It's the second most abundant element in the universe and it's in short supply here on Earth.

Seriously, helium, the number two element on the periodic table of the elements, the element that makes you talk funny when inhaled, the element that surprises us with floating balloons is in short supply and it's causing headaches for party planners and party retailers.

One company that uses a lot of helium is Party City. They fill thousands of balloons for all types of celebrations a day and they say, via their website, that the current helium supply is limited. The gas, which is mined, is found in small portions mixed with natural gas and then separated out. Currently there are only three sources producing 75% of the world's helium with the demand increasing.

This shortage has apparently affected Party City's financial statement because the company just announced it will be closing 45 of its 870 stores across the U.S. this year because of the 'impact of helium shortages on our financial performance'.

Party City isn't the only company that uses one of the universe's most abundant gasses, manufactures of medical devices, electronics and more use He, the periodic symbol for helium.

Because there's such a shortage, I will not be able to silly radio stunts like I did back in 1998.  Enjoy this little gem.