Since Ancient Times, humans have realized that the Moon has a big influence on planet Earth. Modern science showed us that the Moon modifies our planet’s tides, weather and temperatures. Elizabeth Merriam wrote: “since the Moon’s gravitational force depends on distance, at any given time, the portion of the Earth closest to the Moon (i.e. directly underneath it) is most strongly influenced by gravity. This means that when the Moon is over an ocean, the water is pulled toward it, creating what is called the tidal bulge. As the Moon orbits the Earth, the tidal bulge acts like a wave sweeping around the Earth. This effect causes the tides.” The relative distances of the Sun, Earth and Moon can affect the size and the magnitude of our planet’s two daily tidal bulges; the shape of the shoreline, including the presence of bays and estuaries, can increase the size of tides.
In any given 24 hours-period there are two low tides and two high tides, separated by a span of about an hour; during the new moon and full moon, high tides further increase in size and the low tides further decrease in size. The first and last quarter moon moderate the size of high and low tides. The weather is influenced through the presence or absence of water currents that can alter the continental temperatures like the Gulf current and the El Niño phenomenon have steadily done. The gravitational pull of the Moon can affect the land and atmosphere in a much-lower levels. What many ancient cultures have done is to study the possible effect of the Moon on human beings.
Animal physiology is affected by the seasonal, lunar and circadian rhythms in varying ways; even though the seasonal and circadian influences were studied, the lunar one is less well known. The lunar cycle supposedly influences the menstruation, fertility and birth rates; researchers have proposed that the level of melatonin and endogenous steroids might be the hormonal mediators. During full moon days, the birds lose the variations of their melatonin and corticosterone levels. The structure of the pineal glands and the taste sensitivity of laboratory rats are affected by the lunar cycles. The gravitational pull of the moon may trigger the release of hypothalamic hormones. What seemed to have been a “traditional truth” for old cultures is just being unveiled by science.
The correlation of the lunar cycles and fertility/births has been contested by meta-analysis of data. The records of 11,961 live births and 8,142 natural births (not induced by drugs or C-sections) during 1974-1978 In the University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center did not show any significant relationship with the lunar cycles. The study of 564.039 births in North Carolina from 1997 to 2001 did not show a significant correlation either. A 2001 review of 70,000,000,000 birth records from the National Center for Health Statistics also failed to find a meaningful correlation.
Two studies have found evidence that a full moon can exacerbate the aggressiveness of patients with Mental Disorders, especially Schizophrenia; a methodical analysis of data confirmed it. People with Epilepsy have less seizures when the moon is less illuminated and there is a clear sky. The Sussex Police in the UK claimed that there was a rise in violent crime in their streets during the full moon period, which has been reiterated by their peers in Ohio, Kentucky and New Zealand. A statistically dubious study found an increase of fatalities in Dade County during the full moon.
What do you think? Please tell us.
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10 thoughts on “Gravitational influence of the Moon”
Good morning Dr. Sahib.
Thanks a lot for sharing such an informative blog.
Moon affects the creations in many ways. That is why the position of Moon is considered important in horoscope construction of an individual which goes to show its importance in the scheme of things.
The Moon’s serene and pleasant Moon shine gives a poet enough insight for creative works of art.
In the spiritual parlance too, Moon has a central place. It finds its place at the prominent part of Lord Shiva i.e. His head.
Moon exerts its influence on the sea tides.
Due to its change in shape, it looks just stunning – full moon, half moon, etc. especially it attracts the tiny tots and call it: CHAND MAMMA.
Your write-up is obviously very interesting and educative.
With warm regards
Good morning and thank you very much for your nice commentary, my dear spiritual friend across the oceans. It seems that humans from many, diverse cultures have always been looking at the Moon in times of dire spiritual need to infuse them with the much poetic inspiration and revitalizing energies to continue slogging through in this challenging planet Earth.
A big hug. Arrivederci!
Good morning Dr. Sahib.
Thanks for your n wonderful commentary.
Fascinating post. I have long been intrigued as to how the phases of the MOON affect the tides, animals and humans. I think in a way in Ancient times people may have paid more attention to the MOON and it’s significance than we do in the modern day. The MOON is my most favourite Celestial Body, a sight to behold and an object of MYSTERY.
Good morning and thank you for this nice commentary, my dear friend. The Moon also influenced many of the calendars used by our ancestors and how they relate to numbers. Please check my upcoming December 14 post titled “What is the significance of number 13?”
I will look forward to that one! I recently stumbled upon an Ogham stone detailing an ancient language of communication and people measuring time in lunar cycles of 13 moons in a lunar year. Old knowledge that has seemed to fade into the mists of time.
Wow! Please write an article about it as soon as you can. Please visit whenever you can the first two blogs of this new series, the needed scaffolding for a future book titled “Supernatural, Superstition and She,” as I’d love to read your opinion. Have a nice Sunday even in rainy U.K. You’re too friendly and extroverted to be English. Are you perhaps from the magical land of Cymru, where my fellow Celts live?
I’m IRISH! Lol. 🙂 I will read your book. Sounds great. Meanwhile here is a link to this particular Ogham Stone. I stumbled upon it in Carlingford, Ireland about a month ago just before Halloween.
I have found several cool places in Ireland and also lived in Edinburgh, Scotland which I loved. Wherever I go I like to find something different. This Ogham stone intrigued me as it will you I think if you read what it says.
I have recently travelled in Transylvania and have some very interesting things to write about that. Stay tuned! 🙂
Well, I wasn’t that off the mark after all, mate. You do have Celtic blood running in your veins. Thanks for the tip and I will read it. Edinburgh has the distinction of having the most irreverent ghosts and free-roaming spirits in Europe, save for Venezia. It was a pleasure to meet you. Arrivederci!
Yes love the Celtic stuff in Ireland. And Edinburgh in Scotland is one of my favourite cities. Have lived in England too, my favourite parts to visit were Glastonbury and Cornwall. 🙂