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"A balloon is an inflatable flexible bag filled with a type of gas"

Whoops. I'm pretty sure water balloons exist. (talk) 02:40, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Early Comments[edit]

Just stumbled across this and saw odd references to Toby Whitmire(???). I'm not a practised editor, so I just thought I'd flag up what looks like vandalism. Chrisjamescox (talk) 15:52, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Fails to mention original balloons were dried bladders of animals. --Daniel C. Boyer

I don't know how much detail we should go into on Zeppelin-type craft, but perhaps there should be a mention of hydrogen, because helium hasn't been the only gas used in balloons or balloon-type vehicles. --user:Daniel C. Boyer

Helium voice: I think this article is wrong about the cause, but I'm not certain, so I won't edit yet. Scientific American (March 1987) says that the vocal cords vibrate at a slightly, but not significantly, higher frequency in helium, but that the real cause is the change in the resonant frequency of the vocal tract. This is determined by the speed of sound within, which is significantly different in helium than in air. The vocal cords are not finely tuned like violin strings, but are vibrating flaps of skin that create a sound more like noise than a pure tone. The noise is filtered by the acoustic response of the vocal tract to produce formants (the tones used in speech).

I just found a detailed explanation at!/SPEECH_HELIUM/speech.html. This backs up what I just said. Now I am going to edit the article. -- Heron

These balloons are often, incorrectly, called Mylar® balloons.

This sentence implied that there is a more correct name for this kind of balloons or Mylar balloons mean something else. Without further explanation, this extra qualification (incorrectly) seems really odd and out of place. I plan to remove it if no one provides an explanation soon. -- Kowloonese 22:54, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Added sexual fetishm with balloons.

Mylar or not Mylar?[edit]

the article says: “Beginning in the early 1990s, some more expensive (and longer-lasting) helium balloons have been made of thin, unstretchable, impermeable metallized nylon films. These balloons are often, incorrectly, called Mylar® balloons.”

So what is it? Mylar or Nylon?

Re: Mylar or not Mylar?[edit]

I originally updated the Mylar page to correct the mistaken identification of foil balloons as "Mylar" instead of metallized nylon, based on the information on this web site:

I will update this article to further clarify.

permission for translation.[edit]

how do i get permission to translate some of the article to the Hebrew wikipedia?
our current balloon article is focused on latex balloons only.

No permission needed. Just go ahead. <KF> 17:34, 20 October 2005 (UTC)


I Q them being included as balloons. Barrage balloons & blimps, perhaps, N dirigbles; some clarity of what type airship is meant would be welcome. Trekphiler 13:16, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

I linked and clarified. What do you think, probably could look better. CambridgeBayWeather (Talk) 20:54, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
No objection, ever, to more clarity...& I could use some: I meant (& should have said) del airship entire. Airship, as I understand the term, is not "balloon"; it implies a frame & steerability lacking in balloons. Unless we rename the page "lighter than air vehicles"? (I wouldn't.)
Separate ish: first manned balloon flight in Japan was 1877 by Baba Shinpachi (Western-style, Shinpachi Baba). Or so I've read (Francillon, Japanese Aircraft, I think, or Illustrated History of Japanese Air Force). Trekphiler 02:54, 22 December 2005 (UTC)


Well, lots of physics questions about electricity involve rubbing balloons. I want to know the charge of the balloon (+ or -) if it is rubbed. The actual question is which charge of a balloon will cause it to stick to a wall.

so if you can rub the balloon on your clothes or hair, it will attract the negative ions into the balloon and produces friction, and when the balloon touches a smooth surface, you are able to stick the balloon because the opposites attract. positive ions from the surface will stick to the negative ions from the balloon. --Jofunkinsiah (talk) 23:40, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Balloons in movies[edit]

There is an Italian movie in which fleeing bank robbers use balloons to lift a police radio jamming transmitter in the sky. What is the name of this movie?

Do you know what happens when you rub an air balloon on your head? Well, I do and I hope you do to!!!

