While the idea of helium-infused beverages has captured the imaginations of many after watching videos on Youtube, it is not likely that they will be served one any time soon.
Online videos featuring “helium-infused” beverages with drinkers experiencing high-pitched voices are staged affairs, and the acting is usually the first giveaway.
Helium is commonly used to fill party balloons, and many have experienced the voice-changing effects associated with inhaling it at one point or another. Unfortunately, it is just not scientifically possible to infuse it into a beverage.
So knowing that you can’t actually make helium infused wine, let’s take a closer look at this trend and the myth of the giggle-inducing drink.
Helium Infused Wine – Origins and Debunking
1. Origins of the “Helium Wine” Trend
The internet sensations of “Helium Infused Wine” as well as “Helium Infused Beer” can be traced back to this Youtube video. In the video, two women can be seen drinking what they claim to be “Helium Infused Wine.”
Their voices then become altered and high-pitched, similar to the change in voice experienced when inhaling helium from a balloon. They laugh back and forth about how funny their voices sound and the video has been viewed over 750,000 times.
The success of this video has led to a handful of similar “spin-off” videos including “Helium-Infused Beer” and “Helium-Infused Water.” While the idea of being able to drink your favorite beverage with helium infused into it sounds like a fun idea, it is just not realistic or feasible.
It doesn’t take a Hollywood-caliber talent agent to spot that there is some poor acting going on in this video. Many commenters on Youtube have pointed out this initial skepticism before even breaking down whether the scenario was at all possible.
The seemingly endless waves of cringe-worthy fake laughter make the video seriously tough to watch, and less than halfway in it is apparent to most that the ladies in the video are clearly trying to put on a show.
They break out some equally tough-to-watch dance moves before finishing up the video, and the videos it inspired weren’t much better. All of the helium-based beverage videos seem to be staged at first glance, and with good reason!
2. Helium Uses and Facts
Helium is used for everything from filling balloons for birthday parties to pressurizing tanks in rocket engines! It is lighter than air, which is why it is commonly used to keep balloons afloat.
From local grocery stores to party supply warehouses, helium tanks for filling balloons are easy to come by. Many have experimented with the voice-changing effects of inhaling this gas, though it is not recommended by doctors!
Many people who have inhaled helium had doubts the first time they watched one of these fake videos, as it is common knowledge that the voice-changing effects of helium wear off quickly. On average, a person’s voice will only be altered for five to ten seconds before returning to normal.
In the various “Helium-Infused” videos, the subject’s voices are altered for multiple minutes, much longer than possible from inhaling helium. It is quickly apparent to viewers who are familiar with social media that they are using voice filters to achieve the high-pitched sound.
Voice filters are very common on social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok, and can have a variety of different effects on a person’s voice. The filter being used in these videos is commonly referred to as the “chipmunk” voice filter.
While helium does produce a high pitch effect on a person’s voice, it is very distinct sounding and quite different from that of the “chipmunk filter”.
3. The Science Behind “Helium Wine”
Even those with a slight understanding of the science behind helium gas have highlighted the impossibility of this hoax, and the team over at Beer Connoisseur concur with this notion. They wrote a comprehensive piece debunking these videos, and the science speaks for itself.
There are a couple of different scientific reasons that it is not possible to achieve a voice-changing helium-infused glass of wine.
First, helium is not water, or wine, soluble. If helium gas were pumped into a glass or bottle of wine, it would dissipate almost immediately.
There is a second glaring issue with the science behind these videos, and it involves temperature. The addition of helium to wine would instantly freeze it, and shatter the glass.
Helium becomes a liquid at negative 425 degrees fahrenheit, far too cold for this application.
There has been some experimentation with helium in the craft beer industry, as many beer makers hoped that the addition of the gas would produce unique carbonation and foam on top of the beer.
Unfortunately, even university chemists were unable to achieve this, as the final product always came out flat, even with a nice foamy head.
The closest available option on the market is “Nitro” beer, which uses nitrogen to create a unique texture and foam.