DO you subscribe to the full moon theory – otherwise known as the Lunar Effect, or Transylvania Effect?
The one where you are inclined to think people go a little bit silly or exhibit strange behaviours when the moon is at its brightest?
There are many superstitions asserting lunar cycles affect human behaviour – and whilst there seems to be no scientific evidence to support such theories, many believe them to be true.
Some years ago I interviewed a woman who tried to explain what happens when we are in the full moon stage of a lunar cycle.
She said it was all to do with water.
The ocean’s tides are determined by the pull of the moon’s cycle, and apparently a similar effect happens to the human body. The water and blood in our bodies rise like the tides, and therefore rush to our heads.
It’s a theory pretty quickly shot down by scientists, who say the tidal effect of the moon is in no way related to its phase.
Meanwhile, others such as Dr Christian Cajochen from the University of Basel in Switzerland, believes sleep patterns show the size of the moon makes a difference.
He found the rate of deep sleep dropped by 30 per cent around the full moon.
I spoke with various professionals at the time who swore by the Lunar Effect; surgeons who would not operate because of increased bleeding under a full moon, psychiatric nurses who were busier than usual and police officers who claimed they responded to higher rates of crime.
In 2007 in Brighton, England, more police officers were rostered during full moon shifts, such was the belief that more crimes were committed under the influence of the lunar cycle. And those in custody were more difficult to manage.
If I’m being honest, we throw the theory around in newsrooms quite a bit, too. More crime, it “must be a full moon’’. Someone behaving strangely, “it must be a full moon’’. Yep, it’s part of popular culture, that full moon theory.
A quick online search throws up all sorts of myths around the full moon, with the number one being it sends people crazy.
Other suggestions are that the moon controls fertility, is inhabited by aliens and is a hollow space aircraft.
But interestingly, the Lunar Effect theory was once used as a legal defence - not guilty by reason of the full moon.
Yes, in the 19th Century you could be acquitted for crimes because your behaviour was during a full moon.
Last night was the last full moon of the year – and did you notice anything unusual? Could you sleep? Were you more emotional than usual?
But then ask yourself if it was something that could have happened at any other stage during the lunar cycle, and you only noticed because there was a full moon?
Either way…. the full moon theory has had people talking for years, and no doubt will for years to come.
The Lunar Effect was once used as a legal defence - not guilty by reason of the full moon