Why inhaling helium makes the voice pitch go higher?


Why inhaling helium makes the voice pitch go higher?

In: 2

Helium vibrates faster than air does, so sound travels faster through helium than it does through air, which results in it having a higher frequency and, thus, a higher pitch.

Because helium is thinner and lighter than air.

To really ELI5: Imagine releasing a spring submerged in a jar of honey or maple syrup, vs releasing the same spring just normally in air. It’s going to spring up much faster in air than in honey, right? Of course, springs bounce faster if there’s less resistance, and slower if they’re in a thick fluid. Well, compared to helium, normal air is a thick fluid like honey! The helium is thinner and lighter so your voice box resonates at a higher frequency (aka pitch) in helium than it does when it’s filled with (relatively) thick gloopy air.

[Bonus that 5-year-olds will also love:](https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=adam+savage+sf6&view=detail&mid=EF34145C8FF4CB63D205EF34145C8FF4CB63D205&FORM=VIRE) You can also fill your voice box with a gas that’s *heavier* than air, and it makes your voice *lower* than normal!