Wrapping the World in Balloons

Can one individual use so many balloons from end-to-end, they would wrap around the world?

Globe-Around-the-World-with-BalloonsHave you ever had one of those moments when you think…”I buy a lot of balloons?” That thought popped into my head the other morning as I was getting supplies together. I wondered if I have used enough balloons to wrap around the world.

If your career started like mine, you started buying balloons by the bags and upgraded to cases. In my day, there was a gross of balloons (144) in a bag. Manufacturers then switched to 100 balloons per bag. Let’s make things simple and use 100 per bag.

According to my Google research, the diameter of the earth was…wait, miles? I need feet. With a couple of swipes of my finger, Google gave me the answer: 131,482,560 feet. However, a 260 balloon is 60-inches long, so out comes the calculator, and I multiply 131,482,560 by 12. This gives me 1,577,790,720 inches. Right now, the math junkie in me is showing off.

Next, I divided the earth’s diameter, 1,577,790,720 inches, by the balloon’s length, 60-inches, and 26,296,215 displays on the calculator. Scratching my head, I’m not sure if I used that many balloons, so off I go converting the number into bags of balloons. I figured the bag count would give a better visualization of the actual number.

If you were sitting at my kitchen table with me, you would have seen the surprised look on my face when I learned… holy crap, that’s a lot of bags of balloons. To wrap around the earth, I would need 262,996.12 bags of balloons.

At this point, I’m still optimistic that I’ve used this many balloons in my thirty-plus years of balloon twisting. Again, back at the calculator, punching away numbers to learn, I would have to have used 8,765.50 bags of balloons every year for the past thirty years.

Now that little voice in my head said I’d probably used that many… do the math. It turns out that little voice in my head was wrong! I would have to use a whopping 168.59 bags of balloons a week!

So the question has been answered – Have I used enough balloons to wrap around the world? No. Does it feel like it? Heck yes!

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