Helium Runs Out

  • Aired:  07/27/11
  •  | Views: 22,072

With America's helium supply dwindling, the country has no choice but to hunt balloons in the wild. (3:10)

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

>> Stephen: THANK YOU VERY

MUCH.

WELCOME BACK, EVERYBODY.

THANK YOU.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

FOLKS --

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

I'VE SAID THIS QUITE A FEW TIMES

ON THIS SHOW BEFORE SO IT

SHOULDN'T COME AS ANY SURPRISE,

I'M NO FAN OF PERIODIC TABLE.

IF YOU ASK ME, NOBLE GASES ARE

JUST ELITIST ELEMENTS.

[LAUGHTER]

LOOK HOW CRUELLY THEY EXCLUDED

UNUNOCTIUM.

NO WONDER HE'S SO UNSTABLE!

[LAUGHTER]

BUT I'VE ALWAYS BEEN A FAN OF

HELIUM, BECAUSE I LOVE

LIGHTER-THAN-AIR TRAVEL.

EVERY SUMMER I LOAD THE FAMILY

INTO THE ZEPPELIN AND THE KIDS

ASK: "WHERE ARE WE GOING, DADDY?

WHEN WILL WE GET THERE?"

AND MY ANSWER IS ALWAYS THE

SAME: "DOWNWIND, AND

EVENTUALLY."

[LAUGHTER]

SADLY, THE GOLDEN ERA OF

DIRIGIBLES MAY SOON BE ENDING.

>> IT APPEARS THE CLOCK IS

TICKING ON HELIUM, THE GAS WE

-- THE U.S. HELIUM RESERVE SAYS

IT COME RUN IN BY 2020.

THE AGENCY IS THE SOURCE OF

ALMOST HALF THE U.S. HELIUM

SUPPLY, MORE THAN A THIRD OF THE

WORLD'S.

IT'S NOT A RENEWABLE RESOURCE SO

ONCE IT'S GONE IT'S GONE.

>> Stephen: OUR HELIUM SUPPLY

IS RUNNING OUT!

AND WE HAVE NO OTHER SOURCE OF

HELIUM -- OTHER THAN HUNTING

BALLOONS IN THE WILD.

BUT THEY'RE HARD TO CATCH, AS

SEEN IN THIS CLASSIC FRENCH

NATURE DOCUMENTARY.

AND THANKS TO THEIR NATURAL

CAMOUFLAGE ABILITIES, THEY CAN

DISGUISE THEMSELVES AS ALMOST

ANY ANIMAL:

DOG,

GIRAFFE,

OR EVEN A SNAKE.

NO, JIMMY, THE BALLOON VERSIONS,

NOT THE REAL ONES!

WHAT?

WOW, THEY'RE GOOD.

THIS HELIO-CRISIS HITS HOME FOR

ME BECAUSE I HAVE A SERIOUS

MEDICAL CONDITION.

DUE TO THE MASSIVE SIZE OF MY

BALLS, MY NATURAL VOICE IS

EXTREMELY LOW.

[LAUGHTER]

I HAVE A PRESCRIPTION FOR HELIUM

TO MAINTAIN THIS PITCH YOU HEAR

NOW

LET ME SHOW YOU.

[IN A VERY LOW VOICE]

THIS IS HOW I NORMALLY TALK.

IT'S DANGEROUS.

IF I HIT WHAT IS KNOWN AS THE

BROWN NOTE, IT CAN CAUSE HUMANS

TO VOID THEIR BOWELS.

[LAUGHTER]

AGAIN, MY APOLOGIES TO DORIS

KERNS GOODWIN.

LET ME CRANK MYSELF BACK UP.

[SOUNDING NORMAL]

AHH, THAT'S BETTER.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

LUCKILY, I'VE BEEN PREPARING FOR

JUST SUCH A SHORTAGE.

WHICH IS WHY LAST YEAR, I BOUGHT

MY OWN STRATEGIC RESERVE OF

HELIUM-FILLED BALLOONS.

WHAT NO!

WHAT HAPPENED?

THEY WERE FULL JUST LAST MONTH!

NOOOOOOOO--

--OOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

NOT MY BALLOONS!

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.