Why do we feel dizzy when we spin?

Overcompensation from your brain can make it hard to keep your balance.

11th April 2018
Why do we get dizzy when we spin?

Asked by: Matt Pattinson, Devon

When you move your head, the acceleration is detected by hairs lining the side of fluid-filled tubes in your inner ear. If you spin for long enough, the brain gets desensitised to the constant turn signals from your ear, and adjusts to zero them out.

When you stop, the ears correctly report zero turning, but your brain is still actively cancelling this out and so it thinks you are now spinning in the opposite direction.

Read more:


SFQASubscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun facts.