We’ve all heard someone say “It must be a full moon!” when a series of crazy and unusual things happen – believe us, at the SGRA Offices it’s a phrase we hear a lot! – but is there in fact more truth to that exclamation that most may think. If things get more werid during a full moon, than one can only imagine that during this weekend’s Super Moon – when the moon will appear 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons – things may get really strange! To make sure you’re all prepared for the lunatic behavior, werewolves that may be lurking, and other weirdness that may occur, we though it’d be nice to give you some insights and tidbits to keep in mind. After all, associations with the moon and its effect on the planet, on animals, and of course on ourselves, is well documented since ancient times. The Super Moon even inspires the start of one of the largest sex events on Earth… sorry to disapoint any readers, but that event is the the spawning of sea corals, nothing else.
Perhaps one of the most important things to keep in mind about a full or super moon is that the effects are felt three days before, and three days after, the “peak event” actually takes place. Although that means that there are effects on things during those times, it does seem that the peak of it all is when things really start to go loony. That’s why statistically there are more emergency calls, visits to the hospital, car accidents, and other issues that take place on full moons. Now, there have been very strict studies done on those issues, and while some of them have determined there is not any actual significant increase in these events during full moon phases, others have suggested that the simple psychological effects such as increased anxiety during full moons can cause this time to feel worse than others. But, there are some scientific facts behind this idea of a full moon effecting emergencies. For example during full moon phases it seems that blood in our system flows better, people do in fact report more severe migraines and other body aches, and an increase in difficulty sleeping does cause for other issues — even leading to the aptly-named “Lunacy” in some folks.
Of course many people associate the full moons with the act of Lycanthropy – turning into a werewolf, and the first instance of that being recorded as an actual claim dates back to the 13th century when a man named Gervaise of Tilbury linked full moons to werewolves. There had been many legends of werewolves long before he came along, and for decades his linkage to the full moons went without must attention. That was until authors came along looking to produce gothic werewolf stories, and they needed a dramatic reason why someone would transform into such a beast. The full moon – long since a thing of mystery – was the perfect reason needed. And after that point the link between full moons and werewolves became the stuff of legends.
The moon also effects the flow of water on our planet, and that includes from lakes, to rivers, to the oceans themselves. Rivers tend to run more rapidly during a full moon, waters may be more choppy and unpredictable, and ocean tides reach their maximum during the full moon. Experienced sailors know these effects well, and the tides may be off by several feet during these times. High tides can reach maximums of 10 feet above normal, and low tides can be just as off. The full moon is the brightest object in the night sky. It has an apparent magnitude of -12.6 compared with the Sun’s of -26.8.The full moon is said to be at perigee when it is full at the same moment its orbit brings it closest to the earth. The moon appears imperceptibly brighter at this time.
What do you think about the moon’s connection with strange happenings? Is there any truth behind lunacy? What fun facts do you know about the moon? You can tell us what you know by leaving a reply below, and we invite you to share your Super Moon pictures and stories with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can now tag us on Facebook or Twitter! Have fun out there this weekend moon watching, but remember, don’t let yourselves get too crazy!