Most people know quicksand from starring in dramatic and very tense scenes in many of Hollywood's action or adventure films, some even see them in these scenes and wonder if they really quicksand exists and if so, what danger do they really have.
However, beyond their cinematographic character, they are a dangerous reality that we can find in many places and terrain on the planet, so it is good to know what are quicksand and what dangers they can pose. If you want to know a little more about this type of land, keep reading the following Green Ecologist article and we will tell you about it.
Quicksand is what is known in physics as a non-Newtonian fluid or colloid. This means that it is a fluid that, depending on the circumstances, can behave like a liquid or a solid, or both at the same time according to different parts. In more colloquial language, we could say that it is a fluid that, being made up of both liquid and solid particles, acts in both ways. This, in the case of quicksand, is a terrain that, although at first glance it may seem like a solid and stable terrain, in reality it constitutes a danger because it is a terrain with a high viscosity and with the ability to catch any person, animal or object that is placed on its surface.
The quicksand look It is that of a terrain that can be both sandy, swampy, mud, water with earth or sand on the surface, an area covered with leaves or even a simple puddle. The problem with these soils is that, as they are made up of water and very fine solid material, they act like a jelly, remain stable as long as no specific force is exerted on them. For this reason, the leaves and other light bodies may not alter their condition. However, if a person or a large animal were to walk on this terrain, it would begin to sink into it as it is much denser than the material of which they are composed.
The big problem that these terrains present is that it would be necessary to exert an excessive force to be able to move or escape from them, since the body's own weight is the one that pulls downwards, which poses a danger because they can end up completely absorbing people, animals or large objects such as vehicles, leading to the death in quicksand from drowning. In this way, it is very dangerous terrain that must always be avoided, whether you are walking or in a vehicle of any kind.
One of the aspects that must be taken into account in this type of terrain is that, if it has fallen on them, the most important thing is avoid sudden movements, since they would lead to a faster sinking by exerting greater pressure on the fluid. On the contrary, the most advisable thing in these cases is stay as still as possible to slow down the sinking speed or, if you want to slow down even more, lie on your back. This should be done in a similar way to swimming on the back. With as much momentum as possible, you should jump backwards and with your arms outstretched. The goal is to stay on your back as much as possible. This position reduces the pressure exerted on the fluid by distribute the weight over the entire surface of the back, which allows it to be easier to get off these grounds. From this position, you should swim similarly to the way you would in a pool at backstroke.
However, this should be done only in the event that it is not possible to leave these lands by other means. On the contrary, if there are other people who can help the person or animal that has been trapped in quicksand, the correct thing will be use a rope or rope to secure the person or animal in the quicksand and, from the other end, pull it out of this terrain.
One of the aspects that must be taken into account when it comes to encountering quicksand is that, although the belief that they are present in deserts has become popular, the most common is to find them in areas of abundant water. In fact, the most common areas to find quicksand are the swampy areas, rivers and beaches.
So, although in many movies we have seen quicksand in the desert is not possible, since they do not exist there.
One of the places where you can find this type of terrain very easily is in the sediments from the mouths of streams or rivers and lakes. As they are land composed of very fine sand and full of water, it is very normal that they end up constituting quicksand grounds that can catch bathers with ease.
Likewise another of the Places to avoid to avoid falling into quicksand They are the areas of quagmire and mud of the swamps or reservoirs, since they act in the same way as they are made up of clayey sands and accompanied by a large amount of water.
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