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Why does spinning make you dizzy?

Biology | 7-13 yrs | Interactive

What makes you Dizzy when you Spin?

Have you ever sat in a ‘Merry-Go-Round’ or ‘Cup and Saucer’ rides in an amusement park? How do you feel when you get down from them? Your head spins and you feel dizzy! You may even feel like throwing up. It happens with all of us. So, what is the reason behind it? It happens whenever your ears send a wrong signal to your brain. Ears … really? Yes, an amazing system inside your ear that helps you to maintain your balance while standing and lying down is responsible for making you dizzy after spinning.

Ears? Really? How do they make us dizzy?

Your ears do not just help you in hearing, they also play a vital role in helping you maintain your balance. There are places in your inner ear that have a gel-like fluid and some tiny cilia or hair. When you start spinning, the liquid inside your ear also starts spinning. This spinning liquid bends the hair inside the ear.

Each hair is attached to a nerve cell that carries various signals to the brain that tell it about what kind of movement has taken place. Your brain, then, tries to understand the position of the body. When you stop, the fluid inside your ear does not stop at the same time; it keeps moving, and bending hair and sending signals to the brain.

That may make you feel that you are still spinning. This sensation is known as ‘feeling dizzy.’ Your brain does not get fooled for a long time; it makes you regain your balance within a few minutes.

Interesting facts

  • According to some doctors, spinning is a great activity for building balance in children. Spinning helps children in developing their sense of body control.
  • Classical and ballet dancers are taught to stare at a particular stationary object while spinning. Keeping an eye on one spot at all times prevents them from getting dizzy.
  • When babies are born, they do not have any sense of balance.
  • Engaging in activities like spinning, rolling, and hanging upside down helps your brain to learn more about balance. When your body moves, the brain notes how it feels to be in and out of balance. Using all the information registered, it plans how it would maintain your balance in different situations. Have you ever noticed how all kids like you love to do all these things? Actually it is your brain that is craving such movements to establish its sense of balance!

Looking for more biology articles and videos? Go to: Biology for Kids.