Quicksand is a common obstacle and life threat in movies. It has always been pictured as a deadly trap that you are unlikely to ever escape.
Everyone has seen terrifying images of people or animals simply sinking and dying in quicksand.
But the perception of fatal quicksand is inaccurate and exaggerated – quicksand can’t and won’t kill you.
Is Quicksand a Real Thing?
Quicksand is real and not just another invention to make movies more interesting. But it works very different in real life than in the action scenes.
It’s so not that horror trap that will kill you within a few minutes.
Hollywood movies and their exaggerated scenarios have created the misconception that quicksand can completely draw people under and kill them. That could never happen because humans (and animals as well) just float in it and couldn’t sink all the way under.
Why? They just don’t have the proper density. The density of the body is way lower than sand so it’s impossible to sink and die in quicksand. It’s just a myth.
What is Quicksand?
Quicksand is a combination of fine sand, water and sometimes clay. It is usually pretty tight and heavy so it can sometimes actually support your weight without sinking.
But if it contains too much water, the grains of sand will loosen up and draw you under.
A person can sink according to her weight. Anyway, when a person gets caught in quicksand, he or she will only sink up to the knees or waist.
How Can You Escape Quicksand?
The only grain of truth about quicksand is that it will pull you down faster if you panic and start to struggle desperately.
Fast movements won’t help you get out. On the contrary – you will only sink deeper. They will make quicksand liquefy and the body will sink deeper.
Quick movements will also make escaping difficult, because as after the grains loosen up, their viscosity of the sand rises so you’ll get trapped.
When you get trapped in quicksand you should try to lie down in order to distribute your weight evenly instead of struggling. Shifting your feet or weight back and forth will only make matters worse.
If you’re too frightened to lie down, the best way to get out is to slowly and gradually move your legs. This will allow water to flow and sand to loosen.
When you move slowly your body will escape and come back to the surface. Still, no matter how much you struggle, you won’t sink so much to get completely swallowed and to die in the quicksand. It won’t drag you so much as to drown you or even to compress your vital organs.
Where is Quicksand Found?
Quicksand can actually be found anywhere under the right conditions. So you won’t only find it in deserts or swamps as in the movies.
But usually it is pretty harmless and won’t pose any serious threat to your life. The only bad thing that could happen would be to get dehydrated if you get stuck and don’t know how to get out.
But that could happen if you get stuck in the elevator too.
The Final Word
So, there is no such thing as killer quicksand. It’s just a misconception. Quicksand does exist and getting stuck in it is definitely not a pleasing experience, but it’s not a death trap as it’s pictured in the movies.
If you do sink in quicksand by accident, you might lose some hours of your life, not life itself.