Manual Quicksand

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At that level of density, sinking beyond about waist height in quicksand is impossible. Even objects with a higher density than quicksand will float on it if stationary.

How to escape quicksand

Aluminum, for example, has a density of about 2. Continued or panicked movement, however, may cause a person to sink further in the quicksand. Since this increasingly impairs movement, it can lead to a situation where other factors such as weather exposure, dehydration , hypothermia , tides or predators may harm a trapped person. Quicksand may be escaped by slow movement of the legs in order to increase viscosity of the fluid, and rotation of the body so as to float in the supine position lying horizontally with the face and torso facing up.

Quicksand is a trope of adventure fiction , particularly in film, where it is typically and unrealistically depicted with a suction effect that causes people or animals that walk into it to sink and risk drowning.

How Quicksand Works | HowStuffWorks

In a episode of the Western television program The Rifleman , for example, two teens are portrayed venturing into a swamp and sinking in quicksand up to their necks, frantically yelling for help until rescued. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This article is about the geological feature. For other uses, see Quicksand disambiguation. This article needs attention from an expert in Geology. The specific problem is: there is too much unsourced information. WikiProject Geology may be able to help recruit an expert.

How Quicksand Works

July Eiser, G. Wegdam, and Daniel Bonn. Our legs are pretty dense, so they may sink, but the torso contains the lungs, and thus is buoyant enough to stay out of trouble. If you do find yourself stuck in quicksand, the best idea is to lean back so that the weight of your body is distributed over a wider area. Getting out will take a while, though.


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Physicists have calculated that the force required to extract your foot from quicksand at a rate of one centimeter per second is roughly equal to the force needed to lift a medium-sized car. One genuine danger is that a person who is immobilized in quicksand could be engulfed and drowned by an incoming tide—quicksands often occur in tidal areas—but even these types of accidents are very rare.

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Long, a sedimentologist at the department of earth sciences at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, explains. Get smart. Sign Up. You have free article s left.