The STEM Way

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The STEM Way

Why do you get dizzy?

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Do you like to spin round and round in circles for fun? But have you ever wondered why you feel like every thing around you is still moving even after you have stopped spinning? Why do you feel dizzy? You feel this way because of your ears!

Your ears do a lot more than just help you hear. They also help you keep your balance.

Your ears have 3 parts- the outer ear, middle ear and the inner ear.

The outer ear is the part of the ear that you can see and the ear canal. The ear canal has the gooey ear wax. The ear wax catches dirt to keep your ears clean.

The middle ear has the eardrum that vibrates when sound waves reach it.

The inner ear has tubes that contain a liquid that helps keep your balance.  The sides of the tubes have tiny hair on them. When the liquid in the tubes move, the hairs also move in the same direction and send signals to the brain about how you are moving.

If you are in a car moving up and down, the fluid moves up and down and the hair sends signals to your brain that you are moving up and down. When you run, walk, sleep or even just shake your head the fluid in your ears move and send signals to your brain

Similarly when you spin round and round very fast, the fluid in your ear also spins and sends signals to your brain that you are spinning.

But when you stop spinning, the fluid does not stop immediately but keeps moving for some more time.

Your brain still gets signals from the ear that you are moving. So you feel like everything around you is moving round and round.

This is what makes you feel dizzy.

 

Image result for dizzy gif

The same thing happens if you feel seasick on a boat or sometimes even in a moving car.

For example if you are reading a book or watching a movie while you are in the car while it is moving, you feel nauseous. Your brain is getting mixed signals from your ears and your eyes.

The fluid in your ears is moving and sending signals to your brain. But at the same time your eyes might not be able to see the movement that you are feeling.

Image result for motion sickness

When you experience motion sickness sometimes it helps to look outside and especially look at far away objects so that your eyes also know that you are moving and do not send mixed signals to your brain.

EXPERIMENT

What you need:

  • A glass of water
  • A Spoon

Steps:

  • Fill the glass with water
  • Spin the water in the glass round and round with a spoon for about 4 seconds
  • Stop spinning with the spoon

OBSERVE: You will observe that after you stop spinning, the water in the glass spins by it self for some more time before it stops completely.

the same thing happens with the fluid in your ear.

    

Do you know why you get dizzy?

 

 

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