Social Question

prasad's avatar

Does the moon have any effect on human mind? ...on new/full moon?

Asked by prasad (3826 points ) May 12th, 2012

The moon causes tides in the oceans (though Sun is also there). Water covers around 70 percent of the earth see reference. Human body has around 50 percent of water see reference. Since moon is prominently responsible for rise or fall of water on earth, can it have any effect on humans?

I concede, there is no clear relation of water in human body and the human mind, but there are lot of stories of unusual human behaviour on either full moon or new moon.

And to add to that I am observing this on one of my friends. This unfortunate friend was quite normal before, but something happened and he started behaving unusual. Now, sometimes he is talking like a normal adult, but suddenly starts running out on the road yelling, cursing. He calls my home number and talks literally anything – like from murdering me or my parents when new moon approaches. This has happened for several months. He calls up any time; once he called at around 3.30 midnight. So, he has been now locked inside his house. This is an unusual and unfortunate example for me to experience; since I have lost a good friend of mine.

We were told many stories of ghosts rising on new moon night in my childhood days. I have learned also of werewolves on full moon.

Can the moon has any effect on humans? What? Could you explain it for me?
Thanks in advance!

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28 Answers

filmfann's avatar

A full moon increases the amount of positive ions in the atmosphere. This is probably what makes people act like idiots.
I used to be a telephone operator, and we handled calls from the local jail. Everyone at the board could tell when there was a full moon, because of the behavior of the incarcerated.

ragingloli's avatar

Only on a psychological level.
The gravitational force exerted by the moon on your cranium is only one trillionth of the force exerted on your head by your pillow when you sleep.
Neil Degrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist

ragingloli's avatar

@filmfann
1. “A full moon increases the amount of positive ions in the atmosphere.”
Evidence for that please.
2. “This is probably what makes people act like idiots”
Please demonstrate the connection between 1 and 2 if 1 is true and demonstrated.
3. “Everyone at the board could tell when there was a full moon, because of the behavior of the incarcerated.”
Please show statistics that demonstrate this alleged correlation.

majorrich's avatar

I cannot give you any scientific reason for why it happens, but years of observation and anecdotal references from my life experience. I have made many more arrests, had more encounters with wacky people and observed more stupid people when the moon was full than at any other phase. New moon, not so much. I am sure there must be a reason for it, but I don’t know why

Trillian's avatar

As far as I know there are no studies which back this up. I worked L&D, and on those days our birth rates were always double or more. In the ER, the knife and gun club meetings increased, as did the drunken brawl/argument winners and losers increased.
So, I suppose one could look at the numbers in ER’s and births in any hospitals to see if there were any correlations. A co-worker of mine has a parent with Alzheimers, and she says that during the full moon he’s noticeably more fractious to the point that she has to hire extra help on those days.

gorillapaws's avatar

@majorrich While crime tends to increase on as the moon gets more full (I believe), the most widely accepted (and simplest) explanation is that there is more moonlight so it’s easier for bad guys to sneak around and see what they’re doing. When it’s pitch black, you need a flashlight (and that has a way of making it hard to be stealthy).

Sunny2's avatar

In a dance class I took, there’d be a day when people made more mistake than usual. Some one would ask, “Is there a full moon?” And more often, there would be. It maybe the gravity pull threw us slightly off balance.
Kids in my classroom could be more fidgety when there was a full moon. Cause and effect? I’ve no idea.

gailcalled's avatar

Back when I used to be able to easily get a good night’s sleep, the full moon set off restlessness.

Now that I sleep badly all the time, I find looking at the full moon at 3:00 AM is soothing.

PhiNotPi's avatar

A lot of what people are describing here is probably confirmation bias. People are more likely to remember when their opinion is confirmed than when they are contradicted.

ninjacolin's avatar

I would say yes, absolutely. With all the myths and legends over time that we’ve amassed in our heads about full moons I wager that it would be very difficult for a mind not to succumb to some sort of placebo effect. At the very least full moons tend to make minds want to start talking about the full moon. eg. “Hey, look a full moon!”

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

As @Trillian pointed out they is a large body of anecdotal evidence for the effects of the full moon on human behaviour. As yet, I have been unable to find a well controlled study to adequately validate these observations. I would urge some tenured researcher to investigate this. Anyone else would lack the credibility and gravitas not to be laughed out of their department.