    BALLOONS ROCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:55, 30 May 2008 (UTC) 

airship as balloon[edit]

I've removed the caveat after airship: "actually a buoyant aircraft rather than a balloon". I looked through wiktionary and and I can't find any reason to exclude airships from the grouping of balloon. Vicarious 08:29, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

I can, as noted above: an airship has a frame, a balloon doesn't. Trekphiler 21:14, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

That's not true. The thing that separates an airship from a balloon aircraft is that an airship has a propeller and a balloon doesn't. Airships can be rigid or non-rigid. That's for aircraft, I don't know weather a airship is a balloon; I think so. But rigidity is definitely not the factor separating airships from balloon aircraft. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:37, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Down side[edit]

I find no discussion of the "down side" of toy helium balloons. How they can travel hundreds of miles and land in unexpected places (I found one from N Carolina, 3 miles in on a hiking trail in New Hampshire). There have been many documented cases of marine animals, both mammels and fishes, dying after ingesting balloons. Hope this starts a valid discussion on this subject.

I added a section on it, feel free to expand. The source is a nature magazine I used to recieve as a child, I will try to locate it so that I may use document the source. If others can find the information elsewhere and wish to add that as a source, that works too. The suicide forest 13:48, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

It got deleted for lack of sources by another editor. I found some sources online, added them in and rewrote a little to reflect. I also merged the section into as decoration and entertainment, since it seems most applicable to that part of the article. There was a small bit already there so I did my best to merge. Additional work probably needed to make it less POV (feels kind of activist as it is) and expand, I concentrated on the deaths of pretty little sea creatures - the litter perspective isn't really covered, or a non-US perspective. --Siobhan Hansa 03:10, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Here's a citation for you..

"There is no documented evidence that a balloon has ever been responsible for the death of any sea animal. Although many stories have appeared in the press about sea creatures dying from balloons, extensive research by the industry and reporters has yet to verify one such story. " --

The same page also mentions the problem of metallized balloons shorting powerlines, which apparently 'needs citation'. I also found a few links like this; -- —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:38, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Wrong Spelling[edit]

In the Balloon page there are a couple of "metallized" word isn't it the spelling should be "metalized". Just a single L. Biztalkguy 03:30, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

I had checked the word in the dictionary and always metalized should have been the right spelling. Biztalkguy 03:31, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Singing balloons?[edit]

In my area of the United States there are such gifts given to people known as singing balloons. Singing balloon seem to be regular balloons that have been filled with helium as well as some microchip within that is sensitive to changes in pressure. So, when somebody comes by to touch against the balloon, such as hitting it, the outter membrane has force applied and the internal pressure increases, it starts to play the song, not always with the greatest quality in the world. There seems to be a lack of information on Wikipedia about the design and analysis of these singing balloons. Thoughts? Anybody know anything more about these? -- kanzure 00:52, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Heated Helium?[edit]

"The earliest flights were made with hot air balloons that used either air or helium which were heated with a flame"

I don't recall ever hearing about heating helium with a flame. Is this a mistake, or does someone have a reference? -AndrewDressel 23:24, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

I've never heard that either; I rewrote. (I also deleted the airship piece, for reasons noted above.) I'd add who made the first manned hot air & hydrogen balloon flights, if I could source (& recall...) them; wasn't Jacques Andre Charles the first to fly a hydrogen balloon, 1783? & 2 brothers a hot air type, also 1783? Trekphiler 21:19, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Need a section on idioms, media other than film?[edit]

Maybe this page needs a new section talking about the idioms inspired by balloons - trial balloons, lead balloons, balloon payments, etc. Perhaps it would also be reasonable to have a section on balloons in literature (children's lit in particular) or in other media. Ccreitz 17:44, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

heroin is stored in balloons to be sold on the street..[edit]

...they're cut to the size of about two BBs, and sold in small quantities of cut down balloon material and this has been done for decades with black tar heroin on the west coast of the united states. (talk) 03:03, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Uncited comments[edit]

"Chinese, Japanese and Native American cultures led to the beginning of balloons." Can someone verify this or otherwise delete it for good? it looks like vandalism (talk) 02:42, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

