Bad Moon Rising: 10 Bizarre Lunar Conspiracy Theories
Since 2007, the Sussex, UK police have increased its security presence during the full moon as a way to crack down on the violent assaults and similar criminal acts that occur more often during a full moon.
The police spokesperson said of the department’s lunar policing strategy: “Research carried out by us has shown a correlation between violent incidents and full moons.”
New Zealand Justice Minister Annette King attributed her country’s rise in murders a recent full moon “when there genuinely is [sic] some unusual things that have happened.” A local police inspector backed her up: “Researchers thought it [increased criminality during a full moon] was possibly linked to an historic urge that prompted our early ancestors to hunt and gather food by taking advantage of moonlight.”
These are not the only signs that the moon is more than what it seems…
A Real Cryptid
Imagine a species of animal that goes into full hormonal overdrive during a full moon. The grunion, an unfortunately named silver fish, <a href= “http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/news/animals-news/us-grunion-spawning-vin/” target= “_blank”>spawns on the sands</a> of Southern California every full moon.
Thousands of female grunions dig themselves into the beach, lay their eggs, and then invite males to compete to fertilize them. Seeing fish “walk” on the land to mate by the thousands under the light of the full moon is unsettling, to say the least.
Full Moons Are for the Dogs
It isn’t just humans that become violent when a full moon is out. A report in the <i>Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association</i> found that, after studying nearly 12,000 cases at a Colorado Medical Center, emergency room visits rose 23% for cats and 28% for dogs on days surrounding full moons.
These animals were admitted for everything from trauma to heart attacks.
Stay Out of the Water
The American Chemical Society’s journal <i>Science and Technology</i> reported that oceanic bacteria levels are twice as likely to be above expected limits on both the full and the new moon. (These levels can rise from acceptable to downright dangerous in a matter of minutes.)
While the government is required to monitor and report bacterial levels on all public beaches, they usually decide where and when to test based on rainfall and proximity to storm drains.
The Origins of Lunacy
Stretching back to the days of Aristotle, people have believed that the mind is influenced by the moon. Psychiatrist Arnold Lieber proposed that since humans are mostly water, we’re affected by the gravitational pull of the moon that also affects the tides. Since the word lunacy comes from the word luna, Latin for “moon,” it seems as though Lieber, Aristotle, and thousands of others might be on to something.
The article in <i>Psychological Bulletin</i>, however, says that a mosquito exerts more gravitational pull on humans than the moon. Way to ruin the party, guys.
Maybe lunacy isn’t caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the water in our brain, but by lack of sleep. Dr. Silvia Frey of the University of Basel said that humans possess a “circalunar clock”, which means that our body regulates our sleep cycles according to the phases of the moon.
We apparently sleep less, as a species, during a full moon. One of the hypotheses for this is evolutionary habit: in previous millennia a greater number of predators were out during the highly illuminated night, causing out primitive ancestors to sleep less in order to avoid being chomped on.
During a study between 2005-2008, researchers in Montreal observed patients admitted to two separate hospital emergency rooms to see if there was a correlation between the full moon and people’s behaviors. The study focused on people with psychosomatic conditions, physical sensations, such as chest pains, that cannot be linked to a physical cause.
Ultimately, the researchers found that the full moon had no effect on increasing either the frequency of visits or the intensity of the cases, but that there were 32% <i>fewer</i> cases when the moon was waning (the week after the full moon).
Full Moon Worship
For thousands of years, people have worshiped both the sun and the moon as a pair of binary opposites meant to regulate life on Earth.
The sun is associated with light and life, which the pale light of the moon means death and (sometimes) rebirth. But sometimes this form of worship goes too far.
This summer has seen a string of gruesome animal mutilations on the moors near Dartmoor, England. One of the most horrific was a two-month-old foal who had its eyes, tongue, and genitals ripped out in some bizarre ritual. Local officials fear that “witches or devil worshippers” are behind the slaughter. One of them noted: “We do get strange things happening from time to time, normally when it’s a full moon.”
Things that Go Bump in the Night
If there isn’t a scientific explanation for why so many people feel out-of-sorts on a full moon, maybe there is a spiritual explanation?
According to the Spiritual Science Research Foundation, both new and full moons can be spiritually harmful. Their website states that the moon puts out subtle frequencies that are similar to the frequencies put out by our thoughts.
The moon frequencies have the ability to stimulate the brain frequencies, and this happens more often during a full moon. This might sound good, especially if you’re in the middle of an all-night study session, but watch out – the full moon’s frequencies also stimulate the energies of ghosts, demons, and other things that go bump in the night.
A Moon Goddess’ Revenge
According to Wicca, the full moon is the primary goddess that guides worshipers through the phases of life. The moon also embodies the contradictions of life, such as birth/death and order/chaos. But the moon goddess might also enjoy a bit of irony.
A Wiccan woman was performing a full moon ceremony in a cemetery outside of Indianapolis. In order to thank the moon goddess for a run of good luck, the worshiper lit candles, burned incense, and tried to drive a sword into the ground.
Instead, the goddess dramatically indicated that the run of good luck was over – instead of driving the sword into the ground, the woman drove it through her foot and had to spend the night in the emergency room.
The Moon’s Hidden Influence
While the moon is most commonly associated with Wicca and pagan worship, it still exerts a large pull on more mainstream religions such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism. For the most part, religious elders downplay their religion’s association with the moon so as to avoid a charge of lunacy.
But Christianity uses the moon to determine when Easter occurs each year. Islam relies on a lunar calendar to determine Ramadan and Eid. And both the Jewish and Hindu calendars rely both on the sun and the moon to establish when to celebrate their major festivals.
The moon is more of a prominent player in the world than what one might initially think.
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