Though air and helium balloons both pop the same way when poked with sharp objects, helium balloons tend to deflate faster if not disturbed. This is because helium molecules are able to pass through the rubber surface of the balloon easier than air particles.
According to Wikianswers a balloon filled with just plain air lasts longer. This is based on the principles of osmosis and diffusion.
A gas will travel from an area of increased concetration to a lesser one, such as the room the helium filled balloon is in.
Thus a balloon filled with air wins, due to it being identicle to the atmosphere room which the balloon is in.
Yes, I also have heard that balloons filled with air last longer. I have done an experiment, not very scientifically, but anyway, I bought three helium balloons and three air balloons. Of the air balloons, one was on a stick. I bought all of these balloons back in 2002, and to this day I have all three of the air balloons, and none of the helium. While the two non-stick air balloons are still alive, they are pretty weak, but the one on the stick is still just as it was when I bought it.
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