Geologists discover giant field of underground helium in Tanzania

My annual birthday-month fund-raising drive for Behind the Black is now on-going. Not only do your donations help pay my bills, they give me the freedom to speak honestly about science and culture, instead of being forced to write it as others demand.


Please consider donating by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:

If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.

Geologists have discovered a gigantic new field of underground helium gas, located in Tanzania’s Rift Valley.

Researchers figure there’s about 54 billion cubic feet of helium in just one section of the valley. To put that in context, the Federal Helium Reserve in Texas, which supplies more than 40% of domestic helium needs and contains about 30% of the world’s total helium supply, right now holds about 24.2 billion cubic feet, per Live Science.

The discovery is also important in that it wasn’t an accident. The geologists located the helium based on their theories of where they should find it.



  • Mitch S.

    Nice that you also report the lighter side of the news!

    (Sorry, I couldn’t help it)

  • Matt in AZ

    Is cubic feet enough of a measurement for helium? Shouldn’t pressure matter as well?

  • pzatchok

    No wonder Lucy was in the sky with diamonds.

  • enginemike

    This is great. Tanzania will get rich, the world will be saved, and the politically correct will get to bemoan Big Helium.

    Something for everybody.

  • Dick Eagleson


    Gaseous natural resources have their quantities expressed in cu. ft. – or cu. meters – at an assumed standard temperature and pressure so that the figures have comparability. The actual pressure at which the helium exists underground is irrelevant.

  • Matt in AZ

    Thanks, Dick, that totally answers my question!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *