Why do my "sea legs" last so long?

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Offline thedoc

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Why do my "sea legs" last so long?
« on: 18/06/2012 22:30:01 »
Philip Swan  asked the Naked Scientists:
   I've recently begun sailing as a volunteer crew member on a schooner in New York Harbor and I've noticed that I still feel the illusion of the rocking boat hours afterward: what is commonly known as "sea legs." I suspect that this has something to do with the fluid in the inner ear which detects movement, etc. but my question is why it takes so long for the brain to get the message that the body is no longer moving when the fluid in the inner ear is no longer moving and sending that particular signal? What seems especially odd is that this feeling is actually worse when you lie still and are not moving at all and I'm actually getting that feeling just typing this even though I haven't been on a boat in the past week. Do other mammals with similar ear structures feel this as well? For example, does an otter who has been floating on his back for hours feel the same sense of false movement when he goes back on shore?

Any thoughts or explanations on this would be much appreciated!

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 18/06/2012 22:30:01 by _system »