A helium balloon on the moon, unlike what might feel intuitive, would drop to the ground as if it was heavy. popsci.com/science/articl…
During WWII there was an event known as that 'Battle of Los Angeles'. Citizens and military thought the Japanese were attacking Los Angeles and fired AA guns into the sky. Turns out it was only a lost weather balloon. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat…
Barrage balloons, originally a defensive measure against air raids, were used as weapons in WW2 after loose balloons wreaked havoc on power lines as they dragged their steel cables across them. This tactic later yielded the destruction of a German power station and damage to various industries. stratocat.com.ar/stratope…
Today I learned of Sophia Blanchard one of the first women to fly hot air balloons. She lost consciousness on a few occasions, endured freezing temperatures and almost drowned when her balloon crashed in a marsh. In 1819, she died when her air balloon crashed. 10 years earlier her husband died the same way. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sop…
In 1978, two punk bands, "the cramps" and "the mutants", were booked to play a live show at a mental institution in Napa, California. At onother point, the mutants played at a school for the deaf, with the kids holding balloons in their hand in order to "feel the music" vice.com/en/article/rkqq3…
Camels store upwards of 30kg of nutrient rich fat in their humps. During times of famine and drought, the fat is absorbed to nourish the camel and the hump actually goes limp like a deflated balloon when the fat is depleted. nationalgeographic.com/an…
The journalist Nellie Bly got bored of writing about fashion and gardening and instead went undercover in a mental asylum to expose the horrible conditions there. She later travelled around the world by balloon in record time. irishcentral.com/roots/hi…
Balloonfest '86 was an event in which Cleveland, Ohio set a world record by releasing almost one-and-a-half million balloons. The event caused multiple traffic accidents and prevented coast guards from rescuing two boaters who ultimately drowned. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bal…
The USAF (or what was then the USAAC) has had drones in use since before the US entered WWII. They started using them in 1938. Examples of UAVs date back to 1849 as hot air balloons and WWI as radio-controlled monoplanes commons.wikimedia.org/wik…
Hot air balloons can only be steered by wind currents baileyballoons.co.uk/2018…
The invention of the hot air balloon was inspired by Joseph Montgolfier’s wife’s underwear. nationalpost.com/entertai…
Because of their massive balloons during Thanksgiving parades, Macy's is the second biggest consumer of Helium in the world after the US Military. wbaa.org/post/helium-shor…
In 1897, the Swedish explorer S.A. Andree and two compatriots attempted to reach the North Pole by balloon. With no way to reliably steer, and leaking hydrogen, the balloon crashed well short of their goal. The crew's remains were found in 1930, returned to Sweden and given a hero's burial. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/And…
In 1982, Larry Walters made made a 45-minute flight in a homemade airship made of an ordinary patio chair and 45 helium-filled weather balloons. During the landing, the aircraft became entangled in power lines, but Walters was able to safely climb down. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law…
Victor Prather, a surgeon involved in developing space suits, ascended in a balloon to an altitude of 21 miles in 1961. He survived the freezing journey of 10 hours. He fell into the sea when rescued by a helicopter in the Gulf of Mexico. His suit filled with water, and he drowned. stratocat.com.ar/stratope…
The pig on Pink Floyd's "Animals" was an actual 40ft balloon. A marksman had been initially hired on the 1st day to shoot it down, should it break loose--but he was absent on the 2nd. That day, it broke free and flew into Heathrow Airport's airspace, resulting in all flights being cancelled. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pin…
Today I learned of balloon syndrome, a rare condition in hedgehogs in which gas is trapped under the skin as a result of injury or infection, causing the animal to inflate. This condition is unique to hedgehogs because they have significant space under their skin as a result of their ability to curl up. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bal…
In Russia the first day of school is called "Knowledge Day" falls on Sept 1st and is a national holiday. Kids and parents celebrate by bringing their kids to school carrying balloons and presents for their teachers, it's especially special for first graders. realrussia.co.uk/Blog/kno…
The first aerial robot to be launched on another planet was an aerobot balloon launched from the Soviet Vega lander on Venus in 1985. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veg…
A rockoon is a rocket launched from an atmospheric balloon to reach higher altitudes, and that in the first tests they'd fail to launch because the atmosphere was too cold, which was solved by putting heated cans of orange juice along with the rocket. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roc…
William Randolph Hearst, media tycoon and inspiration for "Citizen Kane", was a pioneer of comics and animation. However, his cartoons failed partly because they used speech balloons and froze during action. Embarrassed, he destroyed most film, but many of his animators would later go to Disney. lambiek.net/artists/h/hea…
"Lawnchair Larry" Walters in 1982 put giant balloons on a lawnchair and launched himself (along with food, beer, & a pellet gun to pop balloons --thus control elevation) 16000 feet up; jets saw him. He lost the gun overboard & drifted 45 min to land in power lines. He lived & was arrested. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law…
During the Cold War, the CIA used hot air balloons to drop copies of Animal Farm into Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia in order to cause discontent amongst the population towards the countries’ leaders. Their responses were to order their militaries to shoot down the hot air balloons. spectator.co.uk/article/n…
In 1979, two families escaped East Germany in a homemade hot air balloon. They flew for 28 minutes at βˆ’8 Β°C (18 Β°F) with no shelter as the gondola was just a clothesline railing. They landed just 10km (6.2 mi) from the border. The escape was planned out over 1 and 1/2 years and took 3 attempts. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eas…
