Full Moon Phenomenon

Topics: Superstition, Luck, Moon Pages: 7 (2849 words) Published: November 15, 2012
Full Moon Phenomenon

A black cat crosses the road and it is bad luck, you aren’t supposed to open an umbrella inside of the house or a building, or break a mirror. These are all superstitions are that people believe in, it starts as early as age eighteen months when children start to exhibit a form of magical thinking when they begin to create imaginary worlds while playing. One superstition I grew up thinking was true and until recently I still did was that crazy things happen when a full moon is out. Not only did I grow up thinking this, but so did my grandma. She grew up on a farm in Excelsior Springs, Missouri with average, not overly suspicious parents. When I asked her about this theory and where she got it from she said , “ I remember my dad keeping more of a close eye of the cattle and horses, keeping them in the front pastures instead of the back ones on the nights of a full moon. I never recall anything happening on those nights, it was just something his dad has told him when he was growing up.” This myth or thought has been instilled in my grandmother’s thoughts as well; I know this because she also checks up on the horses on the nights of a full moon. One time in particular I remember being at their house, and hearing her get up in the middle of the night with a flashlight to check on them, when I asked her about it she simply said “it’s a full moon honey, gotta check on the girls.” She also came in that night with no report of anything suspicious happening just the quiet night with the horses sound asleep, just as her dad always had. There are tons and tons of things people say supposedly happen because of the full moon. Some people decide to go gambling and believe it will give them luck. People do odd things, turn into werewolves, and the injury rates in hospitals supposedly go up. The belief stretches as far as women going into labor because of the full moon! As I did my research on this topic, I realized that there were a lot more articles and evidence disproving the full moon phenomena theory than there was saying it was true. This made me even more curious and formed questions in my head. First off, where did these ideas originate? Arnold Lieber popularized the idea of a correlation between the full moon and behavior his first thought was the connection between the moon and the water in our bodies. Lieber’s theory was that the lunar effect stems mostly from the fact that the human body is four-fifths water. Because the moon affects the tides of the earth; he thought it was reasonable that the moon would also affect the brain, which is, after all, part of the body. Yet, as astronomer George Abell noted, a mosquito sitting on your arm would exert a more powerful gravitational force on your body than would the Moon. Furthermore, the Moon's tides are influenced not by its phase, or by how much of it is visible on earth—but by its distance from Earth. During a "new moon," the phase at which the moon is invisible to us on earth, it exerts just as much gravitational influence as it does during a full moon. According to Jeanna Bryner, the LiveScience Managing Editor, “The moon is a very powerful force in our universe, its gravity tugging on our oceans to control tides, and its light thought to impact ancient animal behaviors, including the start of one of the largest sex events on Earth (the spawning of corals).” But this has no effect on people at all, and according to livescience.com, “There's no measurable difference in the moon's gravitational effect on the body, because even in a large lakes, tides are extremely minor. On the Great Lakes, for example, tides never exceed 2 inches, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the highest tides occur not just at full moon but also at new moon, when the moon is between Earth and the sun (and we cannot see the moon) and our planet feels the combined gravitational effect of these two objects. Yet nobody...
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