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

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

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital of Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, D-91054 Erlangen, Germany.



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.


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).


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.


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


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

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