On Wednesday morning, most of North America was privy to a viewing of a lunar eclipse ‘blood moon,’ the reddish hue from a sunset or sunrise that reflects onto the moon’s surface during a full lunar eclipse. When this happens, the moon will appear bright orange or red.
Although normally harmless to gaze at the moon, scientists have warned that anyone who may have witnessed the lunar eclipse ‘blood moon’ may have been hit with powerful, harmful doses of radiation, which they say is the equivalent of thousands of X-rays happening all at once.
“Everyone knows that the sun can be harmful to you, whether that means overexposure or staring directly at it,” said Dr. Marvin Lee, of the Center for Disease Control in Washington. “What many people don’t realize is that the sun also emits a fair amount of radiation that your body absorbs. Over time it could be dangerous, but in small doses it’s okay. During a lunar eclipse, though, when the sun is reflecting off a full moon, causing the ‘blood moon’ effect in early morning or early dusk, the powerful rays of the radiated sun become intensified, almost as if the moon is being used as a magnifying glass to point its harmful radiation directly into you.”
Dr. Lee says that most people won’t notice any side effects of the eclipse right away, but it’s possible that they may start to get violently ill over the next few days and weeks.
“It’s not entirely uncommon for people who’ve been exposed to these ‘moon rays’ to develop lycanthropy,” said Dr. Lee. “Lycanthropy usually will have an on-set once a month during each full moon, and generally will last for the rest of the infected person’s life. Symptoms include elongating of fingernails and teeth, rapid hair growth, and extreme rage and violence. At this time, there is no known cure for lycanthropy, and the contraction via lunar eclipse is new to us. Previously, the only way thought to contract the disease was through survival of a bite or scratch from another person infected with lycanthropy, so this is difficult science we are dealing with.”
Dr. Lee and the CDC say that anyone who may have been awake during the hour of the blood moon, and viewed it directly, should wait to see if symptoms develop before contacting their physician.
“They can’t tell if you’ve got Lycanthropy until the ‘claws come out,’ as it were,” said Dr. Lee. “If you think you may have contracted this disease from viewing of the eclipse, please seek professional help as soon as possible.”