How the Moon rules your life
At last, scientists claim to have found a link between our satellite and human behaviour - like how it governs the size of your dinner By Roger Dobson
For eons, folklore has blamed the Moon for everything from lunacy to bad luck. And, for the last few centuries, scientists have scoffed. Now, according to new research they're not so sure. The Moon may not be made of cheese, but it seems to influence a lot more down on Earth than we previously thought.
According to new research, the Moon affects not only the tides of the oceans but also people, producing a range of symptoms from flare-ups of gout to bladder problems. It may even lie behind the causes of car crashes and affect people's hormonal balances.
Having carried out new research and reviewed 50 other studies, scientists suggest that doctors and the police even need to prepare for how their work rate will increase at different points in the lunar cycle. Among the findings examined by the researchers were studies that showed GP consultations go up during a full moon, according to Leeds University. Appointments rise by 3.6 per cent, which works out at around three extra patients for each surgery. The researchers did not speculate on the nature of the moon-related problems or why they happened, but said that "it does not seem to be related to anxiety and depression".
Gout and asthma attacks peak during new and full moons, according to work carried out at the Slovak Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine in Bratislava, where attacks over a 22-year period were monitored.
Data from 140,000 births in New York City showed small but systematic variations in births over a period of 29.53 days - the length of the lunar cycle - with peak fertility in the last quarter. "The timing of the fertility peak in the third quarter suggests that the period of decreasing illumination immediately after the full moon may precipitate ovulation.''
A study in Florida of murders and aggravated assaults showed clusters of attacks around the full moon. A second study of three police areas found the incidence of crimes committed on full-moon days was much higher than on all other days. And a four-year study into car accidents found that the lowest number happened during the full-moon day, while the highest number was two days before the full moon. Accidents were more frequent during the waxing than the waning phase.
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