The moon has long intrigued the human race, with its nightly glow emanating arcane mysteries that span deep into Earth’s history.
Ancient cultures have personified this great orb of night as a deity or other supernatural phenomenon, while philosophers Aristotle and Pliny the Elder believed it produced irrationality and insanity in the susceptible.
This, they reasoned, is because the brain is mostly made of water, as the moon’s gravitational effect on the tides has long been known.
Even with the growth of science, its dark side remains hidden, as its synchronous rotation with the Earth means it’s always showing the same face.
Since the notorious moon landings from 1969 – 1972, many have asked, why hasn’t anyone gone back since? Or even still, did the landings happen at all?
Maybe scientists adopted Shakespeare’s belief that the moon is “cold and fruitless”, or maybe its astrological association with irrationality and protection steered them away. After all, some things are better kept secret.
Now, however, after numerous telescopic thrusts into the deeper cosmos, scientists appear to be turning their eye towards our celestial neighbour once again, and perhaps irrationally so.
Two scientists from Arizona State University have suggested the moon as a likely place to find traces of alien life, believing it could preserve evidence of contact going back millions of years.
Furthermore, the US government has decided it’s high time to send two probes to the moon in order to investigate its formation, only months after President Obama announced NASA cutbacks due to a burgeoning US debt.
Is this the moon wielding its potent powers of irrationality once again? Apparent simultaneous foolishness around the world suggests this to be a distinct possibility.
As sometime around midnight in Arkansas last week, hundreds of blackbirds suddenly fell from the sky to their deaths, for reasons apparently unknown. And in an ominous display of maritime activity, 20 tonnes of herring appear to have beached themselves to death in northern Norway.
Is this you moon, a perfect hellion of the night?
Oh moon, you beguiling ball of beauty, you are so very naughty, but ever so lovely.
Oh moon, the mystery that you are.