What is quicksand made of

Can quicksand really suck you to your death?

what is quicksand made of

Kid Gets STUCK In Deep Quicksand.. (HELP)

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Death-by-quicksand is a favourite of B-movie directors. But would a hapless cowboy or bandit really be sucked under? BBC Future pokes a tentative toe into the science…. A man is caught in quicksand, begging onlookers for help, but the more he struggles, the further down into the sand he is sucked until eventually he disappears. There are so many films featuring death by quicksand that Slate journalist Daniel Engbar has even tracked the peak quicksand years in film. In the s, one in 35 films featured quicksands.

If everything you learned about quicksand came from watching movies, then you're dangerously misinformed. If you step into quicksand in real life, you don't sink until you drown. In real life, you can't be saved by someone pulling you out. Quicksand can kill you, but probably not the way you think. You can be rescued or save yourself, but only if you know what to do.

There was a time when almost every action movie seemed to involve the hero or villain becoming swamped in quicksand, sinking away until only their hat remains on the surface; even Flash Gordon and vine-swinging ape-man Tarzan were victims during their careers But contrary to what Hollywood would have you believe, it's actually impossible to drown in quicksand, but almost as impossible to escape, as a Dutch scientist found when he produced his own home-made variety in the laboratory. Daniel Bonn was on holiday in the Iranian province of Qom when he saw a sign saying "Danger: Quicksand". Local shepherds had told him that, periodically, camels and people usually those who had dared to disagree with the local regime had disappeared in the area. Realising that science didn't actually have an answer to the quicksand conundrum, he took some samples home with him.

Quicksand is a mixture of sand and water, or sand and air, that looks solid, but becomes unstable when disturbed by any additional stress. In normal sand, grains are packed tightly together to form a rigid mass, with about 25 to 30 percent of the space voids between the grains filled with air or water. Because many sand grains are elongate rather than spherical, loose packing of the grains can produce sand in which voids make up 30 to 70 percent of the mass. This arrangement is similar to a house of cards in that the space between the cards is significantly greater than the space occupied by the cards. The sand collapses, or becomes 'quick,' when additional force from loading, vibration or the upward migration of water overcomes the friction holding the grains together.

In fact, studies have found it is impossible to be completely submerged in quicksand because humans are less dense than quicksand and a person would only sink to their chest before they begin to float. Quicksand occurs when fine sediment such as clay, sand, silt, or other grainy soil becomes saturated with water, typically from a subterranean source. Often these traps are found near the periphery or edge of natural water sources. Often the sand on top may appear solid, but with the added pressure of a footstep, the sand will mix with the water beneath it forming a thick sludge. The grainy mixture increases in viscosity as whatever is trapped in the quicksand struggles, making it extremely hard to get out of, particular if the victim is panicking and becoming exhausted. Asking someone to pull you out could easily lead to injury or someone else becoming stuck as it is estimated the force necessary to pull a foot out of quicksand is the same as lifting a medium-sized car.

Will Quicksand Really Kill You?

With quicksand, the more you struggle in it the faster you will sink. If you just relax, your body will float in it because your body is less dense than the quicksand.

Learn How to Escape Quicksand

Quicksand is a colloid hydrogel consisting of fine granular material such as sand , silt or clay , and water. Quicksand forms in saturated loose sand when the sand is suddenly agitated. When water in the sand cannot escape, it creates a liquefied soil that loses strength and cannot support weight. Quicksand can form in standing water or in upwards flowing water as from an artesian spring. In the case of upwards flowing water, forces oppose the force of gravity and suspend the soil particles. The saturated sediment may appear quite solid until a sudden change in pressure or shock initiates liquefaction. This causes the sand to form a suspension and lose strength.



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