"Mango madness" - a period of extreme weather tension that triggers violence as the wet season hits - is not a myth, say surgeons.
A new study has confirmed what people in Australia have long known - soaring temperatures and overcast skies make tempers fray.
Surgeons at Royal Darwin Hospital who analyzed fracture rates found that so-called Mango Madness is not just a myth.
An analysis presented at a medical conference in Hong Kong on May 15 showed fracture hospitalizations were 40 per cent higher in October and November when the Northern Territory had high temperatures with constant cloud cover and no rain.
"It's also when the mango is harvested, so now it's official. When there are mangos in the markets there is madness in the streets," News.com.au quoted surgeon Mahiban Thomas, as saying.
The Northern Territory (NT) has one of the highest rates of alcohol consumption and violence in Australia.
Almost 90 per cent of facial fractures admissions in the NT are caused by violence, the second highest rate after Greenland, which has extended periods of darkness.
Thomas and his colleagues mapped monthly hospitalizations over 12 years to 2006 and compared them with historic weather data on temperature, humidity, rainfall, and sunshine.
Most months had 15 to 20 admissions but there were consistently more than 30 in October and November when daily minimum temperatures at night were highest, humidity peaked and the rainfall and sunshine hours were lowest.
"Hot nights spell trouble when there's all that warmth but no rain to relieve it and bring the tension down," Thomas said.
"We can't do anything about the weather but now we've proven the trend we can at least be prepared for it when October rolls around."
Psychologist Mathew Brambling, of Queensland University of Technology, said the findings added to growing international proof that weather, particularly heat and lack of sunshine, affected mood.