Is it harder to blow a balloon up underwater?

Imagine you are underwater, sitting on the bottom not too far down - say 10 meters / 30 feet or so. You are presumably breathing using SCUBA gear. Forget about the inconvenience of the mouthpiece or whatever. I am interested in pressure, how much work you have to do to push your breath into the balloon. Do you have to breath / push harder, push air at a higher pressure, into the balloon to inflate it than if you were at the surface?

10 Answers

Relevance
  • Nomadd
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I knew almost everyone would get this wrong. It's easier because the air in your lungs is already at the pressure for that depth, and since the balloon will float, it will be higher than your lungs, so will require less pressure than is in your lungs to inflate.

    Look at it this way. Your lungs are balloons, and they're inflated. And it only takes the same pressure in the balloon to be inflated as it does in your lungs at the same depth, plus the tiny amount to stretch the rubber out.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Kevin
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I will add my voice here to help you decide on a best answer. Since you indicated the use of SCUBA gear in the question, both mattzcoz and marinespill have answered correctly. You should choose one of them.

    The pressure of the air inflating your lungs changes as you descend. That's the whole beauty behind the design of the SCUBA gear and the regulator, in particular. Inflating a balloon at any depth -while on SCUBA- is as easy as inflating your own lungs which are essentially balloons.

    Now, if you took a breath of air at the surface, quickly dove down 30 feet without SCUBA gear, then tried to inflate the balloon ... now that would be impossible. In fact, try taking a flexible snorkel, get in a pool, straighten out the snorkel, and get your chest as deep as you can while leaving the very tip of the snorkel out of the water (standing or sitting upright in an appropriate amount of water is the best). Try to breathe. It will be quite hard to inflate your lungs (balloons) when they are just a couple of feet below the surface of the water.

    Source(s): I'm a certified SCUBA instructor.
    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    I'm taking a shot here. At scuba depths, I'm going to say "no". The air pressure in your lungs at depth is in proportion to what it is at the surface - the air pressure in your lungs rises as the water pressure increases with depth. So I'm thinking that they'd equal out. But, I'm not Mr. Underwater Physics either.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, its very difficult almost impossible to inflate a balloon below 30 feet under water as the atmospheric pressure will be double.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes. the pressure against the outside of the balloon increases as you descend making it more difficult to inflate the balloon, decreases as you ascend up through the atmosphere, making it easier.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    yes it is harder,... in addition to the pressure of the atmosphere, you have to also overcome the pressure of the water above the balloon.

    Thus making it much more strenuous toblow up the balloon.

    short answer, YES!

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, It depend on the depth or level from the normal atmospheric surface.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    I've tried it. Not hard, just impossible, and at far shallower depths than that.

    Source(s): SCUBA Instructor.
    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    yes it is going to be difficult to blow up a baloon under water... you have to exert more pressure in your blowing

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    its easier only if you have gills or your name is wanda

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.