Over the river and through the woods

We still don't know exactly what causes motion sickness. NASA has some working theories, though.


  1. Ingesting caffeine can help induce motion sickness. British WWII pilots, training in the USA and discovering a new taste for Cola, had an unusually high wash out rate until the caffeine correlation was made.

  2. I’ve only been seasick a couple of times, and I know that for me, it’s literally all in my head.
    We went out on a zodiac last month off the coast of Kauai for several hours.  Never even felt a twinge.  Never been sick in a car or plane, don’t get sick on a boat in a lake.
    But stick me on a 50 foot party boat for fishing and I have to take the drug because that’s the only time I’ve gotten sick, so now I’m positive it will happen again if I don’t take it.. I just take one chewable children’s dramamine and I’m fine.
    The stinky diesel fumes probably don’t help.  :)

    1.  It doesn’t have to be in your head– the motion of a boat on the ocean is very different from one on the lake, and many (I think the majority?) of adults can become seasick even if they don’t get motion sickness in other vehicles, especially if they’re not used to seafaring.

      My sailing pretty much had to stop because I developed vertigo and now small vessels (like… smaller than a cruise ship) are my nemeses. Even with dramamine I was puking my guts out on our last fishing trip. I was pissed.

  3. I’ve always been prone to motion sickness and it’s been worse since I’ve had my daughter 10 years ago.  I also have a weirdness in my left ear (ringing, not noise pollution related) and that throws off my inner ear (so I sometimes just get a bit of nausea for no reason).

    In addition to being made sick by riding in vehicles, I also have a hard time with movies filmed POV.  I really wanted to see that Swedish (or was it Finnish?) movie  Troll, got maybe 20 minutes into it, and had to stop watching.  I saw Blair Witch in the theater and it made me throw up.  It really sucks.

    Ginger helps, but the main way we’ve dealt with it, is for me to always drive whenever possible.  Dramamine is good for long trips where I can’t drive, and they had a non-drowsy formula now.

    1. Interesting that you have difficulty with POV filming. It’s widely held among gamers that the reason first-person shooters don’t do so well in Japan is because Japanese gamers are more prone to motion sickness when playing from that perspective. If there’s any truth to that, I wonder if there’s a genetic component.

      1.  I don’t know.  I guess that isn’t out of the realm of possibility.  I’m not a big gamer, so I don’t know if a POV game would bother me like a movie (I’d guess so?).  But I don’t think anyone in my family has the same issues with motion sickness, either.

      2. My first FPS (the original sprite-based Castle Wolfenstein, lo those many years ago) made me motion sick. I played until I barfed, gasped for air holding the toilet for a bit, then went back to play a little more cautiously. So not only can that be true, it’s also possible to get over pretty quickly if you’re determined (and hooked hard enough).

        Never had any trouble after that first day until I played Portal and got stuck cycling between two portals, flipping 180 relative to the environment and rotating sideways to stabilize for some bizarre reason… Bleh. *vomit* So that’s the second, and so far last time, I’ve had the problem.

        I stayed away from Blair Witch and Troll out of some suspicion it might be an issue, though.

    2. When I saw Blair Witch, I woke up in the middle of the night screaming, “Where’s my eight dollars?!?!?”

  4. Motion sickness is caused by motion, duh!  Next question?

    Seriously, what’s the Swiss canton high in the Alps that produces most of the Swiss Air Force pilots?  I’m going to Wikipedia.
    OK, Wikipedia doesn’t specifically mention the pilots, but it’s Graubünden, in particular a district or two within the Grisson Alps, where sheepherders live their lives walking on cliffs, so they have adapted to vertical perception and have lost their sense of vertigo.

    As a bonus, the sheepherders natively speak Romansh, so that using a little bit of code talk, any plane-to-plane communication will be intercepted but undecipherable to enemy combatants.

    All this I was told long ago by a Swiss friend, during an all-night binge of cigarettes, Coca-Cola and Eric Burdon & The Animals, much more memorable than a regular night on the town, that night I also got eloquently explained the difference between Color Theory by painters and Color Theory by photographers.

    Cheers, Martin, I miss you.

  5. I used to have very little trouble with motion sickness unless I tried to read in a moving vehicle, but now that I’ve been experiencing chronic neck pain, the stopping and starting in vehicles makes me horribly nauseous and absolutely miserable. My neck going back and forth and those shoots of pain causing me nausea is the only way I can work out why I suddenly have to buy Dramamine and have ginger ale close at hand. :(

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