A person thinks, a lion hunts, a wolf howls, a cow gives rise to a seed, and a coral spawns. These are just some of the behavioral signs that can be triggered by the superlife in November.
Many studies show that strange and sometimes scary events are gathering around the nights with a full moon. But the relationship is not necessarily causal. True, scientists have several theories about why the moon has such strange power.
For many years, skeptics have cast off the lunar influence on animals and humans. Yet, evidence continues to continue that our satellite, located 216486 miles from Earth on November 14, may affect the entire animal world, even if we fail to notice this heat.
The consequences could have happened “not because of the moon itself, but rather because of the built-in clock, which might have been lost” in the human and animal body. This was said by Michael Smith from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.
In a study published in the journal Current Biology, Smith and his team studied how the lunar phases affect the structure of human sleep. They found that on average, during the full moon, people slept less than 20 minutes. And it took 5 minutes more to fall asleep.
“However, the REM sleep phase (during which most dreams occur) lasted longer during the new moons than at the moment of full moons,” said Smith, adding that most of the test subjects have a REM sleep (healthy 18-30 years old people) lasted 30 minutes longer during such nights. As for the theory of the “built-in clock”, he explained that people and animals have numerous biological clocks that perform various functions. The most famous are circadian clocks that help regulate our sleep-wake cycle.
“Anyone who suffered from a change of time zones experienced the influence of the desynchronization of this biological clock,” he said, adding that other internal clocks are linked to seasonal rhythms.
“It has been demonstrated that some animals possess moon clocks. It is likely that they exist in the human body, ”he continued. - “From the point of view of evolution, such a timer will serve to regulate behavior during lunar changes, possibly taking into account differences in the power of light.”
It is believed that our early ancestors used extra light to increase resources (from searching for food to mating). A number of studies show that the activity of some predatory animals, such as lynx, increases in the night with enhanced lunar illumination.
Another representative of big cats - the lion is strongly tied to the lunar phases. This is indicated by the PLOS ONE study, led by renowned lion expert Craig Packer. He and his colleagues analyzed about 500 documented lion attacks on Tanzanian villagers between 1988 and 2009. More than two thirds of the attacks ended in lions eating their victims.
Lions at night. Posted by Lee R. Berger, Wikimedia Commons.
Initially it was thought that the lions attacked more directly before and during the full moon. But it turned out that the situation is the opposite. “Unlike us, predators see better precisely on a moonless night. So this advantage disappears on bright moonlit nights, ”Packer said. “However, after several bright moon nights, they become more hungry. And so the hunt on the first night after the full moon is the most dangerous for people. After all, we are more active in the evening than in the early morning. ”
This discovery may explain why so many people are afraid of the dark and why traditional night hunters (wolves and even domestic cats) are activated during and after full lunar periods.
The phases of the moon can also affect the predatorialness of sharks. It is noteworthy that the “12 days of terror” of 1916, when 5 sharks killed 4 people and wounded another in the waters off the coast of New Jersey, occurred during an almost complete lunar tide. The main evidence may be that the main tributary was as salty as possible, which may have facilitated the arrival of the predatory sharks (great white or bull sharks).
Great White Shark. The author is Terry Goss, Wikimedia Commons.
Also a large number of seabirds become prey for sharks and seals. So says Takashi Yamamoto and his colleagues from the University of Nagoya.
Yamamoto, thanks to his team of test birds (petrels), discovered that these seabirds flew much longer and landed on the water more often at night with a full moon. Some of them traveled to large quantities of food, while others themselves became someone's dinner.
Yamamoto explained: “When the birds sit on the water surface during the full moon, they shade the light passing through them into the sea. Thanks to this shadow, predators easily find them. ” There is also the sexual aspect of the full moon. Each year, stimulated by the light blue light of the moon, thousands and thousands of corals participate in mass spawning in a wide stretch of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
Researchers at the ARC Center for Advanced Coral Reef Experiments have found that extremely light-sensitive receptors (cryptochromes) are involved in tracking moonlight. People have something similar that operates in circadian systems and, possibly, creates a “moon clock”.
Corals are not the only creatures that replenish their populations during the full moon.
The lunar phases appear to affect the swarming and mating of jellyfish. This was discovered by scientists from the University of Haifa during predictable lunar and temperature cycles in the waters off the coast of Israel.
In addition, researchers at the University in Tokyo, led by Tomohiro Enazawa, found that spontaneous (non-inducible) births among genetically similar dairy cows occur more often during the full periods of the moon. Yenezawa said that he and his team “are dreaming of continuing research, because the conclusions should lead to discoveries that can be added to human birth.”
There are still many secrets around the power of the moon and its influence on us and animals. Part of the problem with understanding is that this satellite (with a radius of 1079 miles) is omnipresent.
On Earth, there is no place where you can hide from its bright glow and subsequent influence.