Fact or Fiction?
Supermoon over Stanley Waterfront, Hong Kong
Photo by Mark Lehmkuhler, licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
The term "lunatic" derives from the Latin word lunaticus, which originally referred mainly to epilepsy and madness, as diseases thought to be caused by the moon. Philosophers such as Aristotle and Pliny the Elder argued that the full moon induced insane individuals with bipolar disorder by providing light during nights which would otherwise have been dark, and affecting susceptible individuals through the well-known route of sleep deprivation.Until at least 1700 it was also a common belief that the moon influenced fevers, rheumatism, episodes of epilepsy and other diseases. Even until 1978, the connection of the moon and human’s mood was still held true. University of Miami psychologist Arnold Lieber who wrote the book “The Lunar Effect: Biological Tides and Human Emotions” argued that the moon influenced day-to-day behavior and concluded that homicides increased during the full moon after analyzing Miami’s crime records. Not until 1986, researchers from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada had gathered enough facts to dismiss Lieber’s claim the correlation between lunar phenomena and human behaviors.
So there you have it. It is a fiction after all. Lunar occurrence is not the blame for human emotions or behaviors.