An Arizona man found a balloon with a Christmas list for Santa while out hiking. He tracked down the 8-yr-old Mexican girl who released the balloon and fulfilled her wishlist. cnn.com/2018/12/26/us/bal…
Rubber balloons were invented by Prof. Michael Faraday, more famous for his discoveries in electromagnetism. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toy…
It took the Mythbusters team two years to find a company that would make lead foil thin enough for a lead balloon. npr.org/2010/06/15/127855…
During WWII, the British launched nearly 100,000 weather balloons trailing long metal wires toward occupied Europe, causing power outages when they shorted out power lines and causing at least one German power station to burn down. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ope…
A university maths professor helped a pig farmer prove in court that a hot air balloon startled his pigs causing them to fall into a ditch and die by using trigonometry and a photograph telegraph.co.uk/news/eart…
Today I learned of Daniel Boria. Labelled the 'Bolloniatic' Daniel flew over Calgary in Lawn Chair as publicity stunt for his cleaning company by strapping $13000 worth of industrial balloons onto a Canadian Tire lawn chair. Upon landing he was apprehended by police and later fined $5000 for the stunt. cbc.ca/news/canada/calgar…
Today I learned of a Floridian man who committed suicide, and by using a weather balloon to carry off the gun, made it appear he'd been murdered. edition.cnn.com/2018/07/1…
In 1897, 3 Swedes attempted to be the first people to reach the North Pole. They travelled by hot air balloon but crashed after 65 hours. 33 years later, a ship discovered their camp, along with their dead bodies, journal, and camera. They'd survived for weeks by killing and eating polar bears. bbc.co.uk/news/av/magazin…
A Florida man faked his murder by shooting himself with a gun tied to a weather balloon. The gun and balloon were never found. usatoday.com/story/news/n…
North Korea is obsessed with Choco Pies from S Korea. There's a black market for them, and factories once used them to pay worker bonuses. In 2014, S Korean activists sent 10K pies to NK with helium balloons. After an injured NK defector crossed the DMZ in 2017, he was given a lifetime supply. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cho…
Reverend Archie E. Mitchell was the only survivor of the only successful WWII Japanese Fu-Go balloon bomb attack and was later captured during the Vietnam War as a missionary, never to be seen again. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arc…
Today I learned of Globophobia or the fear of balloons. Suffers of globophobia generally fear the sound of balloons popping and will normally refuse to touch, feel or go near them for fear of popping them. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bal…
In 1897 a Swedish Balloonist and his two colleagues began their nationally covered journey to fly over the North Pole in a hydrogen balloon. Four decades later a whaling ship came across their remains on a small arctic island, having crashed and perished in the tough arctic climate. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/And…
Japanese scientists had cultivated enough CowPox to infect all the people in the United States and were ready to deploy it via ocean crossing balloons which had already delivered bombs but Emperor Hirohito did not permit it. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fu-…
Hot air balloon pilots don't directly control the direction of flight. They can only increase or decrease the balloon's altitude to place the balloon into a wind going the same direction they need. They have a few methods to check the direction of the air above and below the balloon. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot…
Today I learned of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, an all-black airborne unit. Instead of overseas deployment, they fought wildfires started by Japanese balloon bombs on the US west coast. The "Triple Nickles" parachuted directly into affected areas for half the fires they fought. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/555…
In 1808 two Frenchmen held a duel in the skies by both riding their own hot air balloon and shooting at each other's balloon geriwalton.com/a-french-b…
Today I learned about Japan's Fu-Go bomb project, in which they launched balloon-borne bombs from Japan during WWII, hoping they would explode in the US and cause confusion and terror. It was a total failure except one case where some kids found one and died. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fu-…
An inventor trying to make a sock to prevent trench foot first produced modern water balloons. Having made a latex-coated sock and filling it with water to test for leaks, he found a rip and angrily threw it on his table. Pleased with the splash, he decided to market water balloons for children. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat…
Today I learned about Robert Cocking who tried to invent an improved parachute design. He was so convinced of his invention that he tested it himself, hanging below a balloon and releasing the parachute in the height of 5,000 ft. He was the first person who died in a parachute accident. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob…
The first creatures ever to ride in a hot air balloon were a sheep, a duck, and a chicken time.com/3583782/hot-air-…
, Larry Walters rode a lawn chair attached to helium balloons to 16,000 feet and using a pellet gun, he controlled his descent by firing the gun at the balloons, popping them one by one. youtu.be/E7w_v9J7iOc
Marvel Comics G.I. Joe #21 (1984) was a completely silent issue. Writer/Artist Larry Hama wanted a complete story - beginning, middle, end, conflict, characterization, action, solid resolution - without the word balloons, captions, and sound effects. gijoe.fandom.com/wiki/Sil…
The Guinness world-record holder for most balloons blown up in a hour had a childhood phobia of balloons kids.guinnessworldrecords…
South Korean bootleggers made a plan to balloon drop Sony's "The Interview" to North Koreans, en masse. They had to cancel plans when North Korea learned of this and labeled such an action as "a declaration of war". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…
In 2001, a ten-year-old named Laura Buxton, released a balloon with her name and address in the hope of finding a pen pal. The balloon traveled 140 miles before coming down and was found by an almost-ten-year old also named Laura Buxton. They share a number of other similarities. priceonomics.com/two-girl…

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