According to ancient Greek folklore, a person could become a wolf (or werewolf) by eating wolf and human flesh together, while in later centuries, the causes varied between supernatural curses, conception during a new moon, sleeping in the light of a full moon and consuming specific herbs. In some cases, it was believed that merely drinking water that had been touched by a wolf would be enough to effect the transformation.Continue Reading
The moon has long been associated with mental health, or at least the deterioration thereof. Even today, despite a significant lack of supporting evidence, the belief that people act more deranged during a full moon phase survives.
It is thought that the folkloric notion of the werewolf may have been a manifestation of at the time unclassified medical conditions. Hypertrichosis, for example, causes abnormally thick facial and body hair growth, and porphyria, a sensitivity to light accompanied by symptoms of seizures and anxiety, may have been responsible for keeping people indoors during the day.
The folkloric belief in werewolves has been responsible for many executions in history — particularly during the Middle Ages when werewolves were considered the result of witchcraft. In Germany during the 16th century, for instance, Peter Stubbe was tortured and decapitated for his alleged use of a wolf skin belt to turn himself into a werewolf and kill people.Learn more about Folklore
The primary side effect of a full moon in werewolf mythology is the transformation of an infected human into a werewolf. Early werewolf myths claimed that someone could become infected by sleeping beneath a full moon on a Friday, and later myths built on the idea of the moon influencing werewolf transformation. However, the full moon was originally only one of several possible reasons given for someone's transformation into a werewolf.Full Answer >
A black moon describes either the second new moon of a calendar month, a calendar month without a new moon, a calendar month without a full moon, or the third new moon of a season that has four new moons.Full Answer >
The daily tidal range is greatest at the new moon and full moon, when the tidal pulls of the moon and sun are in phase with each other. This phenomenon is called a spring tide and is strongest when it coincides with the vernal or autumnal equinox.Full Answer >
The phases of the moon, from darkest to brightest, are the new moon, the crescent moon, the quarter moon, the gibbous moon and the full moon. As the moon fills out in the sky, it passes through the waxing crescent, first quarter and waxing gibbous phases. As it returns to darkness, it passes through the waning gibbous, last quarter and waning crescent phases.Full Answer >