Surviving Quicksand

Surviving Quicksand

(Modern – From the likes of The Princess Bride to the Star Wars film franchise, the threat of sinking to certain death in quicksand has been a popular menace in Hollywood for many years now. Hundreds of movies and cartoons have used this natural phenomenon to terrorize their heroes. But what exactly is quicksand, and if you ever find yourself sinking in it, what can you do to survive?

Quicksand forms when water cannot escape fine granular materials like silt, sand, and clay. This non-Newtonian fluid becomes liquid when agitated. Making matters worse, it looks exactly like normal sand making it all the more deadly.

Here’s a video, courtesy of How To Survive’s YouTube channel, describing what steps to take if you ever find yourself mired in quicksand.

While quicksand is most commonly located in marshlands and coastal areas, it can be found anywhere on the planet. It can even form in deserts and can be made up of dry sand as well as wet.

Drowning in quicksand isn’t as common as Hollywood would like you to believe. Most of the time, you only sink to about waist high, sometimes chest high. However, don’t be fooled; quicksand can still kill you, and just not by drowning. Instead, it can cause you to starve, suffocate, or dehydrate. In some cases, it makes you an easy target for predators.

So how do you escape from quicksand? The answer to this question is actually pretty simple.

Escaping From Quicksand in 6 Easy Steps

  • Remembering to remain calm is the first step to escaping quicksand. Panic leads to struggle, which makes you sink even faster.
  • The next step is to lighten your load. If you’re wearing anything that adds extra weight, now is the time to take it off to avoid sinking faster.
  • The third step you need to take after falling in quicksand is to grab onto something. However, remember not to be tempted to grab your friend’s hand. This should always be your last option, as you don’t want to drag them into the quicksand with you unintentionally.
  • For the fourth step, lean your body back and wiggle your legs. What this does is increase your surface area, making it harder for you to sink. With any luck, this also allows you to free up your legs.
  • Step five may seem obvious, but it still needs to be covered, and that is to call for help. After all, your voice may be the only thing that saves you. If you have a cell phone and can reach it, attempt to call 911 for assistance.
  • The last step is to breathe deeply. This process makes your body more buoyant, and you won’t sink as much. Deep breathing will also help you remain calm, which is the most important thing to do in quicksand.

Obviously, this isn’t something you should practice hands-on, as it puts you at risk. Instead, you should continue to research quicksand and how to escape it. To help get you started, here’s a video of quicksand in a desert where Bear Grylls, a survivalist, shows you what to do to get out of quicksand alive.

Here’s to Your Survival!

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