With the imposing supermoon that is coming our way, set to illuminate the sky and present itself in its largest form in over 70 years, I thought we could touch base on what that means for us humans on earth.
Are we all going to magically morph into our best version of the joker and the cities will plunge into chaos like a scene from The Purge. Well, the word lunacy comes from the word luna, who was the Roman Goddess of the moon, so perhaps it could be possible.
Let’s touch base on a few of the general myths behind full moons and the effect it has on humans and the earth.
We have all heard that emergency rooms go crazy on the night of a full moon. Studies from Calvary Mater Newcastle between 2008 and 2009, have shown a consistent increase of violent and acute behaviour around the full moon.
However, contrasting research was posted by the NCBI that spanned a 13 month period and included over 58,000 trauma patients. The aim of the study was to see if there was a heightened number of admissions in the 3 day period around each full moon. This data showed no significant increase when compared to a lunar calendar.
They say not only humans are affected. Experts believe the animals we share this planet with are also affected. So if Werewolves are howling at the moon, can our dogs and other animal go crazy too?
With an abundance of light during these periods, it safe to say that it is going to impact nocturnal creatures more. A good example of this is lions, they can often be caught hunting during the day around full moons as they lose their element of surprise at night with the extra light.
This could be considered evidence regarding the behavioural impact of animals. To further back this up, an Australian study showed that dogs were no more likely to bite someone on a full moon that on any normal night. So when considering the moon’s effect on animals, I think we can write this one off as a Myth.
Lastly, it is believed by some that because of the moon’s connection to the tidal movement in the ocean and as the human body is made of mostly water, the moon will also have an effect on us.
This myth has been busted. The moon’s tidal effect differs between the human body and the ocean as the dimensions of the human body are too small to be affected.
How it works is the Earth’s oceans facing the moon are pulled towards the moon creating a high tide at this point. It also pulls the Earth’s centre towards it creating another high tide at the opposite side of the earth. Almost like it is pulling the planet away from the water at that side causing it to be higher. and this continues around as it orbits. So it’s safe to say the tidal effect is a large scale event.
When you relate this kind of movement to smaller masses of water like lakes it appears that there is little to no tidal effect. Then on a smaller scale again as humans, there is none.
Also the fact that the moon’s tidal effect is not enhanced by how much light is shining on it. It is constantly having an effect as it’s orbiting the earth.
So in conclusion, maybe if we took it back a few hundred years before we had artificial light, when once in a lunar cycle the moon became full, putting on a show, lighting up the land exponentially, we were able to put any meaning we wanted to this phenomenon. But in a world, that’s lit up 24/7, the impacts on humans and animals alike are considerably more subdued.