Luna, Lunar, Lunatic, Lunacy

Lunatic Annette KingAfter posting on the phenomena of mad folk roaming the streets and, according to Annette “Commonsense” King at least, committing crime, I have literally been inundated with helpful folk telling me all about this scary little known behaviour.

I was pointed to various sites but in particular to Wikipedia. So let’s investigate shall we?

The Lunar Effect:

The lunar effect is a theory which overlaps into sociology, psychology and physiology suggesting that there is correlation between specific stages of the Earth’s lunar cycle and deviant behavior in human beings. It is a pseudoscientific theory, however. The claims of a correlation of lunar phases to human behavior do not hold up under scientific scrutiny. Over the past 30 years, even more evidence has emerged to stress that this is pseudoscience.[1]

The theory is sometimes also referred to as the Transylvanian hypothesis or the Transylvanian effect in scholarly literature.[1]

Ok so perhaps there may be something in this, except it is considered pseudoscience. However Wikipedia continues;

While the exact origins of this theory are ambiguous historically, this belief has been around for many centuries. The term lunacy itself is derived from the name of Luna, the Roman moon goddess. The connection between the words lunar and lunatic can also be demonstrated in other languages, such as in Welsh, where these two words are lloer and lloerig. Perhaps the most famous myths arising from this theory is the legend of the werewolf.

Perhaps they aren’t myths at all. The Romans and the Welsh certainly think there is some link. There has even been significant scientific research conducted into this theory. Annette “Commonsense” King certainly believes it to be true.

In fact it is widely accepted as a valid theory. Well it must be because Wikipedia lists several references to the theory in the media, including Annette “Commonsense” Kings mad ramblings. Heh, I bet she never thought she’d make Wikipedia for that statement.

As with most folklore and urban legends, the notion behind the lunar effect has also found its way into the news. For example, most recently, it has been alleged that the full moon may have influenced voter behavior in the US 2000 presidential election.[9]

Police in Toledo, Ohio claimed that crime rises by five percent during nights with a full moon,[10][11] while police in Kentucky have also blamed temporary rises in crime on the full moon.[12] This was based on there being three car chases within a four-hour period.

In the UK, a survey has found that car accidents rise by up to 50 percent during full moons.[13] Senior police officers in Brighton announced in June 2007 that they were planning to deploy more officers over the summer to counter trouble they believe is linked to the lunar cycle.[14] In January 2008, New Zealand’s Justice Minister Annette King suggested that a spate of stabbings in the country could have been caused by the lunar cycle.[1]