By the lore of the moon

The effects of a full moon elude scientific conclusion

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Katie Pearce/PSU Vanguard

The moon mystifies many with its arcane powers. When roads are full of inept drivers or pets start to act weird, the phrase, “It’s a full moon” is often uttered. That’s because the moon does have power over living creatures—not necessarily through transforming werewolves or allowing witches to perform spells, but rather by altering one’s mood and perhaps their actions.

Though some scientists are skeptical about the moon’s effect on human behavior, studies indicate otherwise.

One study indicates human behavior can be linked to changes in the cycle of the moon. The moon is a gravitational force causing water and other liquids to move, as evidenced by ocean waves and tidal changes. At its peak, the full moon can even move bodily fluids within a person and impact their behavior. There is even a study linking crime to the full moon; although, if you are planning on murdering someone, I wouldn’t suggest this excuse.

During the solar eclipse last summer, when the moon covered the sun, the sky went dark and cold. Though this can be attributed to the lack of sunlight, dogs began barking, cats retreated under beds and grounded birds began squawking. One can imagine the iconic image of a wolf howling at the moon’s brightest peak.

Another suggestion comes from the term “lunatic.” Luna means moon, so can unusual, strange behavior be attributed to the full moon? Scientific studies often contradict each other. Some say the moon affects people and their moods, while others refute these studies, insisting there is no connection.

The effects of a full moon could be completely psychological. Perhaps people see a full, silver orb and experience a placebo effect which then makes them act differently. Maybe some people are more prone to the effect of the moon’s gravitational pull. One study showed the full moon did in fact lessen some people’s sleep. Could this be from the moon pulling at our bodily fluids? Could it be from some weird force the moon emits when it is at its most powerful? The world may never know.

The unexplored reaches of space prove mysterious to even the most knowledgeable scientists. Though we have managed to land on the moon, do we truly know its impact on human life? On our earth? The earth and moon partake in a dance every day and night, and humans struggle to understand its meaning.

This Halloween, the moon will be at 84 percent capacity, so perhaps you could pay a bit more attention to your body and see how the full moon affects your mood, behavior, mind, body and soul.

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