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Where does the word “balloon” come from?

From the French word “ballon”, meaning large ball, which was probably derived from the Latin word “ballone”, or the old German “balla” meaning ball.

What did early balloons look like?

The first balloons were made out of animal bladders and intestines. They were often used by clowns who would manipulate them into amusing shapes for entertainment.

Who first invented the balloon?

The first rubber balloons called "caoutchoucs" were invented by Michael Faraday in 1824 and used in his experiments with hydrogen. He made his balloons simply by cutting out two sheets of rubber, placing them on top of each other and pressing the edges together. The sticky rubber welded automatically and he rubbed the inside of the balloon with flour to prevent the opposing surfaces from joining together.

When did the first latex balloons emerge?

Today's more familiar latex balloons, made from a highly flexible substance extracted from plants, were first manufactured in London in 1847, by J.G. Ingram, but it was only in the 1930s that latex balloons started to be mass-produced.

Are all balloons used just for fun?

Balloons are used in meteorology, medicine, military defense, transportation, and many other technical areas thanks to their low density and relatively low cost. Galileo, for instance, inflated a pig's bladder in an experiment to measure the weight of air.

How high up can a helium balloon go?

On September 18, 2006, three Engineering students at Cambridge University made the headlines after they successfully sent a camera to the edge of space for less than £1,000 using a helium balloon. They simply attached the tiny camera to a large helium balloon, which flew to nearly four times the height of Mount Everest. As the balloon rose, it expanded and exactly two hours after lift-off, at an altitude of 32.2km above sea level, it burst, releasing the camera which was brought back to earth by parachute with images showing the curvature of the Earth.

Is it OK to inhale a helium balloon?

Although helium is a non-toxic, non-flammable gas that occurs naturally in the air we breathe, huffing it from a balloon can cut off oxygen supply or can cause a fatal embolism if a person inhales too deeply. Death is too high of a price to pay to sound like a Chipmunk.

How long do inflated balloons last?

Foil helium balloons can last up to 2 weeks indoors, just as long as regular air-filled balloons if left in a cool shaded room. Latex helium balloons can last around 18 to 24 hours, or up to 2 weeks if filled with Ultra Hi-FLOAT.

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