300 Helium Balloons Float Real ‘Up’ House 10,000 Feet High

The fantastical film ‘Up’ features an old man, tired of being tethered to the ground, flying away using hundreds of helium-filled balloons. In real life, the world-record-setting cluster required to accomplish this was (amazingly) even smaller than the movie’s makers imagined.

As part of a new National Geographic series titled “How Hard Can it Be?“, a real-life replica home was created in the flat deserts of California and released into the air – it went aloft eerily like the fictional version, and stayed up for over an hour.

Each eight-foot-diameter balloon required one whole tank of helium to inflate, while a team of volunteers took days constructing the simple A-frame-house replica that would take the test flight.

A team of hot air balloon pilots and engineers made sure it would work in theory, but no would could be certain how it would pan out in practice – the photos and videos, though, show an incredible success.

Unfortunately, there is still a bit of magic behind this trick – the structure sent skyward was full scale, but not a fully-loaded home packed with insulation, sheet rock and the rest of those pesky (heavy) finishing touches. There is, however, another real-world equivalent – the stodgy old Seattle ‘nail home’ whose occupant refused to leave their residence, no matter what, and fought being demolished to the bitter end.

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