Regarded as needless by the U.S at the end of the 90’s, the world’s helium supply has since largely been blasted up party balloons and into people’s mouths for a bit of light hearted fun.
Now, however, scientists regard the world’s dwindling supply as no laughing matter, as helium is increasingly used for medical scanners, scientific devices and for running super-cool refrigerators, as it doesn’t solidify at extremely low temperatures.
Dr Oleg Kirichek, lead researcher at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, says £90,000 has recently been wasted putting neutron beam experiments on hold due to the scarcity of helium. He says its use for squeaky voices and airborne aesthetics is “very very stupid. It makes me really angry”.
Similarly, David Ward of the Cullham Centre for Fusion Energy says “I will not be happy if I cannot have a medical scan in my 70’s, because we wasted helium on party balloons while I was in my 30’s”.
Yes, the US are openly regretting what they now regard was ‘helium ignorance’, and are stringently denying Republican accusations they depreciated its value for maniacal Democratic millennium parties.
However, despite its scarcity on earth, helium is the second most abundant element in the universe. Solar wind created by the sun is rich in helium, although it can’t penetrate earth’s thick atmosphere.
Dr Ian Crawford, from the University of London, says evidence shows helium is absorbed by soil on the moon, and the “day might not be too far off” when the moon is mined for this increasingly precious resource.
Although Bob Balustrade, Anthropologist at Fumes Under Negotiation (FUN), strongly denies helium has been ‘wasted’, instead saying it’s the “clown’s bread and butter”. He says this ideological approach to helium could prove hugely counterproductive.
He says without a bit of colour and a few chuckles in one’s behavioural routine, medical and scientific instruments will merely be working overtime to cure the cold and bitter hearts that will arise from this “misallocation” of helium.
“Clowns bring balance”, he says.