Perhaps you heard your friends talking about helium-infused wine, so you’re looking to find where you can buy some. Or maybe you just watched a viral tutorial on how to make this latest booze trend. But what is it, and how did the hysteria start? And the most important question of them all: does it really work? Read on to find out the hard truth.
What is Helium-Infused Wine?
The proposition behind helium-infused wine is just what it sounds like. It’s all fun and games when you take a sip of wine and talk like you have sucked all the helium out of a balloon. If you come to think of it, it’s the perfect way to take your wine drinking up a notch.
To make helium-infused wine, you should add helium to a regular wine with the aid of a helium pump. You can use a standard balloon pump or ask a friend working in a lab somewhere to infuse the wine with helium.
How Did the Hysteria Start?
Infusing wine with helium sounds like the best thing to do for people up for having a good time. The celebratory drink is supposed to be fun, but why not make it funnier? In some tutorials online, you can find people having a good time drinking helium-infused wine for the first time.
From these videos, you can see people taking a few sips of wine. After a few seconds, they start laughing their butts off due to the high pitched, funny voices, which they claim is an effect of helium-infused wine.
The effect is supposedly similar, as seen in a tutorial about helium beer. These tutorials quickly went viral, with so many drinkers eager to get their hands on these helium-infused drinks.
Do Helium-Infused Wine Work?
If you ever tried breathing helium at a kiddie party, you can just imagine how funny the tutorials about helium-infused wine are. However, it’s important to realize that helium infused wine doesn’t really let you discover a humorous version of yourself. In short, it doesn’t work at all.
So, how did they produce those funny voices? They probably just altered their voices to make themselves sound funny. The mix is only composed of helium and regular wine, and once you breathe it, it doesn’t change your voice. Not even for a couple of seconds.
These people, now internet sensations, trick you into thinking that helium-infused wine produces the same effect on your voice as the helium gas. But being one of the least soluble gasses, helium negates the impact when added to any liquid.
Some contradicting claims suggest that helium can change the timbre of the voice when inhaled, but only for an extremely short period that doesn’t last for more than a few seconds. Even when this is true, it still doesn’t mean that these people are not faking their voices. The gas doesn’t affect the voice for that long anyway.
Four points come out when it comes to the possibility of helium-infused wine changing your voice :
- First, helium is not soluble in water or wine, for this matter. As mentioned, helium is among the least soluble gases in water. While it’s possible to carbonate beer or wine with carbon dioxide, the same thing can’t be said about helium. You can get about 2.5 g of CO₂ into 1 L of beer, but only 0.0016 g of helium can dissolve into a liter of beer.
- Second, wine is not strong enough to hold the bubbles. Even if a bit of helium gets into the wine, it will not stay there. You certainly cannot expect a slow, consistent release through the bubbles. By the time you take your first sip of wine, there will be no helium left in it. As a matter of fact, it will just float away as you uncork your bottle of wine.
- Third, helium will not reach your vocal cords. You think you’re breathing the gas, but you’re actually ingesting it. And thanks to your vocal cords’ location in the larynges, the gas doesn’t touch them nor change your voice.
- Fourth, it would be impossible for helium to alter your voice for this long. A big giveaway that the voices were staged and edited is that the gas cannot change your voice for more than a couple of seconds. In this video, two women were obviously changing their voices purposely for more than a minute. It could also be that they used post-production software to achieve a cartoonish voice.
Experts also believe that these tutorials are most likely a trick of sound editing. As simple as using a pitch shifter on the file’s audio player can make it seem like the cartoonish voice results from drinking helium-infused wine. This probably explains the fun and hype around similar videos of people drinking helium beer that supposedly altered their voices.
What Happens If You Follow The ‘How to Make Helium-Infused Wine’ Tutorials
People assume that every element can be turned into liquid, so why make helium an exception? There are good reasons why you should not believe and follow these online tutorials on how to make helium-infused wine.
Helium gas should be very cold for it to be turned into liquid. And by very cold, we mean 457°F. This kind of cold is way below the temperature where the beverage turns solid. If you mix these two, your wine ends up in a couple of ice cubes.
Additionally, you will get frostbites if you attempt to drink liquid helium. These frostbites will build pressure in your stomach. So, if you consume too much of the liquid helium, you may burst or explode. Even if you get lucky and not get to the point of causing an explosion within yourself, you will still have to suffer the effects of damaged tissues.
The main point is not to let curiosity get the best of you and harm yourself.
While the viral tutorials of people drinking helium are pretty hilarious, these people are a hundred percent just changing their voices on purpose. So, here’s the thing: not all that goes viral are real; most are carefully staged for the sake of views and nothing else. The problem with our society today is that it’s so obsessed with social media, but internet users only skim headlines.
And because the headline seems interesting, they share it without realizing it doesn’t exist. This makes helium-infused wine the perfect recipe for a viral sensation in a society obsessed with headlines.
The best thing you can do is not take these viral tutorials about helium-infused wine at face value, enjoy your favorite wine as it is, and tell your friends that helium-infused wine isn’t real.