Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Full Moon Brings Out The Werewolf In Us

We believe that werewolves, vampires and other creatures of the night are the stuff we read about in books and see in movies. While that is true, as science has already demonstrated, that’s not to say that there isn’t any truth in the myth of said creatures, as research nurse in toxicology Leonie Calver says in a new study. According to Calver, full moon brings out the werewolf in us: 91 patients admitted over a period of one year to the Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital, north of Sydney, displayed symptoms characteristic to the age-old vampire. They were extremely aggressive, and would often bite and scratch hospital staff, and basically acted like animals. What’s more important, the number of these patients admitted on a full moon was double than that recorded in other lunar phases, which could easily prompt a connection between the full moon and the werewolf-like behavior. Then again, the same would apply for drug and alcohol consumption, Calver also points out. “Some of these patients attacked the staff like animals, biting, spitting and scratching. One might compare them with the werewolves of the past, who are said to have also appeared during the full moon,” Calver says in a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia.However, the connection with the full moon alone is not enough to explain this type of violent behavior. “Werewolf mythology, she pointed out, included reports of people rubbing ‘magic ointment’ on to their skin or inhaling vapors to induce the transformation from man to beast. The main ingredients of the ointment, said Miss Calver, were belladonna and nightshade – substances that could produce delirium, hallucinations and delusions of metamorphosis,” The Telegraph writes. The “modern” werewolf doesn’t need these substances for it has other, apparently more convenient methods of achieving the same results: drugs and alcohol. In other words, about 60 percent of the patients included in the study were under the influence. Nevertheless, Calver stresses, “violent and acute behavioral disturbances” are more likely to occur during full moon than during the other lunar phases.