Part 2: Moon of My Life

Fact: Your body has ‘tides’ because of the moon.

They are just really, really, really small.

The moon causes tides in the ocean by exerting a gravitational pull on the water, which changes over the course of a day as the relative positions of the earth and the moon change. The gravitational pull of the moon will, in theory, exert those same forces on the water inside your body, meaning you have high tide and low tide twice a day.

‘Human tides’ have been proposed to affect the brain and be drivers of suicide and murder, aggressive behaviour in animals and even to influence the timing of menstruation. However, simply due to us being much, much smaller than the oceans and the moon being really, really far away, the effect of lunar gravity on an individual human is in practice so small as to be immeasurable, and so its unlikely that it could possibly drive any sort of change in behaviour (although this hasn’t stopped some questionable studies claiming to have found a link!)

In fact, the gravitational field of a mosquito on your arm would exert a greater gravitational force on you than the moon simply by virtue of being closer, which puts into perspective just how little impact this particular science fact will have on your life.

‘Another one of Mr Shaunak’s Little Bites of Science’
Image under Creative Commons license, by Sepideh Davoodi, unedited.
http://sepidehdavoodi.deviantart.com/art/My-Moon-166899980

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s