JUN 04, 2018 10:03 AM PDT

The trick to surviving quicksand

Getting stuck in quicksand really isn't the way you want to go. But here are some tricks you should know in case you ever find yourself in a sticky situation.

Quicksand is a mix of fine sand, clay, and salt water that thickens over time and is very sensitive to any sort of pressure. That's why you find yourself sinking over a matter of minutes after getting sucked in, and why the worst thing that you can do is try to wiggle and jiggle yourself out - that will just get you more stuck. Because your body is less dense than the quicksand, sinking isn't actually really a worry unless you're holding heavy items or you struggle and disturb the quicksand more. What's more of a worry is the intense pressure that the quicksand puts on your submerged body parts. If you're chest deep, you will likely begin to have difficulty breathing because of the pressure on your lungs. 

What you need to do next, after calming yourself down, is slowly lay your back down into the quicksand (don't worry, you'll float!) and slowly, slowly, slowly move your legs and core so that they're floating on the surface, too. The key here is slow-motion so that you don't disturb the quicksand more. Then, with your hands only and without submerging all of your arms, paddle yourself to the edge of the deathtrap! Or, as this guy did, you can just call the Coast Guard!

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
DEC 17, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 17, 2019
What to Expect From Boeing's Starliner Spacecraft
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program sports two major contenders for sending astronauts to the International Space Station from American soil for the first...
JAN 16, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
JAN 16, 2020
High-speed 3D Printer to Revolutionize Manufacturing
Two significant hurdles in front of the fast expansion of three-dimensional (3D) printers are speed and scale.  In a recently published study, a team...
JAN 21, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 21, 2020
After Hibernation, These Grizzlies Turn to Clams for Nourishment
Grizzly bears spend up to seven Wintery months hibernating, and in that time, they can lose a substantial amount of their body weight. While surrounding ma...
JAN 23, 2020
Earth & The Environment
JAN 23, 2020
Scientists Assess the Value of the Ocean's Twilight Zone
Fifteen years ago, an international cohort of scientists and policy experts introduced the idea of assessing ecosystems by the "services" they pr...
FEB 04, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 04, 2020
What Are NASA's 'Great Observatories?'
NASA recently retired its Spitzer Space Telescope, one of four specialized space-based observatories that together made up the American Space Agency’...
FEB 11, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 11, 2020
How the World's Fastest Cat Compares to the World's Fastest Dog
Cheetahs are the world’s fastest land animal; their powerful hind legs give them incredible launching power and their stretchy spines provide a massi...
Loading Comments...