Unpoppable Balloon


En EspaƱol
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    Here's what you need to make your Unpoppable Balloon!

    • Barbeque skewer
    • Balloon (Helium quality, if possible)
    • Vegetable oil or skin lotion (optional)
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    Blow up the balloon

    • Inflate the balloon. Make sure it’s shorter than the skewer.
    • Before you tie it off, let out a bit of air. That will relax the rubber a bit.
    • TIP: If it’s hard to tie off the balloon… Before you tie, pull out the neck, making it long and giving you lots of rubber to work with. This can be the hardest part of the trick. In a pinch, close the neck by wrapping it with a rubber band.
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    Poke the skewer into the balloon

    • Hold the balloon gently with one hand. With your other hand, push the skewer into the “button” of thick rubber at the top of the balloon.
    • Twist the skewer as you push. Push slowly and firmly. The balloon will deform. Eventually, the skewer will work its way through the rubber button and into the balloon.
    • TIP: If the skewer is curved or rough… Choose a straighter, smoother skewer, which will slide through the rubber more easily.
    • TIP: If the skewer doesn’t slide smoothly… Make it slippery by coating it with vegetable oil or lotion.


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    Make the second hole

    • Aim for the thick rubber neck opposite the rubber button.
    • Still holding the balloon gently, poke the skewer through the thick rubber of the balloon’s neck. Push hard, if necessary.


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    Amaze your friends!

    You’ve just inserted a skewer through a balloon!

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    Amaze your friends again!

    Pull the skewer through and out. The holes will close and hardly any air will escape.

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    Destroy the evidence

    • Quick! Before too much air leaks out and your friends notice the balloon getting smaller, pop it!
    • Poke the skewer into the side where the rubber is stretched thin.
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    Did you know?

    Rubber is made of long, springy chains of molecules. Pushing the skewer into a thick pile of these molecules is like pushing your finger into a bowl of cooked spaghetti. Your finger pushes the spaghetti aside and slips between the strands. Even though they move aside, the strands stay in contact with your skin. In a balloon, the skewer pushes the rubber’s long molecules aside. They flex a little and squeeze against the skewer, making a tight seal.  Engineers do seemingly amazing things by understanding their materials.

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    Try this next!

    Add some showmanship by failing at the trick first. Blow up a balloon. Tell your friends you can pass a skewer through it without popping the balloon. Poke the skewer into the thin side of the balloon. POP! Look confused. Your friends will be laughing. In a determined voice, say, “Let me try that again!” This time, do the trick as described. Your friends will be amazed!