Even Doctors & Nurses Believe The Full Moon Brings Chaos

Photo: Getty Images.
Throughout human history, people have thrown around a lot of crazy ideas about the moon. Whether you were afflicted with a mental illness, menstruation, or werewolves, you could safely blame the moon for the chaos in your life. The lunar lunacy effect, also known as the Transylvania effect (spooky, right?), posits that the full moon throws human activity, from crime rates to even childbirth, completely out of whack. As the Wall Street Journal (paywall) reported yesterday, one group of people who adamantly believe in the full moon's chaotic properties is probably the last group of people you'd expect to be superstitious at all — doctors, nurses, and other hospital staffers. According to anecdotes collected by the Journal, it's become common practice for ERs to brace themselves for especially busy — and bizarre — nights when the full moon rolls around. One nurse told the Journal she spent a full moon night treating a busload of teenagers with food poisoning, while another described the eerie feeling of delivering a rare "caul baby," an infant born still inside its amniotic sac, under the full moon. Essentially, the full moon does represent a major headache for health care providers, and some hospitals even add to the amount of staff on these nights. And we're sure it comes as no surprise that staff believe the moon's perceived powers actually increase around Halloween. One X-ray technologist put it this way: "Our bodies are 70% water, and because the moon moves the oceans, it moves the water in your body — people flip out." As scientific as that explanation may sound, little to no actual research backs it up. Nature-based faiths see the full moon as holding significance for human lives; practitioners believe each full moon represents something different, whether a seasonal transition, a time of bounty, or a chance for reflection. Maybe something similar happens among hospital staffers — after treating several people with strange, out-of-the-ordinary conditions, they probably want an explanation, so why not blame the full moon? Unless these superstitions negatively affect how doctors and nurses do their jobs, they're pretty harmless. As we've said before, it's completely up to you as an individual to decide how you view the moon and its supposed powers. Click through to the Wall Street Journal for more bizarre full moon anecdotes from real health care providers.

More from Spirit

R29 Original Series