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Valentine's Video: See What Happens When a Mylar Balloon Hits a Power Line

Mylar balloons bought for holidays like Valentine's Day can cause power outages if they come into contact with power lines. See what happens when the two meet and watch the sparks fly.

Southern California Edison put on a demonstration at their Monrovia offices Tuesday showing what happens when Mylar balloons -- like those bought for loved ones on Valentine's Day -- fly directly into power lines.

Chris Evans February 14, 2013 at 03:38 PM
You notice that it had to touch two wires at the same time to spark .. nonetheless, how many knuckleheads who didn't know this before are gonna try to see if they can turn off the local lights with balloons .. stay tuned ( while you can, anyway)
not Carl Peterson lll February 15, 2013 at 07:14 AM
Yeah........
not Carl Peterson lll February 15, 2013 at 07:16 AM
By the way,correct me if I am wrong, but I think that is why birds don't get electrocuted. They are only sitting on one wire.
Chris Evans February 15, 2013 at 02:22 PM
You would be correct .. they're not grounded
JT Hampton February 16, 2013 at 01:22 AM
They're also just generally bad for the environment. Plus, isn't there a shortage on helium?
not Carl Peterson lll February 16, 2013 at 02:00 AM
JT, since Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe, I assumed you were joking. But, wow, it's true. And apparently, there is no futures market, and the gov sets the price. Hmmm... How to capitalize on the shortage of helium....
William Korn February 16, 2013 at 03:30 AM
Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe, but not on this pale blue dot. It's also the second lightest element and, unlike hydrogen (the lightest element) doesn't combine with other elements to make heavier compounds (like water, for instance). Most of the helium that was around when the earth was formed has long since drifted away. New helium is produced in the earth's crust as a byproduct of radioactive decay of other elements. If it gets into the atmosphere, it eventually escapes into space.

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