If you have learned anything about quicksand from watching movies, then chances are you have been misinformed, because in real life you do not necessarily sink in quicksand. The human body will usually float, giving you an advantage if you ever find yourself in that type of situation. It’s not that quicksand can’t kill you because it certainly can, but it’s how it kills you that matters.
Although not impossible, it is highly recommended that you don’t have someone try to pull you out because the amount of force it will take to pull someone out is comparable to pulling out a car. Instead, you can wait to be rescued by professionals or you can learn how to escape yourself. This article will provide information about what quicksand is, where it is located, and how to escape it.
What is Quicksand?
Quicksand refers to any mass of clay, dirt particles, or sand that posses trapped water. The trapped water converts sand into liquid mud that collapses when subjected to vibration or weight. It can also be defined as a mixture of water and sand that appears as something solid but collapses from vibration or weight.
The mechanical properties of quicksand may be bad news for unwary joggers, but they explain why sand castles maintain their shapes.
Where is Quicksand found in the world?
Quicksand can be found in different parts of the world, provided the conditions are conducive. But it is more prominent along riverbanks, near coasts, or in marshes. It can form in stagnant water when sand is agitated or when the soil is exposed to water overflow.
Dry quicksand occurs in deserts and can be reproduced under laboratory conditions. Scientists believe that this kind of quicksand occurs when fine sand forms sedimentation layers on top of the granular sand. It was considered a potential hazard during the Apollo Missions. It is believed to exist on Mars and the Moon. Quicksand also accompanies earthquakes. The resulting substantial flow and vibration engulf buildings, cars, and people.
How Quicksand Works
Speaking from a technical perspective, quicksand is considered a non-Newtonian fluid. This implies that it changes its viscosity in response to weight or stress. Undisturbed quicksand looks like a solid, but it is actually a gel. If you step on it for the first time, the viscosity reduces, and therefore you start to sink. If you stop after making the first step, the sand beneath you becomes compressed because of your weight. Quicksand can kill you, and therefore you need to know how to escape quicksand to rescue others or save yourself during an encounter. Generally Quicksand causes suffocation which causes death.
Learn How to Escape Quicksand
Quicksand is not a joke, and sometimes self-rescue may not be possible. With quicksand, the harder you struggle to get out the more you sink. But if you relax and try to maneuver to your back, you will float because your body will be lighter than the quicksand. If you find yourself in quicksand and are sinking pretty fast, then fear not! Forget about what you have seen on movies about quicksand and focus on saving yourself.
6 Tips on How to escape from Quicksand
There are specific steps that you should take if you find yourself on stuck on quicksand as discussed below:
- Do not Panic– The problem with many people is that they start to panic once they find themselves stuck in quicksand. The secret to escaping quicksand is to make yourself as light as possible. So, relax and try to float as much as possible.
- Drop everything– if you were wearing a backpack or carrying a heavy object, drop it immediately. You should know that your body is lighter than the quicksand and therefore you cannot sink unless you panic. Drop your shoes as well if you are still wearing them.
- Move horizontally- if your feet are stuck, then try to move horizontally to free them. Avoid the temptation of wiggling your feet.
- Lay Back-Try to lean back and sit down if your feet are still stuck. Creating a large footprint should loosen your feet by eliminating the excess pressure they produce, this allows them to float.
- Take Your Time– If you are stuck in quicksand, making frantic movements will only make you sink further. The secret to escaping quicksand is doing everything slowly, which reduces the agitation on quicksand allowing you to escape safely.
- Ask for Assistance-Always keep a watch out for people who may be near to assist you. If you reside in a quick-prone region, you should keep your phone always charged so that you can use to request for emergency assistance.