What is up with this (ex) balloon?

Post date: 2021-10-20 12:30:06
Views: 11
My daughter, Tiny Croft (five years old now, can you believe it??) went to the local farmer's market this Saturday, and was given a helium balloon. And now I have a question.

The balloon was a cheery light blue, with a bunny drawn on one side in black marker and a winged heart, I think, on the other side. It had a white ribbon and a clip for fastening it to things, and she LOVED it. She would take it from room to room wherever she went and clip it to different things. She bounced it back and forth on its ribbon. It was never far from her side, until this evening, when she managed to pop it.

Something had to happen to it eventually - it wasn't going to last forever. But here's the thing. It lasted a hell of a lot longer than it was supposed to, according to this page anyway. She got it around noon on Saturday and it died about 6:30 pm on Tuesday, showing little or no sign of deflation. If not for the unfortunate incident, I don't know how long they would have had together. Who does?

And the interior of the wreckage appears to be coated with a clingy white film of some kind. Photo here. Whatever that stuff is, it's very tough. It stretches when pulled, but it really doesn't want to pull apart. I can only guess that it was deposited into the balloon when the helium went in, sealing the latex and accounting for the balloon's unusual longevity.

Tiny Croft is absolutely devastated about this. She still hasn't stopped sobbing an hour later. "It was my only pretty balloon!" And boy, is it a powerless feeling to see her this inconsolably sad and not be able to make it better. I can't bring the balloon back or replace it. I certainly can't draw a cute bunny. But if we get her another balloon I'd kind of like to know what that stuff is that made it last so long. Any ideas, balloon experts of MeFi?
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