What Happens If You Get Stuck In Quicksand?

An image showing quicksand with an eagle sitting next to it.
Can you escape quicksand?

Quicksand is a curious phenomenon, but it doesn't work like a sucking pit that swallows everything. They are actually a colloid hydrogel, made up of a mixture of finely granulated material (such as sand or mud), clay, and waterBasically it is a mixture of fine sand (40% -60%) and water, and that is why they are usually found in swampy areas and near estuaries, lakes or rivers.

A photo showing a bowl and a hand with Non-Newtonian Fluids.
Non-Newtonian Fluid.

Quicksand behave like a thixotropic or non-Newtonian fluid. That is, when its not disturbed by any external factor, Quicksand remain viscous as a glue or as a gelatinous solid, but, being saturated with water, the friction between the grains is minimal, so they work like a mud that cannot bear any weight

If someone steps on it, the water and sand separate, and the mixture becomes fluid. That causes the body to initially sink, but you can come out if you stay calm and follow these recommendations.

Before an outside agent intervenes, the sand grains and water are bound together , giving the mixture a viscosity that keeps it stable. When stepping on the sands, the body weight alters the tension between its elements, and the mixture becomes more fluid

The body who enters them tends to sink. Keep in mind that the force required to get out of them is too great: to move a foot in the quicksand at a speed of one centimeter per second requires the same force that must be invested to lift a medium-sized car (exert a force of more than a ton).

So, instead of using your legs, what you have to do is push yourself with your arms up and lie on your back to distribute the weight of the body and offer more body surface. Thus, the body, being less dense than sand, floats. Then you have to crawl backwards.

The best way to prevent a fatality is to have a mobile phone charged and use it to call for help. If you have to wait, move your legs to make the quicksand more fluid as you try to sit on it to increase the amount of your body on the surface.

You can find quicksand worldwide as long as the conditions are right. It is more common near the coast, in swamps or on the banks of rivers. Quicksand can form in standing water when saturated sand is agitated or when the soil is exposed to water flowing upwards (for example, from an artesian spring). 

They also often accompany earthquakes as vibration and the resulting solid flux are known to envelop people, cars, and even buildings.

There may be dry quicksand in places like deserts and it has also been created under laboratory conditions. Scientists believe that this type of quicksand forms when very fine sand forms a sedimentation layer on more granular sand. 

Dry quicksand was considered a potential danger during Apollo missions.It may exist on the Moon and Mars.