Geology, astronomy, Earth and weather sciences have always fascinated this author.
Does the Full Moon Affect People's Behavior?
Many people say it does. If you go by Hollywood's offerings, every sort of mythical beast comes out to prowl and attack on the full moon, the most popular of these offerings being werewolves.
It would be a challenge to keep count of how many werewolf movies have been produced over the years.
However, there may be a bit of science fact behind all the fictional drama and horror flicks. Let's explore.
The Moon's Gravity Affects Much
While many people will pooh-pooh the notion that the moon has anything to do with human behavior, I'm not so sure.
Just ask emergency room doctors and nurses, or cops, all of whom report an upswing in incidents during the full moon.
It was none other than Sir Isaac Newton, of the falling apple fame, who worked out the law of gravity, and also, it turns out, figured out that it was the gravity of the moon responsible for creating the tides.
The moon's gravity affects us far more than that of the sun, given that it is so much closer to us.
For centuries, the planting of crops and their harvest was tied to the lunar cycles. People believed that planting at just the right time insured a bountiful harvest, while ignoring the planting schedule could mean disaster.
There are still many parts of the world, and even some small enclaves of earth-centric groups here where such cycles are still observed and used.
Of course, there are other cycles of planting having to do with seasons, and length of summer in any given area. It's not always about the moon, but I found the website referenced above to be quite interesting concerning the moon and planting.
Many people still refer to the standby "Old Farmer's Almanac," which gives not only planting times but tidal tables, moon phases, and weather forecasts.
Sir Isaac Newton
The Moon Pushes And Pulls Water; Why Not That in Our Bodies?
The moon pulls the tides of the oceans around, making them ebb and flow. Since the oceans weigh a combined total of approximately 1.5 quintillion tons, then it should come as no surprise that the pull of the moon should be able to affect our human bodies, which are puny by comparison!
After all, our bodies are, on average, about 60% water. The weight of water naturally will vary by individual, but, for example a man weighing in at 195 pounds will have a body that is approximately 117 pounds worth of water.
If the gravity of the far away moon is strong enough to influence the tides of all the waters of Earth, then we humans and other animals, by comparison, are mere ‘pushovers,’ hardly a blip on the moon’s radar.
Now, of course, when you factor in all the animals on earth, as well as other species, you come up with a lot more weight, but if you then divide out the percentage of water weight for all those beings, I’m pretty sure it would not add up to the weight of water in the oceans. I don’t know. It might. I don’t think that study has been attempted.
But Does it Really Have an Effect?
In point of scientific fact, no. The effect of the moon applies only to open bodies of water, such as lakes and oceans. It does not have any effect at all on water inside a container such as a person's or animal's body.
If such were true, there would be lunar effects twice a day, as there are two tidal cycles daily, regardless of the phase of the moon.
So, as much fun as it is to speculate and 'lay blame' for some crazy accident or series of unusual behaviors, our companion satellite really has not part in the matter. And, as they say, you can take that to the bank.
© 2014 Liz Elias
What Do You Think?
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on May 17, 2018:
It is an interesting topic, isn't it! I'm inclined to the idea that since the "maddening effects" of the full moon are so well established in both culture and literature, that it might be a 'self-fulfilling-prophecy' type of effect. Or, at times, some deranged individuals might see it as an excuse to behave badly.
Thanks for stopping by; I look forward to reading your article.
Bruce Swanson from Beverly on May 16, 2018:
Some interesting points. I also researched the effects of the full moon and found all kinds interesting data, there's theres so much evidence that shows it has no effect on human behavior. I also wrote about this if you'd like to check it out.
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on August 26, 2015:
I do believe so. There are just too many stories to be coincidence, and even medical professionals and law enforcement personnel have made note of the differences in criminal behavior, accidents, medical issues, etc.
Thanks much for sharing your experiences.
temptor94 on August 26, 2015:
Interesting topic! Moon definitely has a lot of influence on our bodies. I believe the moon even affects our moods, maybe it is a co-incidence but I have often found myself to be in a more pensive mood or the complete opposite of it on certain nights, which I later realized were full moon nights.
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on April 07, 2015:
Indeed, I believe so as well. Some people may be more susceptible than others to lunar influences, but I do believe the influence to be present.
Thanks very much for your comment.
VioletteRose from Atlanta on April 07, 2015:
I believe moon has an impact on personality and behaviours, but not sure how much it affects and under what circumstances. It is definitely an interesting topic to learn more.
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on October 21, 2014:
Hello, handymanbill -- Thanks very much for stopping by and adding your input. I do think the evidence in that direction outweighs the nay-sayers.
Bill from Greensburg Pennsylvania on October 21, 2014:
I think that it does make a big effect on peoples behavior.
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on October 20, 2014:
Oh, golly, now that is interesting.
