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Ever wonder why….?

February 18, 2011

Ever wonder why breathing in helium makes you sound like mickey mouse? The answer is actually quite simple! The sound waves created by your vocal folds normally radiate up your vocal tract by passing through the regular air we breathe on a day to day basis.

Compared to air, helium is quite light, and it allows the sound waves created by your vocal folds to travel much faster than it would through air. So, when we breathe in helium the sound waves can pass through it much faster and create the perception that we have a very high pitched voice.

Just a word of caution to those roaring to go test this out: helium is not air. If you breathe in too much helium without getting any air you may pass out, which is not very good for your brain cells!

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