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Lunar Eclipse 2014: Can This Natural Event Affect Your Health?

04/14/2014 04:10 EDT | Updated 04/15/2014 09:59 EDT
Stephen & Donna O'Meara via Getty Images

When the lunar eclipse occurs at 2 a.m. on April 15, 2014 across North America, you won't see anyone howling at the moon. Because, of course, there will be no moon to howl at (or only a dim, red moon). And also, the small fact that werewolves don't exist. But could this cosmic event have any affect on people's health?

According to NASA's Eclipse 99 page, there's never been any evidence that eclipses have a physical effect on humans, but they have produced many psychological effects over the millenia. These could have included anything from believing the apocalypse is coming to seeing it as the sun and moon coming together in a bid for peace, reports National Geographic.

Some urban legends have lead people to believe that pregnant women should avoid lunar eclipses, so as to prevent birth defects, though (unsurprisingly) no scientific basis for this has been found, reports Babble. Additionally myths go so far as to suggest a woman shouldn't touch her belly during an eclipse, in order to avoid birthmarks for her baby.

While the Earth experiences anywhere from four to seven eclipses a year, this one is of particular note, thanks to its role as part of a tetrad, four total eclipses in a row. While this isn't completely rare, it didn't happen at all in the last century. The next three total lunar eclipses will occur in North America on Oct. 8, 2014, April 4, 2015 and Sept. 28, 2015.

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