There’ll Be a Full Moon The First Night Of The Missouri State Fair
Okay, guys, I know you've heard it, and I've heard it, too.
It seems like I've heard all my life that "the crazies" come out during the full moon. My Grandmother and even my Mom would always tell us to be extra careful on those nights. And I'm pretty in touch with local incidents and crime, so if people are acting crazy that night, that may or may not mean more work for me. There will be a lot of people from out of town in Sedalia during the Missouri State Fair, combine that with a full moon...should we be worried?
Well, first of all, how did this idea come about, and is there any science behind it? Well, according to the Royal Observatory at Greenwich in London (which is the reason they call it Greenwich Mean Time in Europe, and a major role in the history of astronomy and navigation, so they would know), it started way back in the day with people like Aristotle. He said that since the brain and body were mostly water, the moon would move that water (think like ocean tides) and would change your behavior. In fact, that's where the term "lunatic" came from, it's meant to imply this person has gone crazy because of the moon. The Observatory wrote,
An analysis of ‘lunar-lunacy’ research published in 1985 concluded that there was no connection between the Moon and incidents such as crime, suicides and mental hospital admissions. A recent study in 2019, analyzing the data of 17,966 individuals treated at various psychiatric wards over a period of 10 years, also found "no evidence that our celestial neighbor influences our mental well-being."
So, no. They do think though, that way back in olden times that the full moon affected people by disrupting their sleep. Since the moon was so much brighter when it was full, that would sometimes keep people awake with the light, and sleep deprived people never make good decisions. And that is what started at least part of the old wives tale.
The Farmer's Almanac, however, reminds us that often times, it's probably more psychosomatic. Because we believe we get crazy during the full moon, we make it true, or we decide it's true. Even though it's not scientifically true, our brains make us believe it. And so, we excuse our behaviors and blame it on the moon.
The belief has remained strong due to “confirmation bias,” the idea that people favor information that supports their preconceived notions. In other words, if you expect people to act strangely during a full Moon, every strange behavior you encounter during a full Moon reinforces that belief.
So will the moon make the first night of the Missouri State Fair crazier than normal? Basically, the long and short of it is....no. The moon won't have any effect on your night at the Missouri State Fair's opening. But when you see reports or see any kind of crazy behavior, because you have this preconceived notion, you'll THINK it's because the crazies come out during the full moon. And it won't help that we'll have so many more people in town who are unfamiliar with Sedalia. Add in the heat and alcohol... well. We probably WILL see some crazy behavior here and there. But it won't be the full moon's fault.