Balloons are ubiquitous and essential party decorations at any celebration. Among the various balloon types, helium balloons are the most popular and widely used party balloons worldwide. As such, many people are likely familiar with this element and recognise that it can be used to fill a balloon. However, beyond this application, many may be unfamiliar with several interesting facts about helium.
In fact, helium has plenty of practical applications beyond fun and games. This gaseous chemical element has plenty of significant uses in the tech and medical industries. However, for this article, we will focus on four fascinating facts about helium as applied to balloons.
Fact #1: Helium is lighter than air
Helium is one of the lightest and least dense chemical elements of all. In fact, it is seven times lighter than air, making it more buoyant. These features are the main reason why balloons filled with helium gas float up in the air.
Since helium is lighter than air, a helium balloon tends to be naturally buoyed up by the denser air that surrounds it. So if you have ever wondered why a balloon soars up into the sky when you release its string, the simple answer lies in helium!
Fact #2: Helium makes a voice sound higher
You would probably have seen various people recording themselves inhaling helium from a balloon before speaking in a high pitch voice akin to a chipmunk. These videos are popular and can be easily found on multiple social media platforms. However, do you have an idea about the science behind this?
This phenomenon can again be attributed to the low-density characteristic of helium. Since helium is less dense than air, sound travels about twice as fast through helium than it does through the air we breathe in. In turn, this allows your voice to travel a lot faster across your vocal cords, resulting in you sounding like a squeaky duck or mouse after you have inhaled helium.
While it may seem amusing, we do not recommend trying this trick with a helium balloon, as it can be dangerous. Breathing in helium can deprive your body of oxygen, making you feel as if you are holding your breath. This can cause you to feel light-headed and pass out, and you might end up hurting yourself.
Fact #3: Helium can leak from balloons
Helium molecules are extremely small. In fact, they are so tiny that they can leak through your party balloons. This is the principal reason why helium balloons eventually deflate and stop floating. So if you are planning to utilise helium balloons as part of your party decorations, it is vital for you to take note of this fact. Should you wish to extend the longevity of your helium balloons, you can consult the sales assistant at your local party shop, who can advise you accordingly.
Fact #4: It takes almost 4,000 helium balloons to lift a person who weighs 50 kilograms
If you have watched the Pixar animated film “Up,” then you might have once fantasised about using helium balloons to float in the air. But in reality, is this actually possible? The simple answer is yes. However, to achieve this feat, you will require thousands of helium balloons.
Generally, a helium balloon can lift 14 grams – without factoring in the weight of the balloon and its string. So if you wish to know how many helium balloons you need to lift yourself off the ground, you need to convert your weight into grams and divide it by 14. For example, if you weigh 50 kilograms, which is 50,000 grams, you will need around 3,572 helium balloons.
There are plenty of interesting facts about helium and helium balloons. Indeed, these helium balloons are widely popular for their fun and aesthetics, as well as their versatility and fascinating characteristics. We hope what we have shared has sparked a greater appreciation and interest in helium balloons.