Why is it so loud when a balloon pops? We’ll explain! And make sure you DO NOT MISS this incredible slow motion video.
If you over inflate or take a pin to the skin of a latex balloon, the balloon explodes with a very loud “bang,” almost like a gun shot. Why though, if you put a pin hole in it, wouldn’t it just start to quietly leak until it’s fully deflated?
It has to do with pressure and the elasticity of the skin of the balloons.
I think we all understand that when you inflate a balloon, you increase the pressure inside of it to a point that’s far higher than the environment surrounding it. That’s why the balloon expands. That air wants to get out, but the latex skin is holding it in.
When you put a hole in that balloon, something happens so quickly that our brains cannot really process what our eyes are looking at, and it’s the key to the loud sound we hear.
The force of the pressure in the balloon suddenly exerting itself through the hole causes the latex to break away from the hole and contract back toward the opposite side of the balloon.
As the high pressure inside the balloon expands outward, it creates a sudden wave of pressure. This pressure wave is what creates the loud bang that we hear.
This all happens in milliseconds—so fast we can’t really see what’s happening without the help of a very high frame rate, slow-motion camera.
And lucky for us, Slow Mo Lab just so happens to have one of these cameras. This one is worth your time folks!
Now, if you do want or need to pop your leftover balloons in silence, just put a piece of duct tape on the balloon and poke the pin hole through the tape. The tape is stronger than the latex and will prevent it from snapping away, so the air will just quietly leak out through the pinhole.
What about foil balloons? The material of foil balloons does not have the elasticity of latex, so when you put a pin through the balloon it will simply begin to leak through the hole.
Source: Slow Mo Lab