidence and the survey show that some people believe in the power of the full moon. Experts say it's partly because the media (movies, television, newspapers) perpetuate the idea of the Moon as a kind of mysterious or mystical force. They also say that people are more likely to notice things that support their beliefs, so if something strange happens when the full moon comes out, they are inclined to attribute it to that.
So there you have it! Clear as mud. Whatever you believe, why do not you take a moment to look at the Moon on Sunday night because one thing is for sure? A full moon is always beautiful.
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