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Balloon Facts

    • Balloons were invented in 1824 by Professor Michael Faraday, the same year as the electromagnet and the washing machine.


    • Helium-filled balloons float because helium is lighter than nitrogen and oxygen, the two components of air.


    • Pioneer, the largest manufacturer of latex balloons manufactures nearly one billion Qualatex brand latex balloons per year.


    • Latex balloons come from rubber trees. Latex is collected by cutting the tree’s bark, then catching the latex in a cup. Latex harvesting doesn’t hurt the tree!


    • Latex balloons are Earth-friendly! Rubber trees grow in rain forests. Latex harvesting discourages deforestation because latex-producing trees are left intact. A tree can produce latex for up to 40 years!


    • Before toy balloons were invented people inflated pig bladders and animal intestines.


    • If the sound of a balloon popping startles you, you’re not alone. A bursting balloon actually creates a small sonic boom! Once a hole is made in an inflated balloon, the quick release of the balloon’s energy, or air, causes the hole to grow at almost the speed of sound in rubber. Since this speed is much higher than the speed of sound in air, the hole in the balloon actually breaks the sound barrier, creating a sonic boom.


    • Silver metalised balloons were first developed for the New York City ballet in the late 1970s.


    • When a latex balloon is released outside, as long as it has been well-tied and has no structural flaws, it will rise to an altitude of about five miles. At that elevation it will freeze and break into spaghetti-like pieces that scatter as they return to earth. Occasionally animals will eat these soft slivers of rubber, but evidence indicates that these pass through the animals system without causing any harm.