Look out! It’s Friday 13th! The night where “WEREWOLVES, zombies, machete-wielding serial killers, and people with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde personalities, may be on the loose”, according to the Courier Mail.
It’s also a full moon tonight! Synonymous with “all types of creepy folklore, from werewolves to unstable personalities to witches”.
So, it seems that there will be an awful lot of werewolves about this evening!
Should we be concerned?
Maybe! Folklore also says that animals, including humans, go a little mad at the time of the full moon. Lunatics on the loose, as well as werewolves!
But, is there any scientific basis to this?
Evidence for lunacy and bites…
Well a study back in 2007 looked at emergency admissions for animal bites around the time of the full moon. They found that the incidence of animal bites was highest around the time of the full moon, compared to other times in the lunar cycle. Specifically people were bitten by cats (3.4%), rats (0.7%), horses (0.8%), and dogs (95.1%), No data was recorded for insect bites or bites from humans!
So we should all take care not to get bitten tonight!
Why animals bite at the time of a full moon…
Perhaps the full moon makes animals mad. Or perhaps the moonlit night enables animals to wander far and wide and for longer than is usual and, as they wander, they encounter ‘threatening’ humans more often; humans who are presumably also making the most of the available light and wandering the neigbourhood.
An Australian study, aptly named Barking Mad, found no more likelihood of being admitted to hospital for a dog bite during a full moon than any other time in the lunar cycle. The peak of dog bites in this study occurred at New Year. A time when, not only is the weather sultry down under, enabling dogs and humans to be more active but there is also a degree of alcohol consumption involved. As in crocodile attacks, could alcohol be responsible for a proportion of community dog bites?
Perhaps animal bites are not severe enough down under to warrant hospital admission. Perhaps when bitten, the afflicted turn into werewoves themselves, and don’t attend hospital emergency wards!
Watch out everyone! Don’t be unlucky. Don’t get bitten tonight. Lock your pets inside. You and your pets stay safe!