First balloon[edit]

There are paintings of pig bladders being inflated as toys going back to the Middle Ages. Several books claim the Aztecs made balloon out of animal intestines. (talk) 12:57, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

To this and comment above, look for WP:Reliable sources supporting your contentions. CarolMooreDC (talk) 13:45, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
Here is a painting dating from 200 years before the claim in the article. Galileo "attempted to determine the weight of air by weighing a balloon that was filled with air".[1] (talk) 14:53, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Protest and surveillance balloons own sections?[edit]

I just realized protest balloons is under entertainment. And while they can be entertaining, not quite right category. In fact there was a bunch of stuff about protests that have used them, but I don't want to overwhelm the article.

Also while search protest balloons I discovered a lot of protest of surveillance balloons used by govts in a couple countries and wondering if such govt/military uses need their own section? Thoughts?? CarolMooreDC (talk) 13:45, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

diffusion through a barrier or membrane is called osmosis —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:36, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Colorado balloon[edit]

Created Colorado balloon for the boy in the balloon incident, rename it or whatever, but there it is Bachcell (talk) 19:54, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Updated Photos[edit]

I replaced two of the original photos on the article. The first photograph showed underinflated foil balloons. Balloons tend to lose helium over time and become soft. This photo was not an accurate representation of balloons that would have been recently inflated for sale in a store. It was difficult to see the smiley face balloon in the second photo as it up against a ceiling and was very small. There was also a reference to balloons being popular in hospitals as get well gifts. While this is undoubtedly true, some hospitals have banned balloons. I thought a more generic photo served the article better removed an unnecessary source of potential controversy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Timos25 (talkcontribs) 22:03, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Removed George Bush protest plus photo(!) Removed "Protest" section.[edit]

George Bush example of "Balloon Protest" suggest strong non-neutral POV. The content of the protest is illustrated in a way that looks like the editor wanted to protest George Bush under the guise of providing a dry example of a protest. Not dry. Not encyclopedic.

The whole idea of a section for "Balloon Protest" is flakey. It strikes me as more a art medium in such cases, and we wouldn't say "Paint Protest" for an article on Paint just because paint is used to make signs.

But, "Balloon Protest" section mostly doesn't add anything to the concept of a balloon. Perhaps the release of balloons to communicate a message is the key factor "the editors" want to communicate. When "the editors" instead call it "protest", it suggests more of a concern for the idea of protesting than the dry, scholarly, illustration of the use of balloon releases (etc.) for promulgating a message. It's a matter of point of view, a neutral point of view.

The non-neutral section requires correction. If you really care about slipping back in the idea of "balloon protest", then call the section something neutral and give it some examples that don't stink of a "protest orientation" or a thinly disguised desire to slam George Bush. (talk) 17:29, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Measuring a balloon[edit]

I have seen rubber balloons advertised as being 9 inches, 11 inches and 12 inches, but seeing as rubber is elastic and the balloons are nowhere near that size when deflated, what does the number mean? ArabianShark (talk) 19:06, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

It's a measurement of the ideal size when inflated. Most balloons are tear-drop shape rather than perfect spheres, and I don't know whether the number given is the height (from the knot to the center of the "top") or the diameter (which is smaller than the height). WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:41, 15 December 2011 (UTC)


If you put a piece of scotch tape on an inflated balloon, then stick it with a small pin or needle, it won't pop.Fact from Appzilla 2 EleoTager (talk) 12:43, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Possible source[edit]

This recent magazine article might be useful for sourcing this article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:30, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

New foil material[edit]

Foil balloons of a new material have been introduced 1-3 years ago: the foil comes within a (humid) bag. Having broken this bag one should inflate the balloon pretty soon - some minutes I think. The foil expands somewhat, which means, that (nearly) no wrinkles a produced near the seams like ordinary PA- or PES-foil balloons. The inflated balloon dries (from water, alcohol?) and gets stiffer then. I have only read about it. --Helium4 (talk) 12:40, 25 April 2014 (UTC)