Why does swinging your head opposite of the spin prevents you from passing out?


So there’s this scene in Interstellar where their ship explodes and it makes the ship spin. The girl doesn’t move her head against the spin and she passes out while the experienced guy held his head the opposite of the spin and didn’t pass out. Why’s that? Is it something to do with blood rushing out of the head because of the spinning?

In: 13

Centrifugal effects force the blood to move outwards (relative to the axis of the spin). If you are positioned with your head towards the center, the blood is drawn out of your brain and you lose consciousness. If you are positioned with your head outwards, the blood will be pushed towards your brain, and you don’t lose consciousness (though it’s not very healthy either).

Fighter jet pilots irl have to deal with similar effects as well.



For what it’s worth, the movie (as described here) isn’t accurate. The premise is that blood flows outwards from the spin, so blood to your feet causes you to pass out, but blood to your head doesn’t. Your head isn’t designed for that, though, and you’ll actually pass out sooner (red out, due to blood going to eyes). You can train yourself to survive high positive pressure, but not negative pressure


More or less, though not specifically where the head is. Interstellar, being a movie, took some liberties with it. Anne Hathaway’s character is a scientist-astronaut; Matthew McConaughey’s is a pilot-astronaut. So he probably would have more training in the muscle work in the rest of the body and breathing to resist passing out due to high g-forces.



I’ll see if I can dig up the scene.