What Happens If You Fall Into Quicksand?

a man stuck in quick sand
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The reason why you don’t normally sink into the sand when you go to the beach is due to a physics phenomenon known as force chain. Basically, when a bajillion grains of sand are jammed together in one place, their weight gets distributed over a large area, keeping you and your camels safely above ground. But if any water happens to seep up from underground, it will mix with the sand to create a surface that looks solid. But isn’t it?

It’s true that real quicksand isn’t like what you see in the movies. The reason why you won’t sink right through is because quicksand is rarely more than a few feet deep and even if it was deeper than that, humans are only half as dense as quicksand. So really you couldn’t sink much lower than your waist. That is, unless you struggle. Quicksand is a non Newtonian fluid, meaning its viscosity changes under stress. In high stress conditions, like being under the weight of your body, quicksand changes. It becomes liquid, causing you to sink. So if you panic and start frantically trying to get out, the rapid shifting of your weight will only suck you down deeper and faster.

On the other hand, quicksand gets thicker over time. So if you just hang around and do nothing, it will be harder for you to get out. Every minute you’re stuck in quicksand increases the risk that you’ll suffer from dehydration, starvation, sun stroke or hypothermia and if that doesn’t give you chills, those hungry looking eyes might. Depending on where you are, you might even drown. Quicksand is often found near the sea because it’s easier for water to rise up through the sand. So if you’re ever caught in the coast, be sure to keep an eye on the time. At best, you’ll only have 6 hours before the tide changes. But if not, trying to escape and trying too hard are both bad choices,

What are you supposed to do if you get stuck in quicksand?

The trick is to stay calm. First, get rid of any heavy items that you’re wearing or carrying, as they will only drag you deeper. Then try to lean as far back as you can to create more space for yourself. Water will come in and fill the gaps you create, which will make it easier for you to move and pull your body towards the surface. If you can, grab a stick and wedge it underneath your back, this will help to increase your leverage. Hopefully you’ll get help from emergency services. But if not, you can use these tips to get out on your own. It will be a long and exhausting process, since just to free your foot from a puddle of quicksand. Moving at a rate of 1 would require the same amount of force as it does to lift a small car and once you’re free, you’ll probably be in a lot of pain with all that pressure from the densely packed sand, you might emerge from the quicksand with permanent nerve damage or without a leg. If you do manage to come out in one piece, well, maybe tread a little more carefully in the future, but don’t let this one sucky experience keep you from another adventure. Put your best foot forward and take a walk on the wild side.

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