If you hear dogs howling or see signs of other strange behavior, you’d better check the sky. There could be a full moon!
Those of you who have seen old scary movies probably already know that a full moon is supposed to bring out werewolves. Werewolves aren’t the only things supposedly affected by the phase of the moon, though.
Throughout history, different phases of the moon — especially the full moon — have been linked to all sorts of behaviors. Some police officers believe that a full moon leads to more crimes being committed.
Others believe a full moon can lead to accidents and natural disasters. Some hospital workers also think birth rates go up around the time of the full moon every month. One belief — that the full moon causes madness — is so widespread that moon-inspired words sometimes describe it: lunacy and lunatic!
So are all these beliefs true? Do weird things happen during a full moon? While it’s true that weird things can happen during a full moon — after all, weird things happen every day, right? — there’s no proof that any particular behaviors occur because of or more frequently during a full moon.
Many scientific studies have been conducted in an effort to try to find proof of a “full moon effect.” To date, though, these studies haven’t found any strong evidence for any relationship between a full moon and particular behaviors.
If there’s no scientific proof that a full moon encourages weird behavior, why do so many people believe it does? For one thing, popular media help to perpetuate these beliefs. A link between a full moon and odd behavior is a popular element of hundreds of books, television shows and movies.
Scientists know that the moon does affect the ocean’s tides. Many people have extended this scientific fact into fantasy, though, claiming that something powerful enough to affect the world’s oceans must also be powerful enough to affect human behavior.
Most likely is the fact that, when weird things happen during a full moon, people are likely to notice the huge full moon and the sky and WONDER whether it had something to do with what happened. When these same things happen at other times, no one thinks to consider whether it had anything to do with the moon.