Helium Infused wine, helium-infused beer, and many other helium-infused drinks are all the rage today. The hype began with two women who posted a video of themselves giggling and cackling after sharing a “helium-infused” wine.
A glance of the video shows the two friends sipping severally from their wine glasses, and their voices change from normal to cartoonish. The new effects mirror the same impact you achieve after inhaling helium from a balloon.
Once you breathe in the air, your voice changes for several seconds to the amusement of those around you. You instantly become hilarious, even though you may not be one for humor. You now have an idea why the video became an instant online sensation.
However, the question remains, does helium-infused wine work, or did the two friends fake it? Let’s dig a little deeper.
What is Helium Infused Wine?
In a nutshell, helium-infused wine is normal wine with helium added into it using a helium pump. You can use two types of pumps, visit a lab and ask them to infuse the wine with helium, or use the traditional balloon pump.
Allegedly, the helium-infused drink has a similar effect on your voice as the helium balloon gas.
How Did Helium-infused Wines Gain Popularity?
A rather critical question, how in the world did people come up with the idea of putting helium in their wines?
Let’s dial back a few years back (4/01/2014), where Samuel Adams beer company did an April fool’s prank, where they released a video talking about helium-infused beer. It all seems fun since helium, once inhaled, makes your voice gain a higher pitch, which is hilarious to others.
Moreso, it’s funny when you inhale it, and you’re a bit drunk. When we focus on the wine aspect, helium-infused wine popped up online after the women friends started laughing themselves off after ingesting the wine.
As funny as the video was, it opens the proverbial Pandora’s box. By watching it keenly, you will raise several questions.
Two lingering questions will be; Are they faking it, and is what they’re consuming helium-infused wine indeed? Please view the video to the end to see whether you will also get doubts.
What Happens When You Add Helium into Wine?
Chemistry has proven that every element can be turned into liquid, so why can’t we have helium-infused wine? To make you understand, let us break down why this is an impossibility.
Beginning with temperature, you will notice that turning helium into a liquid is not an easy task. It needs to be extremely cold (-457℉).
The helium will need to be at an insane cold below zero temperature, which would instantly turn the wine solid. To mix up the two elements, you would need to turn your wine into ice cubes. Even after mixing the two, you would still face a problem.
How will you drink your cocktail? When you try to drink liquid helium, you will instantly get frostbite. Pressure begins to build in your stomach, and consuming a lot would cause your insides to explode!
Even if you remain cautious and consume a little liquid helium, it will be enough to destroy a lot of tissue along your throat and stomach. The injuries will be permanent, and thus it’s unwise to consume helium-infused wine, in my view.
Does Helium-infused Wine Work?
By scouring the internet, you will stumble upon dozens of videos and articles claiming to teach you how to infuse helium with wine. There are dozens of videos showcasing people indulging in these beverages.
However funny they’re, regard them as dodgy because you can see from the explanation above that it’s not easy to create helium-infused wine.
You will witness nothing happening to those experiments since helium is the second lightest gas and dissipates quickly into the atmosphere without touching the wine.
The only thing that will happen is; the dissipating helium gas will change the timbre of your voice, however, briefly. The infusing part will not work. You will drink pure wine as the helium will disappear because it will not reach the larynges where your vocal cords are located.
Because the helium you consume slightly changes the timbre of your voice for seconds, it’s enough proof that the two women drinking helium-infused wine were lying. They most likely were changing their voices on purpose and blaming the helium.
You should give it to them to convince a significant majority of the viewers to believe them since they believe that helium shrinks the vocal cords. Unfortunately, this is an incorrect explanation.
Helium alters the way sound travels near the vocal cords since it’s lighter than air, an aspect that makes it possible to travel faster through it.
After inhaling the helium and you utter words, the air from the lungs will move past the vocal cords, thus causing them to vibrate and produce a sound.
In normal conditions (68℉), sound travels at an average of 344 meters per second in the air. However, when helium is ingested, it alters the temperature, making it possible for sound to travel at a higher speed of 927 meters per second.
What is the Difference Between Helium and Carbon Dioxide?
Helium can’t work as carbon dioxide works since it’s 700 times less soluble. It’s impossible to convert it into a gas that can be infused with any liquid, leave alone wine.
The helium will not form small bubbles in the container and will end up clumped together, creating one huge bubble on top of the wine/liquid.
An action that beats the purpose of carbonating the drink will not create the slow fizz that occurs when you pour an infused drink into a glass. The pumped helium would dissipate into the air immediately when you open the wine bottle leaving you with unadulterated wine.
In short, it’s not possible to carbonate your wine using helium, and even with today’s science and technology, it remains an impossibility.
The Making of the Hoax Video
To better explain why the two women seem to be enjoying themselves with helium-infused wine, you should consult a video producer/editor. You will understand that the most likely scenario is the video’s editor used a pitch shifter on the audio layer of the file.
Video link. Please note it’s not the original upload.
The action makes you, the viewer perceive as if their voices are affected by the “helium infused wine.” You, too, can get your hands on the software and make use of the same to dupe others as you were lied to!
It’s a simple drag and drop software popularly used in the interwebs by all other videos of people drinking “helium infused wine” and experiencing voice changes popping up.
Is There Helium-infused Beer?
April 1st, 2014, commonly referred to as April Fool’s Day, saw the beer company Samuel Adams fool plenty of folks. They claimed that they were almost launching a beer brand which they named HeliYum.
They did fool many, and this must have been the precipice to the helium-infused wine video done the next year by the two ladies. Go online and search the many hilarious helium-infused beer videos and laugh.
However, as you have fun, remember that this too is a hoax as it’s still yet an impossibility to get helium into liquids today. Also, ingested helium doesn’t go anywhere near the vocal cords.
Stop Instant Gratification
The internet is a great invention. It has made the world become a global village. However, like anything else, it has its downside; people have the power to post anything they desire.
The 21st century saw the rise of social media, where most people pine for clicks, likes, and comments. To make their videos go viral, youtube creators will come up with anything to get their videos shared; their subscribers stock up so that they can make money through ads.
Within days of publishing the helium-infused wine video, it went viral and garnered close to ten million hits after publication. They made serious bank with ad revenue! If you take time to look through youtube videos, you will discover lots of fake videos that seem believable.
Videos are showcasing the discovery of prehistoric animals that will make you believe that the sabertooth has been grown and birthed in a lab.
Many other people have jumped on the bandwagon and have released their version of helium-infused wine videos garnering tens of thousands to millions of views.
These are staged; make use of your third eye to see through the lies before you believe most of the things you see online. Otherwise, feel free to enjoy your favorite wine without going to the extremities. It will still be tasty as ever.