Buy a balloon at the zoo. Let it go and watch it shrink down to a tiny dot and then disappear into the stratosphere. Either that balloon will fly too high and shatter, or it will slowly leak out its lighter-than-air contents. Either way, eventually the helium inside the balloon will escape and make its way out of the atmosphere. The earth is literally leaking its helium into outer space.
That’s the future of most of the world’s helium over the next 100 years, scientists say. Such is the fate of a gas lighter than air — Earth’s gravitational pull just can’t hold it.
Something about balloons just brings a smile to a child’s face like nothing else. Imagining a world where balloons no longer float is just downright depressing.
No doubt Carl Fredricksen has played a huge part in that inevitability.