Just for grins and giggles, I researched prior moon phases, and found out that my eldest was born on a waxing gibbous; the younger on a full mooon. My youngest grandson born on full moon; both granddaughters were born on waning crescents, though. Hubby and eldest grandson were born on waxing "nearly full" moons. I was born on a waning quarter.
Could not go back further and look up my parents, for the chart stopped back at 1930. Most interesting, indeed!
Thanks much for the votes and share!
Mary Hyatt from Florida on October 20, 2014:
I worked in the medical profession for many years, and I can tell you for a fact, pregnant women are more apt to go into labor when the moon is full. My father always swore by the Farmer's Almanac to do his planting. I do think there is more crime when the moon is full, too.
Voted Up, etc. and shared.
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on October 14, 2014:
Hi there, FlourishAnyway,
I've always thought that, so thanks for backing me up! ;-) Glad to see you anytime!
FlourishAnyway from USA on October 14, 2014:
Interesting hub. I think your point about if the moon affects the tides, why not our behavior is a good point.
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 19, 2014:
Hello, rajan jolly,
This is something I have thought about for many years, and finally decided to do a little digging. Thanks for your input, and I'm pleased you enjoyed the article.
Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 19, 2014:
Never seriously gave a thought to the effect of the moon on humans though it does affect the ocean tides.
Very interesting read.
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 14, 2014:
I would have to agree--I just don't think science has caught up with what everyone else knows or senses. Since we are not all out together howling at the moon, I don't believe it can be put down to mass hysteria. ;-)
Thanks ever so much for stopping by and adding further examples.
June Campbell from North Vancouver, BC, Canada on September 14, 2014:
I have heard the full moon/water theory before, and I believe there is truth in it. I definitely think the full moon affects some people's behaviour. Years ago, I worked in a drug and alcohol detox unit. We filled up faster on those nights with a full moon, and the problems we encountered were of a more severe nature.
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 11, 2014:
Hi there, WiccanSage!
I do think there is some effect, and I think the scientific community may be 'afraid' to undertake those studies, for fear of undermining the scientific advances that have debunked many old wives' tales of the past. ;-)
Perhaps I should have consulted the old farmer's Almanac prior to this year's planting--I might have actually gotten some vegetables, instead of having wasted money on the set plants, organic fertilizer, and water. ... but then again, maybe veggies just don't like being in plant pots--even giant ones. ;-)
Mackenzie Sage Wright on September 11, 2014:
I don't know about any studies and such, but my dad swore full moons made some people nutters. Being a Wiccan I get very spiritual around a full moon, considering I often go to rituals. It doesn't affect me negatively but maybe it affects me. And as for farming-- well, I swear by the old farmer's Almanac and moon planting advice. Great hub here, nice work.
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 11, 2014:
Hi there, DDE,
The full moon lore is packed with an interesting mix of facts and myths as well as new hypotheses. I'm glad you enjoyed the article.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 11, 2014:
A very interesting thought about the Full Moon. A fascinating read.
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 10, 2014:
I do tend to lean toward those conclusions myself. It has often been shown that those "in the know," i.e., the scientific and governmental communities, always nay-say any idea that hasn't been fully researched, and in the end, come around admitting the idea was correct all along.
I'm sure Isaac Newton faced the same exact thing on gravity, as did Copernicus, DaVinci, and many other forward-thinking people in history.
Now, when will they stop trying to ascribe all UFO sightings to "weather balloons?" Do they really think everyone is THAT stupid?
Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on September 10, 2014:
The full moon does seem to affect people’s behavior. As you touched on it, this is a water planet and humans are made predominantly of water. Matter is made up of the same stuff, electrons, protons, etc., and it is just the combination of et ceteras that make things different. Scientists are just now researching why a piece of X on the moon will react if the whole of X on earth is affected. So, the whole thing isn’t as crazy as it sounds
I think the evidence is clear, especially on the three-day period of the waxing and waning of the full moon when the drivers of big SUVs and little sports cars are zooming around trying to kill themselves and everybody else. I’ve heard many a person say that it “must be a full moon.”
Very interesting question you’ve aptly posed here. Maybe we will have a definitive answer soon. Voted up++
Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 10, 2014:
@ epbooks - It's a mystery, that's for sure, and bound to be a topic for discussion and disagreement for some time to come!
@ carter06 - Indeed, I wonder if the nay-sayers are just afraid? LOL And yes, the super-moons have been amazing!
Thank you both for your interesting comments.
Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on September 10, 2014:
Very interesting perspective! I can't help but wonder if the moon truly does influence some to act crazy. At least it would offer an explanation!lol
Mary from Cronulla NSW on September 09, 2014:
Interesting hub Lizzy..I have to say I have wondered about this..but whether it does or not who knows for sure.. but this super moon that we are seeing at the moment sure is spectacularly amazing isn't it? Cheers