Relationship between lunar phases and serious crimes of battery: a population-based study

Compr Psychiatry. Nov-Dec 2009;50(6):573-7. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2009.01.002. Epub 2009 Mar 10.


Objective: The hypothesis of a lunar influence on human abnormal behavior is still widespread, although research has led to conflicting findings. Therefore, a population-based study to assess the influence of lunar phases on violent crimes was conducted.

Methods: The study included all serious crimes of battery (aggravated assaults) committed in Middle Franconia (Bavaria, Germany) between 1999 and 2005 (n = 23 142). Data were analyzed regarding lunar phase, sex, and place of crime scene (outdoor vs indoor).

Results: No significant associations between full, absent, and the moon's interphases and serious crimes of battery could be detected. Furthermore, a Fourier analysis was conducted that failed to produce an association between violence and the moon's phases.

Discussion: Several possible explanations for the presented results are discussed including biological and social mechanisms.

Conclusions: The present study fails to find a significant association between lunar phases and crimes of battery.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Moon*
  • Seasons
  • Violence / psychology*
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data