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Have You Seen This? Mylar balloons, power lines go boom

Posted August 7
Updated August 8

Mylar balloons have a metallic coating, and when you mix that with power lines...nothing good happens. (Deseret Photo)

THE SKY — On a recent sunny day in Long Beach, California, two star-shaped mylar balloons drifted into the sky.

Unfortunately for the nearby community, the balloons got tangled up in some power lines. Now, since most mylar balloons have some sort of metallic coating, power lines are about the last thing you’d want mylar balloons to get mixed up with.

According to the video description, the entanglement was reported to the proper authorities, but they couldn’t turn the power lines off in time before the balloons touched the power lines in just the right way.

That’s when things went “boom.”

A bursting power line is loud and frightening (not to mention dangerous) in and of itself, but mix that with some helium and you’ve got yourself a pretty good movie-worthy explosion. (Fair warning, the video is very quiet at first and the explosion is very loud. Adjust your volume accordingly.)

Of course, the power went out in the neighborhood for several hours, according to ABC 7 in Los Angeles.

The internet lesson here should be processed in four steps: first, don’t release mylar ballons; second, get to a safe distance if you see mylar balloons in the power lines; third, call the proper authorities; and fourth, you better film that sucker because you know she’s gonna blow.

The real life lesson, however, is that you don’t really want to release any balloons, mylar or otherwise, into the air as they generally aren’t biodegradable and can harm the environment and the creatures that live here with us. But that’s another soapbox for another article.

Martha Ostergar is a writer who delights in the ridiculous that internet serves up, which means she's more than grateful that she gets to cruise the web for amazing videos to write about. Follow her on Twitter at @monstergar.

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