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The Solar Eclipse Paradox: The Surprising Links between Solar Phenomena and Human-Animal Health through 10 Influences

solar eclipse and health


A solar eclipse is a phase when the moon comes between the Earth and the Sun, blocking the sunlight partially or completely. The Sun, moon and the earth are in complete alignment during a total solar eclipse. The next solar eclipse is expected to happen on 8th of April, 2024.

There are many myths and misconceptions are related to the event of solar eclipse. However, there are certain scientific findings and research supported effects of the event as well. However, we will discuss the effects of the solar eclipse on human and other creatures’ health in this writing.

Solar eclipse has the capacity to affect human health as well as can damage certain body functions. It is always suggested not to see the solar eclipse event b naked eye because it could harm retina.

Many people from different parts of the world believe that the Sun has the power to do good and bad things while others profess that an eclipse could damage your eyes, change your mood and pregnancy or can even affect other animals in certain ways.  They believe in strange effects of the solar eclipse that can be real.  We will discuss some of these harmful effects in a beautiful way.

Effects on Eyes

The adverse effects of the eclipse are experienced in the eyes. It is said that direct exposure to the Sun during this time can even destroy cells in the retina. During the solar eclipse of 1999, around 15 people in England were affected by solar retinopathy.

Actually retina is not pain sensitive at all. The effect of eyes may vary from person to person but in most of the cases it is just a matter of few seconds. The damage to the retina due to sunlight may be of temporary to permanent nature.

First of all, it is recommended not to see the event but if curiosity doesn’t allow it then one should wear glasses of use other indirect methods like pin-hole techniques. Most preferably one should wear ISO certified glasses especially designed to witness the event of eclipse. One must verify the labeling of ISO 12312-2 certification on them.

The damage to the eyes may be of following types if the event is seen through naked eye:

  • Vision loss
  • Distorted vision
  • Altered color visions

It can also cause a solar burn on your retina if the eye is not properly protected during a eclipse. It may cause Eclipse blindness or retinal burns.  Due to these harmful effects of the eclipse on eyes it is recommended to use protective gears.

Effect on Pregnant Women

It is believed that eclipse affects pregnant women.  They are advised to protect themselves from the eclipse in some parts of the world and in many Latin American countries pregnant women are advised to wear a red ribbon on their belly which will protect their unborn baby being born with defects in Latin American countries.

While in subcontinent especially in India they are not allowed to come out from their homes to eat or drink as it can harm their fetus. Many elders believe in this but there is no strong scientific evidence about these effects. Lot of myths and misconceptions are associated with the eclipse. In most of the under developed regions of the world, the intensity of these misconceptions are really high. However, further research is required in this context.

Effect on Pets

On pets as compared to humans the solar eclipse has a mild effect. On pets cats and dogs are frightened and confused by the eclipse.  Some researchers say that cats may also feel upset during this time. It is observed in many studies that pets become confused, stresses and restless during this event.

Sean Carol a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology concluded that horses also seem frightened due to the Eclipse.  Due to these eclipse effects on pets it is recommended to keep them fastened if they are outdoors during an eclipse.

Effect on Farm Animals

Farm animals are also affected by the solar eclipse. Farm animals are more prone to observe and react to certain natural phenomenon.

According to Tim Ryan Bhatt director of field operations at the College of Agriculture at the University of Missouri domestic chickens are strongly affected by the sky darkening effect.  The most remarkable effect on the chickens was that they came up from coop due to a decrease in temperature.

Effects on Birds Insects and insects

Like all other creatures birds and insects are also affected by the eclipse.  Ryan bot also observed the changing tune of insects as he said that before the Eclipse insects and cicadas got loud but during this time they became silent using a nap.  Citizens noted that birds were flying in huge formations.  

According to a research, 90 percent of the birds stopped chirping and singing during a eclipse. Birds also stopped singing as they thought that it was evening by the disappearance of the Sun.

Effects on Photosynthesis

During the eclipse day, minor changes were also observed in the speed and direction of the wind the change in contents of chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b and carotenoid. It was observed during eclipse day that the chlorophyll level is decreased while the carotenoid level is slightly increased during this time the photochemical phases and solar radiation during eclipse day are responsible for the reduction in the rates of photosynthesis.

Effects on Skin

Human skin is very sensitive so, it is also affected by the eclipse.  Kristin Byrd, a professor of molecular genetics at the Ohio state university concluded that our skin can be affected by sunburn because the unblocked ultraviolet rays are more intense and as a result it can cause more damage to the skin.  She further added that wearing sunscreen while watching the solar eclipse is very necessary as it prevents our skin from these harmful ultraviolet rays.

It is noticed that people actually protect their eyes by wearing sunglasses but ignore their skin which is not right because the solar eclipse is actually harmful to our skin as it is for our eyes .

Effect on Wildlife

Many wildlife animals are also affected by the solar eclipse.  They treat a total solar eclipse like a midnight day due to the darkness.  As a result of the solar eclipse many animals went to their habitat because they think that it is night but as soon as the Eclipse ends they again come out interpreting it as the morning.  

For example an astronomer Paul Merton observed during the solar eclipse in June 2001 that the behavior of many wild animals was changed at Mana pools National Park in Zimbabwe.  It is observed that the doves and other songbirds became silent during this period and again started singing when the Sun reappeared.

Psychological Effects

There are several psychological effects of the solar eclipse.  On a solar eclipse day, it is usual to feel less energetic than usual.  One might experience emotions that one is avoiding anxiety may also increase.  One may also feel sick.  It is advised not to take important decisions on this day as it has an unusual effect on our moods.

The studies are evident of various mood swings, behavioral tantrums, anxiety, and confusion and stress while experiencing the event of solar eclipse.

According to a research, 40% of the population of Austria took leave from their jobs before the solar eclipse. Most of the people, relate mental health with solar eclipses.  Considerable number of cases was reported, however, previously about s schizophrenia during this event.

Effect on Seawater

Sea water is also affected by the solar eclipse.  During the total eclipse day on 22nd July 2009, a significant decrease in the pH value of seawater is recorded.  An increase in hydrogen ion activity in seawater is also observed during the Eclipse period.

 The pH of seawater is 20% less on a solar eclipse day as compared to the normal day. This natural phenomena ha some mysterious effects therefore.


Nature has various forms and influencing very fabric of our universe. Every phenomenon happen around us has certain meaning and repercussions. Solar eclipse is another natural event which most of the people around the world interpret in different way. Some effects are considered as scientific and others might be considered as myth.

Apart from certain myths and misconceptions relating to events of solar eclipses, there are some threats to human and other creatures’ health as well. For example, the damage may incur to human eye while witnessing the event by naked eyes, secondly the damage may also happen to the human skin due to exposure to the rays of sun during the event.

However, more studies and researches may reveal the exact truth about it. But there are some suggestions not to see solar eclipse event by naked eye because it can damage eyes and avoid naked skin exposure as well during eclipse day.


What is solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse is a phase when the moon comes between the Earth and the Sun, blocking the sunlight partially or completely.

Does solar eclipse affect health?


How solar eclipse affect health?

It affects eyes and skin and according to some researchers it affect pregnant women as well.

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