FluffyChicken's avatar

Women’s oestrus cycle is 28 days. The moon cycle is 28 days.

Native tradition says to start things on new moon a nd allow them to come to fruition on full moon. Also according to a Native elder I know, women would have their periods diring the new moon and would ovulate during the full moon back when we were more in tune with nature’s cycles. If this is true then it could explain why the full moon is thought to be so romantic.

woodcutter's avatar

This makes sense now…why my balls always seemed to go deeper into the toilet water on a full moon.—whooda thunk?—

filmfann's avatar

@ragingloli 1: I read that in a book about the effects of negative ions years ago. Here is a website that quotes similar evidence.
2: See above
3: This would be something a room full of people, me included, noticed. I am unaware that we were documented.

ragingloli's avatar

Let me just say that your site does not inspire any confidence in its veracity (to put it mildly), especially since it cites decades old sources from questionable authors about which the net seems to have no information at all.
And sorry, anecdotes and personal testimony are the weakest forms of evidence there is, so you and your “room full of people” just does not cut it.
There are thousands of alien abductees, too.

rooeytoo's avatar

Police people I have known over the years have always said people get loony at the time of a full moon. My personal experience has been similar. Where is johnpennington, wonder what he would say of his experience.

lillycoyote's avatar

I can’t find the reference right now but I remember answering on a similar thread, on full moons, and having found some information about a theory that the idea of people getting crazy during full moons may have come from the Middle Ages, at some point, when there were not adequate ways to light outdoor, public spaces. So, when there was a full moon there was more or enough light and a lot more people were out and about around town at night and sometimes, some of them, would act up and get themselves into trouble just because there were simply more people out and more ways to get into trouble; they were out and about rather than staying at home and behaving, or at least if they were misbehaving at other times, they were doing it in their own homes. I will try to find the reference. It made a fair amount of sense to me, as a possible reason for where this notion might have come from.

lillycoyote's avatar

@prasad As to your friend, he has experienced many full moons in the past. If he was quite normal before, having experienced many full moons previously, how could his behaving strangely be attributed to a full moon? As you say, “something happened,” but I don’t believe it has anything to do with the moon. He should not be locked in his house. He should be getting psychiatric treatment.

prasad's avatar

@All Thanks.

I think, people in the western world think of full moon as not good. People in eastern world think of no moon as not good. I am in India. Here, no moon is considered spooky, and people are afraid to go near cemeteries and certain trees at that time in night. It may be like some geographical differences here and there?

Like, people in the western world like summers; I understand rains and winters there may not be that pleasant. As opposed, people here like rains and winters. This is pleasant time in the year and considered prosperous time. Yes, summers are very hot and everything depends on water and thus rains.People are eagerly waiting for monsoon. Now just to let you know, we divide a year in three seasons – summer (February to May), rainy (June to September), and winter (October to January).

lillycoyote's avatar

@prasad I apologize, in your description of your friends behavior, you have referred to the coming of the new moon. And I have been focusing on full moons. You are right, perhaps we in the west think about full moons more than the other phases of the moon, and those who might consider them, consider them bad, perhaps. I have been talking about full moons. I apologize for not reading your details more carefully. Still, I don’t think the moon has anything to do with it. I don’t believe the phases of the moon have any effect on human psychology or behavior.

prasad's avatar

@lillycoyote His behavior is strange near no moon, I get many calls from him around that time. I don’t know the reason, but this has been happening for many months now.

He was normal before. And many are trying to find out what happened to him. I remember few things which might be related to his change. When we were in high school, we used to bunk off lectures and play cricket on nearby ground. A couple of times we were caught by his uncle. Whenever that happened, he seemed to be frightened by his uncle. His uncle used to drink alcohol at some nights, besides I don’t know much about that. And that, we also don’t know why his uncle used to keep watch on him. So many of us, friends, think his uncle could be a probable culprit.

Second, his grandfather died during that time who he loved very much. A little after his grandfather’s death, he started behaving unusual.

Third, we used to sit beside a forsaken well, which we were told that it was haunted. And that some ghost or ill power might have taken control of him then. And his parents have alleged his friends, us, for his present condition. So, all of the friends now avoid to visit him or go nearby there. We did tell them we ere not guilty, many times.

