The moon has been a source of artistic inspiration and an object of worship since time immemorial. The Greek philosopher Anaxagoras gave one of the first scientific explanations of the nature of the moon. Thus, he confirmed that the moon is not a deity, but a large spherical body, reflecting sunlight, which also had nothing divine in itself. In 1610, Galileo Galilei described his observations of the moon. So, it became known that the Earth’s satellite contains mountains and craters. However, despite the observations, the moon continued to generate myths. One of the most common is the myth of the full moon, preceding sleepwalking – a sleep disorder that affects every tenth. But is it really so?
Charmed by the moon
The natural satellite of the Earth has always excited the human mind. For centuries, people worshiped the Moon, studied it and referred to it in order to predict the direction of their life and health status. It got to the point that today you can often hear that you even need to cut hair in a certain phase of the moon.
It is believed that as soon as the clouds move in the dark sky, revealing the silver luster of the full moon, people on Earth begin to go crazy. This story is repeated by doctors, teachers and police around the world. Write in our Telegram chat what you think about this, but in the meantime we will find out the opinion of scientists.
Blaming the full moon for strange behavior is a long tradition. In the first century AD, the Roman philosopher Pliny suggested that the full moon led to the formation of more dew, which in turn led to an increase in moisture in the brain, and this, he said, led to madness.
The idea that the full moon is driving people crazy is still not out of fashion. In the 1970s, a popular book claimed that just as the moon controls the tides, its gravitational effect affects the fluid that spills into the human brain. Even today, you can hear stories of student misbehavior and people affected by strange full moon incidents. But there is one big problem with all these theories: not one of them is true.
What is the full moon
For decades, researchers have studied hospital records and police records. Again and again they came to the same conclusion – the full moon does not seem to have anything to do with strange events. No bursts of fertility, no synchronized menstrual cycles and bouts of insanity.
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“I don’t know a single recurring discovery in the literature that there is a connection between the full moon and strange behavior,” says Scott Lilienfeld, professor of psychology at Emory University. Often, studies that support this claim do not hold water. In one article, researchers argue that more automobile accidents occur during the full moon. They later abandoned this, realizing that many of those full moons came on weekends, when more and more people were on their way. But despite the lack of evidence, many people still believe that the full moon makes everything strange.
How do people justify madness
It is not clear where this superstition came from. But in defense of believers in “moonlit madness,” the Moon has a definite effect on Earth. Not surprisingly, people wondered if the moon could shape their life.
Prior to artificial lighting, the full moon could prevent people from sleeping at night, including people with mental illnesses who had trouble falling asleep. But no matter where the idea came from, it was probably easy for people to find evidence for their suspicions that bad things were happening on the full moon. Our brain, as a rule, is predisposed to see the connection where it really is not. As soon as people have the idea that the full moon is associated with strange behavior, they unconsciously seek confirmation of their thoughts.
Scientists call this type of thinking nothing more than cognitive distortion. Experts believe that cognitive distortion is built into our thinking as a means of self-preservation. If you walk through the woods and see something like a snake, you will leave the road, if so. But most often in front of you just lies a stick. The same applies to the full moon.
Our world is very unpredictable, and we can be relieved by the thought that it is not as uncontrollable and not as unpredictable as we imagine. Around, nothing stands still, and we are more pleased to think that this is the fault of the full moon, and not the reason that the world is just a strange place, no matter how the sky looks.
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