Full Screen London, England Rome, Italy Cairo, Egypt Brasilia, Brazil Buckinghamshire, England Indiana, USA New York City, New York, USA Istanbul, Turkey Folkestone, England Manila, Philippines Kansas City, Missouri, USA Kansas City, Missouri, USA London, England Madrid, Spain Santa Monica, California, USA Sydney, Australia Encinitas, California, USA New York City, New York, USA Ciudad Juarez, Mexico St. Petersburg, Russia Hong Kong, China Madrid, Spain Madrid, Spain Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Cadiz, Spain Sydney, Australia Algiers, Algeria Brazil Hanover, Germany Kansas City, Missouri, USA Berlin, Germany London, England Singapore Toronto, Canada New York City, New York, USA Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Phoenix, Arizona, USA London, England Taipei, Taiwan United States of America New York City, New York, USA New York City, New York, USA London, England Washington, D.C., USA 45/45 SLIDES Along with Mercury in retrograde, the full moon is a pretty popular scapegoat for bad luck and bizarre behavior. Encounter someone acting strangely? Blame it on the lunar phases! It's said that crime rates increase and emergency rooms are much busier during the full moon (though a 2004 study debunked this claim). Plus, there's that whole werewolf thing. Why would this be? The reasoning is that the moon, which affects the ocean's tides, probably exerts a similar effect on us, because the human body is made mostly of water.
This belief that the moon influences behavior is so widely held -- reportedly, even 80 percent of nurses and 64 percent of doctors think it's true, according to a 1987 paper published in the Journal of Emergency Medicine [PDF] -- that in 2012 a team of researchers at Université Laval's School of Psychology in Canada decided to find out if mental illness and the phases of the moon are linked.
© iStock.com/voraorn Does the Full Moon Really Make People Act Crazy? To test the theory, the researchers evaluated 771 patients who visited emergency rooms at two hospitals in Montreal between March 2005 and April 2008. The patients chosen complained of chest pains, which doctors could not determine a medical cause for the pains. Many of the patients suffered from panic attacks, anxiety and mood disorders, or suicidal thoughts.
When the researchers compared the time of the visits to the phases of the moon, they found that there was no link between the incidence of psychological problems and the four lunar phases, with one exception: in the last lunar quarter, anxiety disorders were 32 percent less frequent. "This may be coincidental or due to factors we did not take into account," Dr. Geneviève Belleville, who directed the team of researchers, said. "But one thing is certain: we observed no full-moon or new-moon effect on psychological problems."
So rest easy (or maybe not): If people seem to act crazy during the full moon, their behavior is likely pretty similar during the rest of the lunar cycle as well.
Related Slideshow: Famous milestones in space (Provided by Photo Services)
Full Screen Jan. 3, 2019: China lands probe on far side of the moon Jan. 1, 2019: NASA explores furthest point in space Oct. 29, 2018: Closest man-made object to the Sun June 20, 1944: First man-made object in space Oct. 4, 1957: First artificial satellite in space Nov. 3, 1957: First animal to orbit the Earth Aug. 14, 1959: First photo of Earth from space Oct. 7, 1959: First photos of another space object March 11, 1960: First solar probe is launched April 12, 1961: First man in space May 5, 1961: First completed manned spaceflight June 16, 1963: First woman in space March 18, 1965: First spacewalk July 15, 1965: First close-up photographs of another planet Feb. 3, 1966: First soft landing on another celestial body Dec. 25, 1968: First manned mission escapes Earth's orbit July 20, 1969: First man on the moon Nov. 17, 1970: First lunar rover lands April 19, 1971: First space station July 15, 1972: First mission to leave the inner Solar System July 15, 1975: First international manned mission launches Oct. 22, 1975: First photos from the surface of another planet April 12, 1981: First reusable shuttle launches Feb. 7, 1984: First untethered spacewalk July 25, 1984: First woman to walk in space Jan. 28, 1986: Challenger explosion Feb. 19, 1986: First long-term space station Feb. 14, 1990: First photograph of the whole solar system March 22, 1995: Longest human space flight July 4, 1997: First operational rover on another planet Nov. 20, 1998: Largest man-made object in space March 6, 2009: First space telescope April 28, 2001: First space tourist Feb. 12, 2001: First landing on an asteroid May 22, 2012: First private company in space Nov. 12, 2014: First comet landing July 14, 2015: Last encounter with one of nine original planets Aug. 10, 2015: Fresh food is harvested in space March 2, 2016: First ISS year-long mission ends Feb. 15, 2017: 104 satellites launched at once March 30, 2017: First reusable orbital rocket launched and landed Feb. 6, 2018: SpaceX tests the most powerful launch vehicle in operation 42/42 SLIDES Read more