What Really Happens During A Full Moon?

Every month, when the full moon rises, we hear the stories: police departments receive strange phone calls, nurses have to deal with hyperactive patients.

All the “crazies” come out, they say.

Even the words lunacy and lunatic find their origins tied to the moon. But is there any truth to the madness caused by our lunar phases?

It’s All In Your Head

The full moon itself isn’t much of a mystery.

About every 30 days, Earth crosses between the Sun and the moon, causing the moon to appear full as its entire surface catches light from the Sun. The opposite occurs during a new moon, when the moon itself is between Earth and the Sun.

Perfectly normal cycles of the heavenly bodies.

And yet, full moons are associated with all sorts of odd behavior. Aren’t they?

While research has been done on the topic, there’s no actual evidence that full moons cause people to go mad. Most studies have shown either no correlation, or those that did were eventually proven wrong.

But the moon does have a gravitational influence on our tides. Could this same influence somehow affect human physiology?

That’s unlikely, as the moon’s gravity is always present, not just during full moons. Even if it did affect human physiology, it would affect us every day. We’d notice no difference.

Perhaps, instead, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: If you’ve constantly been told that people act crazy during a full moon — well, like taking a placebo, if you believe it works, it works. You’ll be more likely to go “crazy.”

That, or it gives people an excuse to act out.

Today is the beginning of this October’s full moon phase. Will things be stranger than usual?

I guess we’ll see.


Rob Schwarz

Writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions.


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