Lies that Pinterest Told Me

Just because it's pinned, it doesn't make it real.

Fill a balloon without helium

This one is a a half-truth… yes, you can fill a balloon without helium. Now, I think (correct me if I’m wrong), that it is common knowledge that you can fill a balloon without helium… using those things we like to call lungs. Also, some people on hot summer days have been known to fill balloons with water.  I suppose you could probably fill balloons with other things too, but I know that’s not what you are thinking.  You saw this:

Examples of pin text:

  • Fill balloon without helium
  • How to fill a floating balloon without using helium!

Problem: Some people have it right… you can inflate a balloon with this method of mixing baking soda and vinegar together.  This works because the bubbling “volcano” reaction creates carbon dioxide.  However unfortunately, carbon dioxide is not a lighter gas than the air we breath, so it can’t float.  So for those of you that repinned this with the comment along the lines of “Wow! Now I don’t have to rent a helium tank for parties!”… Well, you were wrong.  Sorry- nice idea for a science project with kids, but as far as using it for that ubiquitous floating party decoration that both boys and grown men enjoy sucking helium out of to make their voice sound like Mickey Mouse, it’s just not going to work.  This one’s sunk.

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6 thoughts on “Fill a balloon without helium

  1. Amanda on said:

    Helium doesn’t come from your lungs… That’d be oxygen, well really it’s CO2 with remnants of oxygen, but definitely not helium. Ever.

  2. So.. You probably should get some of your facts straight. The stuff that comes out of the ‘volcano’ reaction, carbon dioxide, is the same thing we exhale so even though you are correct that balloons do not float with CO2, you are very flawed in thinking that helium comes from our lungs. If humans breathe too much helium, like sucking it from a balloon for example, one could suffer from oxygen deprivation and pass out or even die. Just so you know.

    • Hi Alexa,
      Not sure if you are replying to the previous comment from the blog or the post itself… Either way I’m happy to give you some clarification. There is a negligible amount of helium in the air we breathe- specifically it is 0.000524% helium. (If you want to know more about the composition of air, take a look at this link- http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistryfaqs/f/aircomposition.htm ) So yeah, while I agree it is definitely not a great idea to breathe helium in from a helium filled balloon (and definitely dangerous if done excessively), I stand by what I said before that we breathe (and exhale) a negligible amount of helium all the time.

  3. To clarify: she never said a balloon would float if you filled it with the air from your lungs she simply said that you could fill it with the air from your lungs.

    Also she never said that what we exhale isnt carbon dioxide she simple say that the carbon dioxide is not lighter than the air we breath (which is correct be cause its the same)

    Maybe Next time you should read something thoroughly before you comment on it. To avoid sounding unintelligent. I did however get a good laugh out of reading this. So thank you for that.

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