Myths and Legends

Does a Full Moon Really Make People Crazy?

Full Moon by daniel_alexan80, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic LicensePhoto by  daniel_alexan80

We’ve all seen those horror films where the werewolves come out during a full moon. They say a werewolf is affected by the moon in such a way it causes them to morph into a half-man, half-wolf type creature. But does a full moon really make people crazy?

We’re all well aware that the moon’s cycle may affect our behavior. Now I’m not saying that people really change into werewolves, but these cycles have been known to alter people’s state of mind to different degrees. In fact words like lunacy and lunatic are derived from Luna, the Roman goddess of the moon.

It’s been said that the moon has great influence on all diseases of the brain, and the evidence to support this continues to build. In fact emergency rooms are always busier during a full moon, and doctors will tell you there are more childbirths during this time as well. Schoolchildren will become more unruly and the rate of violent crimes also may go on the rise.

Studies on the Moon and Human Behavior

A Finnish research project in 2000 concluded more people were likely to commit suicide during a new moon. Also a 2007 study, by the Brighton, England police force, found evidence to support an increase in street violence during full moons as well. Although there is plenty of evidence to support this, many people still view this theory as a myth. I find it hard to dispute the evidence that has been collected, but skeptics are hard to convince.

Due to there being no meaningful correlation between the phases of the moon and human behaviors, many people still find discrepancies in this theory. Firstly, any statistics presented have always produced random results. By looking at a set of statistics, one would normally see a pattern forming. But whether or not the pattern is repeated and significant remains unseen. Even though several studies have shown behavioral changes during different stages of the moon’s cycle, there are still many that suggest no change in behavior at all.

In December, 2000 the British Medical Journal published two studies that involved the amount of dog bites that had occurred during a full moon. One studies results had shown an increase in bites, while the other study showed a decrease. When these results were combined, they pretty much cancelled each other out. So essentially nothing could be proven by these studies.

Thirty-seven separate studies were performed by the University of Saskatchewan that looked at the moon’s effect on different aspects of human behavior. Overall, they reported findings based on small samples. These results either contradicted one another or produced no conclusive evidence to support any lunar effects were taking place.

The Flaws Found in these Studies

Many of these studies become victim to human error as well. Seeing how statistics are sometimes very complicated, there’s always a chance someone will miscalculate the data. There was another set of 23 combined studies that actually claimed to have supporting evidence to show the correlation between the moon’s cycle and human craziness. But nearly half of those studies contained statistical errors due to human miscalculations. So in conclusion to all these studies, it is with great certainty the moon has no effect on human behavior, and any study that says otherwise does so because of a flaw in calculation.

Another major conflict in these results is the media. The media never seems to report incidents that conclude the moon was not at fault. But they are anxious to report any story that confirms the “crazy moon” theory. Of course it would be this way, mainly because no one wants to hear a boring news story. It makes everything much more exciting to report the moon having a drastic effect on the homicide rates.

One theory says that emergency rooms will fill up during full moons. Skeptics rationalize this by suggesting people remember what is expected. In other words, someone working in the emergency room may hear stories of how it gets busy during a full moon. So when there is in fact a full moon, they are more likely to remember how busy it was on those nights then they would on any other night. Since there isn’t anything to blame for the busy nights when there isn’t a full moon, you’re a lot less likely to remember those nights.

Of course it’s never been clear as to how the “lunar effect” would effect human behavior. But those that do believe, always seem to mention the tides. They will argue that 80% of the earth’s surface is water, so we must be affected by the moon’s gravity. But there are a few problems with this theory. Even though a moon is more visible when it’s full, this doesn’t mean it’s gravitational pull is any greater. A new moon will be just as close to the Earth as a full one would be, so it’s pull on gravity shouldn’t be effected. Scientists will also argue that the moon’s effect on the ocean’s tide is quite small. Some say that if a mosquito were to land on your arm, it would exert more gravitational force on you than the moon would!

Personally, I tend to believe the moon does have an effect on human behavior. I’ve seen it with my own two eyes, or did I? Maybe this was because I expected it and created the madness with the Powers of the Mind? Could it be the person’s acting oddly did it only because they heard the full moon had that effect?

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27 thoughts on “Does a Full Moon Really Make People Crazy?
    1. Yep, it would appear there is no definitive evidence to support the moon’s cycle has any effect on human behavior. Any change it may have on an individual I believe is made up in their own mind, simply because it’s been drilled into their heads they should act different

    2. Second that. Sometimes when I can’t sleep I go and see what the moon is like. Then I laugh and go to bed again 😉

  1. My girlfriend is always a bit crazy when the moon is full. She is a bit nervous and always quarells with me. Strange really

    1. It’s things such as this that keeps the myths alive. Even though there’s never been any definitive results proving the moon effects human behavior, it hasn’t been proven that it doesn’t either. Thanks for sharing your experience with this, it all helps add to the research.

  2. I do believe the full moon makes people crazy. As a DJ in San Antonio, I always know I’m in for a full night of requests when the moon is full.

    1. Oh no kidding, I bet you have some wild nights in your line of work. San Antonio is a pretty big place, lots of locos there I bet. 🙂

  3. I don;t think a full moon can make people crazy. It’s just the same myth that an earthquake can cause people crazy. but I know that a full moon can turn goku into a monkey. hehehe

    1. lol, that’s pretty funny about goku. But as far as the moon actually effecting people’s behavior, there really haven’t been many successful studies proving it. But there’s no doubt from what I’ve seen that some people either believe in it enough to be effected, or they truly are. A very weird thing that moon.

  4. I know the moon affects the sea waves, but not humans, but it may be the reason why my friend behaves like how she behaves every month or so. lol.

  5. Interesting article but it doesn’t hold true. I guess Full Moon makes people think they are so small as compared to other objects out there, So they go crazy to make them feel bigger.. lolzz

    People could also go crazy if they produce over 70% Electricity at Home. I can definitely prove this 🙂

    1. That’s an interesting way of looking at it Amogh. Although I think if I could produce that much electricity from home, it may cure some of my craziness…lol

  6. Well it might also have a reverse effect… Sometimes a lot of happiness can make people go crazy.. haha lolz 😉
    Its time to think about our Nature & climate unless we want Moon to be our new Home. Not the ideal place for people who think they go crazy on ‘Full Moon’ 🙂

    1. Now that would make for an interesting discussion. Maybe they would react to a full Earth…lol

      Seeing how the Moon is so much smaller than the Earth, I wonder how they would manage to decide who got to go and who didn’t. Maybe a lottery? That would indeed be a sad day in Human history!

  7. If such time arises then i guess there won’t be need for a lottery because the population left will just be in few millions.
    Its better to start saving our Nature “Earth” by generating energy we can at home thus reducing our Carbon Footprint.

  8. Yes, I totally believe on that, by my own experience, after doing a therapy to find the problem the reason of , for one day, usually the first day of full moon, I used to get very mad at someone, totally out of control. But I just realized after searching the days I found this coincidence, and having no other reason to relate to this weird behavior I had snce I have a very calm personality, and I just couldn’t control myself, and it was giving me too many problems.

    1. That’s quite interesting Caroline. Sometimes the moons effects can be quite subtle to where they are not immediately recognized. Tracking the moon and it’s phases has helped you overcome some personal behaviors. Thank you for contributing this useful information to the discussion. 🙂

  9. I remember reading somewhere that it’s believed that early werewolf legends come from early serial killers. The theory being that early serial killers would only have enough light to practice their trade during the days of the full moon before streetlights.

    1. Wow, very interesting tid bit zablss…makes a lot of sense, thanks for informing us of that!

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