If you thought that quicksand was a made-up terrain trap only encountered in old, overly sensational Western movies…then you’re mistaken. Quicksand is a real threat, but it kills people only rarely. A few tragic quicksand deaths have occurred in the past few years as people have gotten sucked into sinking sands on beaches, and I also just read about a tragic case in which two teenage boys were killed by quicksand that had pooled at an excavation site.
Quicksand can occur anyplace where the conditions are right. Basically, fine sediment and water are the key ingredients. When water cannot escape the sediment, it creates a soupy mixture that can’t support weight. Quicksand can occur in standing water or water that flows upwards, such as a spring.
You’ll likely recognize quicksand before you’re fully entrenched in it. But just in case you decide to dive right in, as Bear Grylls does here, you’ll need to know how to escape quicksand:
Photo © Flickr® user erjkprunczýk.