Word! Semicircular Canals
Say: se-me-ser-kyoo-ler ka-nals
Your semicircular canals are three tiny, fluid-filled tubes in your inner ear that help you keep your balance. When your head moves around, the liquid inside the semicircular canals sloshes around and moves the tiny hairs that line each canal. These hairs translate the movement of the liquid into nerve messages that are sent to your brain. Your brain then can tell your body how to stay balanced. If you spin around and then stop, the liquid inside your semicircular canals moves awhile longer and the hairs continue to send the message that you are spinning even though you're not. That's why you feel dizzy after carnival or amusement park rides. Whoa!
© 1995-2014 KidsHealth® All rights reserved. Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com