why do we get dizzy after spinning
Remember all those times when you used to feel like a drunkard after a wonderful spin on the merry-go-round? You were barely able to stay on your feet after getting off that rotating pleasure craft, but don t worry, you aren t the only one. Human beings often feel light-headed and dizzy after experiencing an intense spinning motion. Some people feel dizzy just by getting off the sofa too fast, but this dizzying effect is called. Is there a Biological Explanation? Of course! In fact,Pphysics and biology are both involved in this phenomenon. The physics side of this feeling is due toP inertia. This is one of the fundamental laws of physics, which states that a body will resist any change to its state of motion. It will remain at rest unless an external force is applied to it, and will remain in motion unless it is forced to halt. This, along with a complex system in our inner ear, is the reason for dizziness. This system in the inner ear is known as the vestibular system,
and isPresponsible for maintaining the balance of our bodies. Through this system, our body senses whether it is upright or lying down, or whether it is in motion or standing still. In the labyrinthian structure of the inner ear, there are three semicircular canals arranged at right angles to one another, such that each of the canals individually senses movement along the 3 axes. These canals are filled with a fluid called endolymph, which sloshes around as our bodies move. This endolymph resists changes in motion, and due to the inertia of rest, lags behind, which stimulates the nerve cells. These nerve cells come in the form of small hairs (roughly 20,000 fibers), which transmit the messages to the brain.
Now, when a spinning motion is initiated, the endolymph lags behind at first, and then continues to move at the same rate of motion. As soon as you stop, however, due to inertia, the fluid keeps on moving for a while. For that period of time, the nerve cells send messages to the brain that the brain is still spinning, whichPmakes you dizzy. Eventually, this endolymph slows down and we returnPto normal. If this is such a natural phenomenon, what s so special about figure skaters and ballerinas? Ballerinas and skaters have awed us with their unnatural moves on stages and arenas around the world. They are able to perform breathtaking spins without showing even slight signs of dizziness. To top that off, they go on performing move after move without seeming to experience any effect. Even looking at them perform makes me dizzy, so how do they do it? Most of us would blame it on black magic (if we were still in the 18th century), but there is a much more scientific explanation. Well, not really a scientific explanation, so much as a goodPtrick that we have mastered. Try to remember real hard where you orient your hands while spinning on that merry-go-round. Yes, they probably swing everywhere. In the case of dancers, the trick is simple. They keep their eyes fixed on one point, followed by whipping their heads around rapidly when their necks cannot turn anymore. How does this help? Simple. While the rest of the body keeps spinning, their eyes trick their bodies into thinking that they are standing still. The spins performed by ice skaters are much faster than those of dancers, so it is impossible for them to perform this trick. They will instead stare at a fixed point at the end of each spin move, but they typically dont whip their heads around continually, as this could cause injury to their necks due to the high rotational speeds they are able to achieve.
The trick ice skaters use isn t really that eye-popping. It s simply a question of keeping the eyes horizontal, so the view only spins around one axis, and gradually training oneself to overcome the dizziness over the course of extensive practice. P The main trick is just long hours of practice, but figure skaters simply have to get used to it. They certainly feel dizzy, but in order to overcome that, many figure skaters will incorporate a dance move at the end of a long spin that is designed to provide a breather while the momentary dizziness passes. With all this being said, don t start blaming the vestibular system for your dizziness after a heavy night of drinking. That s probably just your own fault. I m sure we all remember back when we were young spinning around and around until we were dizzy. Whether we did this by running in circles or by spinning a swing and then letting it unwind*, we all loved that feeling. But did you ever wonder just how this all works? Our sense of balance (or equilibrioception if you want to use the fancy scientific word) relies on information from several parts of our body, but mainly from our eyes and our vestibular system. You ve never heard of your vestibular system? Really? Well, that s fair enough. It s a rather unasuming little section of our inner ear, make up of three semi-circular canals filled with liquid. Each of these three canals is in a different alignment to detect different types of movement. One detects the sort of movement you do when nodding your head.
Another detects thesort of movement you do when cartwheeling. The third one detects horizontal, rotational movement or, you guessed it, the sort of movement you do when spinning around. While it s this third canal that we re particularly interested in, they all work in the same way. The canals have a small section lined with hairs that detect movement in the fluid. When we turn a little bit, the fluid moves slightly and the hairs register this movement and convert it into electrical signals that tell our muscles to adjust and keep us balanced. This can also automatically adjust our eyes to keep things in focus while we move. Neat, right? But when we spin over and over again, the fluid gains momentum and even when we stop, the fluid keeps moving. Imagine stirring a cup of coffee for a while even when you stop stirring, the coffee keeps swirling around in the mug. So while the fluid in our vestibular system keeps spinning, we keep on getting messages telling us we re still turning around. Our eyes are trying to adjust for this movement but can t, and are simultaneously noticing that actually, we re standing (more or less) still. All these confusing and conflicting messages cause our muscles to move us off balance and our vision to get very mixed up the combination of which gives us the feeling we know as dizziness! Check out the video below of the effects of spinning on our feline friends. Thanks for reading, feel free to leave a comment and ask any science questions you want me to answer! *I prefer the swingВ method, though this did once result in a pot-plant collision and a trip to the emergency room I still have the scar to prove it!
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