# Why do punctured balloons fly around chaotically?

If an inflated balloon is punctured, it can fly around wildly like in this cartoon @18:07.

Why is this motion so chaotic as opposed to being like a straight line or parabola as with rockets? Is there a mathematical framework for understanding why the balloon performs so much twisting and turning?

• big question is 'would it fly straight in vacuum?'
– Alex
May 29 '18 at 10:14
• Without doing any sort of investigation, I would expect that the 'flapping' motion of the exhaust port, as it were, would cause it to change direction. May 29 '18 at 10:18
• yes, although I would suspect it would average out if the flapping if much greater than the balloon speed (which is often the case). IMO, it's a combination between the flapping of the exhaust and the turbulent flow around the balloon as it moves forward. To be sure, one would have to run the experiment in near vacuum.
– Alex
May 29 '18 at 10:32
• Possible duplicate of Why does a balloon spiral in air instead of moving in a straight line? May 29 '18 at 10:35
• @Alex, Yes. Take a look at the answers to the question this one is a duplicate of. May 29 '18 at 12:56