Howling for You: A Lunatic's Breakdown
You’re a lunatic! – A not-so-common statement that you’ve probably heard before. But do you know the history behind it?
The term lunatic derives from the Latin word “lunaticus,” which means “of the moon.” Synonyms include terms such as “crazy” and “moonstruck.” The word dates back to the times of Aristotle, who claimed the moon heightened the symptoms of the insane. He believed that the brain was the body's “moistest” organ. You know how the moon controls the tide? Well, Aristotle believed the moon had a similar effect on the moisture in the brain. Even recently, some writers have voiced their support for similar theories — arguing that since nearly 80 percent of our bodies are comprised of water, then maybe the moon does cause some type of disturbance within us during its peak strength — at the full moon.
Knowing this, it’s not hard to see where the legends of vampires and werewolves originated. In modern times, however, these theories have all been set aside as mere myth — sorry to those of you who were hoping to become the next member of Scott McCall’s pack. It looks like no matter how much you chase the moon, all you can ever hope to be is a luna-tic. For more information about these theories, here's an excellent article from the Scientific American.
Be well, Auburn.
Photography: Henry G.