“It must be a full moon.”
This is a common phrase heard in professions of dealing with emergencies, from police officers to emergency room nurses and doctors. Many claim that during a full moon, there is a tendency for people to act strangely and more aggressively. The legend is that the full moon brings out the worst in people, meaning more accidents, more violence, and more reckless behavior. Is there any scientific evidence to explain this popular myth?
Studies have been done that analyze records of hospital room visits to attempt to find a correlation between periods of high occupancy and the lunar cycle. Researchers examined over 160,000 records of emergency room visits and found no difference between a full moon and any other night. The same result was found when looking at surgery incidence. Doctors are no more likely to mess up during a surgery no matter what point the lunar cycle is at. A study conducted in 2005 by Mayo Clinic researchers reported that there was no major jump of people coming in during a full moon compared to any other night. The only positive correlation found with the full moon was pet injuries. According to Colorado State University Veterinary Medical Center, researchers found that based on around 12,000 cases of animal emergency visits, there was a 23% higher chance for cats and a 28% higher chance for dogs.
Though there is not much scientific evidence in favor of the full moon myth, it still persists. Some who favor the myth argue that because the body is made of 75% water, the moon’s gravitational pull may be affecting us more when moon is full. However, scientists argue that the pull of the moon on our bodies is minimal and is not strong enough to measurably change anything. Another possible explanation for the myth is that when people know there is a full moon they’re more likely to note weird encounters when they’re more aware of them. Have you heard of the full moon myth? Do you find to encounter more unusual circumstances with people during a full moon? Do you believe there is an explanation even if science hasn’t found it yet?