What does Quicksand feel like?

When I was a small child I remember going to the beach, laying down, and piling the warm sand on top of me. The pressure felt good. I think that was the start of my interest in burial. My interest in sand burial branched out to include dirt, mud, and quicksand. I remember enjoying T.V. shows where people were stuck in quicksand and sand and sank in it until they were out of sight. But, I discovered from personal experience that what was portrayed on film did not come close to what the reality of quicksand really is. It is a myth that you can sink to your doom over the head in quicksand because the mixture is too dense. I usually sink up to about my chest. The only way to go all the way down would be to be weighed down with heavy chain or a led belt.

What if feels like to sink into quicksand varies by the water content, as well as how much clay may be in it as opposed to sand. Generally what happens when you get into quicksand is that as you start to sink into it, if you move around, you will sink more. As you try to pull your leg out, the suction prevents you from being able to pull it out and at the same time the other leg goes down deeper. The suction is particularly strong if you are going down in a clay type of quicksand or mud. What once may have been fairly solid becomes more liquid as you struggle and move. The scientific term for this is liquefaction. You will only sink further down as you struggle. When you stop struggling, the material becomes more solid around you and the result is being stuck at that stage of sinking. You can’t go up, but as long as you don’t struggle, you won’t go down either. The ground around you has become more solid and you are now stuck in a vice. Should you decide to struggle further you will continue to sink until you are about to your arm pits. As long as you are not weighted down by chain or concrete shoes,, you will stop sinking . No matter how much you struggle at this point, you will not sink further. Getting out of the quicksand is actually very easy to do. Keep struggling and make the material as liquid as possible. Then start moving your legs and feet up as you lay back into the muck. As you continue to move you can keep the mixture more fluid and you will be able to pull the legs up sideways. Eventually you can get yourself up to the top of the quicksand and by spreading your body out on it, keep yourself mostly on the top of it. Then, staying horizontal on top, work your way over to a solid edge where you can get out.

I have tried making home made quick sand in my backyard. There can be a danger of getting yourself out with this. If the sand around your hole is dry and you go into the wet sand in the hole, the wet sand will settle around your feet at the bottom of the hole if you stay still for too long down there and you will not be able to get your feet out. The weight of the water on top of the settling sand will compress it down trapping you. If you continue to stay still and you have gone in deep with your arms down, it can settle an harden around you like concrete as the water goes out of the sand to the surrounding area and the sand settles down. I tried this as an experiment myself. I used almost pure sand and mixed it with the water. I found that the sand settled quickly when I tried to sink in it, so I got in the hole and put a mix of sand and water on top of me in layers. When the burial was about up to my armpits, I made the mixture very wet, and before the sand could settle, put my arms down into the mixture and stayed still for about fifteen minutes. When I tried to move, I was surprised to find myself completely trapped. I was not able to move anything below my arm pits. I could not pull my arms out. In fact, I couldn’t move my arms or fingers at all. An attempt at moving to make the sand more liquid so that I could get out was impossible because it had compacted and the water had wicked out to the surrounding dry sand. I was totally imprisoned in the sand and unable to escape on my own. Fortunately I was smart enough to do this experiment while supervised by someone who could dig me out. We were both surprised at how hard the material got. I felt like I had been set in concrete. I had my hands in a fist and was not able to even open the fist. I could not move any fingers or toes at all. I stayed in it a few hours to see what it was like. When I was dug out, it took almost half an hour to get me free.

If you want to try being buried in mud, or quicksand I would advise you to never do it alone. There are risks involved and you may find yourself stuck in something that at first may be fun to do, but when you discover that you are trapped and will die like that, the fun has a way of going away.