Water Balloon Trick & Japanese Twisters

by Ralph Dewey

The Balloon HQ challenge this month is for you to come up with another application for this water balloon trick.

If you do school or science shows here is a neat trick. Fill a 5" round balloon with water and hold it over a candle flame. The flame doesn't pop the balloon. Of course, if you hold an air-filled balloon over the flame, it immediately pops. You can use this as a science demonstration. It can be a demonstration of how water readily conducts heat. In this case the water conducts the heat away from the flame and therefore there isn't enough heat to burst the balloon. Try this, it's amazing.

Science Show Presentation

At the beginning of your presentation always warn the kids not to play with fire. Ask the kids if it is possible to have a lit candle under water? They'll say no. Tell them that you can do it. Bring out the 5" round water-filled balloon (I normally fill it to only 4" in diameter) that you prepared in advance and the candle. Light the candle and hold the water balloon about 2 feet above the candle. Then announce that you now have a lit candle under water. Of course the kids will complain that you are cheating. Ask them, "Do you want me to hold the balloon lower over the candle?" And they will say yes. So move it down a few inches. Ask them, "Lower?" Repeat this a few times and then ask, "Do you want me to hold the balloon actually on the flame?" They will say yes. Then ask, "Wouldn't that pop the balloon?" Again they will say yes. Then place the balloon in the flame. It doesn't pop.


Then ask them to explain why it doesn't pop the balloon. They may accuse you of using a fake candle or balloon. So show the black soot on the bottom to prove to them that everything is real. Then explain about how water is an excellent conductor of heat. The water conducts heat so well that it doesn't allow the balloon to get hot enough to pop.


Gospel Application

I have also used this water balloon trick as a gospel presentation. I inflate a 5" round balloon. Using a Sanford Expo marker, I draw an angry face on the balloon. Then I explain that this balloon represents a lost person who doesn't know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. So when things happen to them they often get angry and blow up. I demonstrate this by placing the balloon above the flame. It immediately pops. "I guess they couldn't stand the heat."


Then I take a 5" round balloon that has been filled to about 4" in diameter with water. I draw a smile face on it. Then I explain that this balloon represents a Christian who has been filled with the Holy Spirit which is the Living Water that Jesus spoke of in the Bible. When bad things happen to him, there is a different result. So I hold the balloon by the nozzle and let the flame touch the bottom of the balloon for about 10 seconds or so. I explain that when we are filled with the God's Love we can take problems a lot better. Show the black soot. Yes Christians are affected by problems, but with God's help they can handle them.

Talented Japanese Twisters

I was surfing the Internet the other day and decided to see what balloon sculptures that I could find from twisters in Japan. I found only a few. Then I noticed that some had links on their web pages. The links were in the Japanese alphabet and therefore I couldn't read them. However, I went ahead and started clicking on them anyway. Sometimes it would lead to an ad, an email form, a magic web site or a blog. But now and then it would lead me to some great photos of balloon creations. Most of the time the entire web page was in Japanese. But luckily now and then they had a few words in English. I found step by step instructions for making the sculptures in some cases.

Last January there were several Japanese twisters who came to the DiamondJam convention in 2007. Several of them competed in the stage competition and did quite well. I think that we will be hearing from some of these unknown twisters (unknown to most of us, that is) as they share some great ideas with the world of balloon art.

So as you click on the links below remember that you may need to also click around on the page to find their photo gallery or other pictures of their work. Some of the links below are just a gateway to several other hidden balloon treasures. Enjoy surfing!

Japanese Balloon Web Links:

http://www.naranja.co.jp/balloon/index.html This company hosts a twister convention in Japan.