Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lunar effects on People and Dolphin Down Sanibel Way

Years before we purchased our vacation rental condo or house on Sanibel Island, I was smitten with a movie called El Boto. A "boto" is a kind of dolphin most often found in Brazil. And since I loved wild life, loved fantasy and loved Brazil, the movie was right up my alley.

El Boto is a strange, obscure Brazilian film that takes place in a picturesque fishing village, where the men spend their days at sea while their women wait for them on shore. A "Boto," visits the lonely women, and takes them as lovers before disappearing into the sea. One woman in particular becomes known as the "Boto's woman" and he returns after some years to reunite with her. "El Boto" is special in that it is a truly erotic film, without being at all explicit. The tale is based on Brazilian folklore and is certainly unique, and enchanting besides. One drawback of this fine film is that many scenes are filmed at night, by moonlight, and they are so dimly lit that it isn't always easy to see what is going on, but one does begin connecting the dolphin's appearance with the coming of the moon.

Like most people, I had grown up (half) believing the moon myths....of werewolves and insanity brought on by moon glow, though never had I seen evidence of such. But Isaac Asimov, author and professor of biochemistry, wrote an essay about the moon saying that the business of attributing strange powers to moon "shine" has validity. "Every once in a while, for instance, I hear of reports concerning statistical studies that seem to show that drugs have pronouncedly different effects on the human body according to the phases of the Moon, that crimes of violence, homicide, and suicide are particularly numerous when the Moon is full, and so on and so on. This makes it seem that there may be something to old folk-beliefs concerning the importance of the Moon, such as the one that different plants ought to be sowed at particular phases of the Moon."

Certainly no one can deny that the presence of the moon has an effect on the tides.

But I would further suggest that the moon not only invites playfulness on the beach among humans, but has dolphins dancing in the dark.

Don't believe me? Then come to Sanibel during a full moon, plant yourself on the beach and watch the dolphins jump over the moon.