Lunar effect  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The term lunar effect refers to the belief that there is correlation between specific stages of the Earth's lunar cycle and behavior in animals and humans, that cannot simply be explained by variation in light levels. A considerable number of studies have examined the belief: by the late 1980s, there were at least 40 published studies on the purported lunar-lunacy connection, and at least 20 published studies on the purported lunar-birthrate connection. Several extensive literature reviews and meta-analyses have found no correlation between the lunar cycle and human biology or behavior. One study with incomplete control for age and sex of a small sample indicates a possible connection between sleep quality and lunar phases, but a subsequent analysis conducted with a larger sample size and better experimental controls did not replicate the findings. The Moon, however, does influence the behavior of several animals.

In animals

Correlation between hormonal changes in the testis and lunar periodicity was found in streamlined spinefoot, which spawns synchronously around the last moon quarter. In orange-spotted spinefoot, lunar phases affect the levels of melatonin in the blood. In insects, the lunar cycle may affect hormonal changes early in phylogenesis. The body weight of honeybees peaks during new moon. Spawning of coral Platygyra lamellina occurs at night during the summer on a date determined by the phase of the moon; in the Red Sea, this is the three to five day period around the new moon in July and the similar period in August. Evidence for lunar effect in reptiles, birds and mammals is either lacking or scant.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Lunar effect" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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