He has been taken to many doctors, psychologists, and sorcerers, but no use. Psychologists said his case is now out of control.

it’s okay; you need not apologize. Thanks.

lillycoyote's avatar

@prasad That is so very sad. Noone, no person should ever be considered hopeless, in my opinion, and that’s what it sounds like, that people have just decided that his case is hopeless and nothing can be done. I just don’t believe in moon power and hauntings and ghosts and powers of ill will taking over people. There must be someone, somewhere who can help him.

Where in India are you? I don’t, really I don’t, mean to imply that you are living in some sort of backward part of India, but is there a larger city where he could go, where someone might be able to help your friend? Where there might be more options for him? Where he might not be seen as a hopeless case? Maybe that has already been done. I don’t mean to be ignorant. I feel bad for him. He sounds very troubled.

I feel bad for his family who has to stand by and feel helpless to do anything and I feel bad for you, because you feel as though you have lost a friend that you seem to care very much about. Not to mention, not the very least being, that it must be incredibly frightening to get these calls from him in the middle of the night threatening you and your family. If only for that reason someone needs to figure out what’s going on with him and get him whatever help is available.

He can’t just continue to be locked in his house, in my opinion. Not only is that wrong, I think, but it must be an incredible strain on his family. If someone can help him he needs to be helped, if not, he may need to be institutionalized in some way.

lillycoyote's avatar

@prasad To clarify, and I hope I’m not digging myself in deeper here, but people in the U.S. often have to travel a bit, sometimes to the bigger cities to get better medical and mental health care for themselves and their loved ones. I think I am digging myself in deeper. Now I feel like I have to apologize for something, I’m just not sure exactly what. :-)

prasad's avatar

My friend is now in Miraj, which is my home town. I am currently in Pune. But, I do visit my home town many times. I don’t know how this could help. Pune is big city here, there are many good hospitals; and it is near (4 hours) from Mumbai.

Yes, some parts in India are quite backward, especially eastern regions. You might have heard a news of Italians who were abducted there; they are free now. Coming to my region, it is developing. We are backward as compared to you, but as not backward as you might think. British developed Miraj. Here are many good doctors, hospitals like cancer hospital. But for much advanced things, like say nuclear medicines, we need to go to Mumbai. Besides, Miraj is much cheaper than Pune.

lillycoyote's avatar

@prasad This is what I wanted to avoid. The implication that I think you are backward, or that you live in some backward part of India. I seem not to have managed that. Really, I don’t think that. There is backwardness here in the U.S. too. I also have friends from India, here in the U.S. and while I am not an expert on your country I do know a little bit about it, not much but a little bit. Just don’t ask me to catalogue or list my knowledge of India. I will fail at that task royally. :-)

lillycoyote's avatar

@prasad We talked by PM, of course you know that. I was just kind of grasping at straws. I just wish there was someway to help your friend. But on the other hand, my brother is mentally ill, he is schizophrenic and you can’t can’t help people who don’t want to be helped and if the family has tried everything, if they have already taken him to many doctors and psychologists, I don’t know what else anyone can do. As I mentioned, and as has been the case in my own family, it can be incredibly painful and can cause incredible stress on a family to have a loved one who won’t or can’t be helped for some reason.

In the end, if you cannot help someone, you have to protect yourself. As hard and as sad and a horribly tragic as it is, you can’t let the person, no matter how much you love and care for them, drag everyone else down with them, if they can’t or won’t be helped.

That is absolutely the most painful thing about what happened to my brother, to my family. People who haven’t been there can’t imagine what it’s like. My metaphor is that he fell out of the life boat, the family life boat, through no fault of his own, he just had a broken brain; he didn’t want or mean for to happen, and we all tried as hard as we could to help him, to pull him back in to the boat, but he wouldn’t, couldn’t take or accept ours or anyone else’s help. It’s like he was in the water, drowning and we grabbed his hand, but he wouldn’t let us pull him back into the boat, he was just pulling us all in there, down under, with him. The hardest thing my family ever, ever had to do was let go of my brother’s hand and let him sink down into the water. But it came down to a choice between just him drowning and all of us, my brother, my whole family, all drowning together, if we let us pull him down with him. That was the only choice at a certain point. There was no other choice.

prasad's avatar

@lillycoyote Sad experience. It must have been really hard.

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