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Duration:03:20
Uploaded:2017-04-06
Last sync:2018-11-26 01:50
Have you ever been on a ride on the playground that made you really dizzy, like a merry-go-round? Have you ever wondered where that weird, spinning sensation comes from? Jessi and Squeaks have the answer!

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SOURCES:
http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/word-semicircular-canals.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuiNueVxdec
Hi everybody!

Since it’s such a nice day here, Squeaks and I thought we’d head over to the playground. I have to admit, though -- some of the rides on the playground -- like the ones that go around...and around...and around...kind of make me dizzy!

If you’ve ever spun around in circles too long, then you know what being dizzy feels like. Everything around you seems like it’s spinning, even though you’re not! If you’ve ever wondered why this happens, you’re not alone!

One viewer recently emailed us asking: Why do we get dizzy? And that’s a great question, with a really interesting answer! Believe it or not, the reason we get dizzy has to do with our ears.

Yes, our ears do more than help us hear things. They have another job, too—to help us keep our balance, which means they help keep us steady so that we don’t fall over! To see how that works, let’s look at what’s going on deep inside your ears.

If you could see way inside your ears, you’d see a part that looks like this. This is called your inner ear. There’s a part that looks kind of curly, like a snail shell...and there’s a part that’s made of three loops.

And each loop points in a different direction. One points up and down...one points to the back of your head...and one points side to side. These loops are what help you keep your balance.

They have fluid inside them, a liquid that’s a little bit like water. And the insides of these loops have something else, too— lots of tiny little hairs. These hairs stick up into the fluid.

The bottoms of the hairs stay in one place, but the tops can move back and forth as the fluid swishes around. Now, these hairs have a special job. They send signals to the brain.

And those signals tell the brain which way your head is facing. For example, when you lie down at night to go to sleep, the fluid that’s in the loops moves. And when the fluid moves...the tops of the hairs move.

So, as you’re settling into bed, they tell the brain...hey, we’re lying down! And if you nod our head yes...the fluid moves again...and the hairs send signals to the brain, saying, we’re moving up and down! Now, as long as we’re doing simple movements like that, everything’s fine.

In fact, even if you spin slowly around in a circle, you won’t get dizzy. As you turn, the little hairs tell your brain that you’re turning in a circle. And when you stop, they tell the brain that you’ve stopped moving, so everything’s fine.

But...when you spin around a lot, really fast, the fluid in those loops starts sloshing around. The hairs tell the brain that you’re spinning. But!

When you stop, it takes a little while for the fluid to stop moving, too. And if the fluid is still moving...the hairs are telling the brain that you’re still moving. So, even though you’ve stopped twirling around in a circle...your brain still thinks you’re moving...which is why everything seems like it’s spinning around you.

Thankfully, it only takes a few seconds for the fluid in your inner ears to settle down. And when that happens, the little hairs in your inner ear finally know what’s really going on, and everything gets back to normal. Thanks for asking such an awesome question!

Do you have a question for us? Then, ask a grownup to help you to leave us a comment down below or to send an email to Kids@SciShow.com! We’ll see you next time, here at the fort!