In case you didn't know, we're in the middle of a helium shortage. And it's affecting more than birthday party balloons, but that's what people are talking about. Many aren't aware that we are facing a serious helium shortage in the world. While helium is the second most abundant element in the world, it's extremely difficult to capture according to NBC News. Adding to this problem is the fact that there are only 14 plants in the world that are capable of refining helium, with half of those located in one location- Amarillo, Texas. The Federal Helium Reserve is located in Amarillo but will begin selling their last stores of helium in 2021.

With all these issues with helium, it's surprising hat we haven't heard of more issues regarding helium shortages. Helium is used for far more than just for balloons, it's used in the medical field, deep sea diving and a lot more. But it looks like this is the first time we've seen stores closing because of this shortage. Party City made the announcement last week that they would be shuttering 45 stores and they blamed in part the helium shortage.  They haven't announced an entire list of closing stores but confirmed states include California, Washington, Illinois and Connecticut per USA Today.