Helium is a nonrenewable element in Earth's crust, and we are running out of it. You may think of Helium as the stuff that makes your balloons float, or when you suck it out of a balloon, makes you sound hilarious. On a more serious note, Helium powers essential medical diagnostic equipment. When you think about MRIs, those machines require approximately 2,000 liters of helium to work, according to an article I found at greenmatters.com.

98.1 Minnesota's New Country logo
Get our free mobile app

The Helium that we have left in the world is expected to run out in less than 200 years. Helium has always been managed by the Bureau of Land Management in the United States, but according to the article, it was being sold to private buyers beginning in July of 2023, which seems like a dangerous move in any circumstance.

Until now, the only Helium Storage facility in the world has been located at the US Federal Helium Reserve in Texas. There was a discovery in Africa, which is now the largest producer of Helium, but it's hard to transport as it likes to leak and get into the atmosphere. It's important to have helium close to home. Other exporters of helium include Russia and Qatar.

WCCO-CBS - Minnesota


Minnesota's Iron Range might change all of that. A group of scientists are drilling there in search of Helium, thanks to an accidental discovery made back in 2011.

"It is quite nice to think beneath the feet here there is this accumulation of gas, and it is very rare. The word would be 'significant'. This significance is definitely on a global scale," Thomas Abraham-James, CEO of Pulsar Helium, Inc. said to WCCO News.

Millions of dollars are being spent in the search for helium in a remote area in Babbitt, Minnesota. There, a team of engineers, geologists, mechanics and researchers from the U.S. and all around the world have gathered at that accidental spot where it was discovered.

"Our objectives are to replicate the original discovery. What we have here, the conditions right outside of Babbitt, is significant because the rock that contains the gas is impermeable. The gas is effectively trapped and over time can accumulate and accumulate and accumulate without leaking to the surface. That's very rare to find globally," Abraham-James said.

In Babbitt, Engineers have reported that the drill currently travels about 125+ feet per day, so the team hopes to reach its destination depth towards the end of February.

LOOK: 35 Vintage Cereals That Perfectly Captured Pop Culture Moments

Movies and TV shows have always found ways to partner with cereal companies as part of their promotion strategy. While some may have come up with a giveaway in boxes, others went big by having their own cereal connected to the movie or TV show title. Here are vintage cereals that were used to promote some of pop culture's biggest moments (and some you probably forgot about).

Gallery Credit: Rob Carroll

LOOK: See the Most Famous Musician Born the Same Year As You

Stacker identified musicians born in every year from 1920 to 2003 and determined the most famous born the same year as you.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

Quiz: Do you know your state insect?

Stacker has used a variety of sources to compile a list of the official state insect(s) of each U.S. state, as well as their unique characteristics. Read on to see if you can guess which insect(s) represent your state. 

Gallery Credit: Andrew Vale

More From 98.1 Minnesota's New Country