How to Make Quicksand | Making Your Own Quicksand

How to Make Quicksand

The Truth About Quicksand!
Many people have held a strong curiosity about quicksand, seeing people on TV and in the movies being sucked down. Some people often wondered what it would be like to sink into it themselves, without dying. Some people have even fantasized their favorite gender being trapped in it, and watching/rescuing/joining them. There are even quicksand pix, stories, cartoons, videos, etc. available!

Many people have even been bold enough to dare try sinking into quicksand and/or other deep mud bogs themselves! Upon doing so, they discovered that it was not only safer than how Hollywood portrayed it, so long as they weren’t weighed down, but that it was also an extremely addictive experience! The notion of struggling while being sucked down by ground that looked solid and is now “threatening” to suffocate you is enough to get anyone’s heart pounding. Struggling and moving through a thick morass is wonderful exercise, and has an extremely intense stimulating effect on the human body.This page is dedicated to those who are interested in or curious about this Wet-And-Messy (WAM) pastime.

Basically, quicksand is saturated sand whose sand grains are so loose that they can slide past each other when pressure/agitation is applied. So, in order to make quicksand, you need to have sand that is loose and saturated.

How to Make Quicksand

Here are several methods to try:


One way is if you have a hose handy in an area where the ground is sand.
Simply tie some weight on to the end of the hose, turn the water all the way on, and simply blast the water straight into the ground, pushing the hose deeper in, and letting the weight pull it down until the desired depth is reached. The water
may tend to up well close to the hose. Therefore, you have to turn the water off and let the sand settle around the hose, and then turn it back on. Once water is coming
up to the surface, you have instant quicksand!

Another method, which should also work in other soils, is to simply dig a hole in the ground, deposit the hose in the bottom, fill it back in loosely with the soil, or if it is the wrong type or filled with rocks, some soil from elsewhere. You turn the hose on until everything is saturated. You could
use sand to refill the hole instead of dirt. Then, it is easier to re-soften the pit for later sinks, since the original soil would tend to harden as it dries out. If you do use the original soil, you would have to mix water with it at regular intervals to keep it from getting hard in the first place, a task that could be quite fun! It may also be an idea
to line the pit with some sort of liner to prevent water from draining out of the mud. Also,
if you use the original soil or clay, it may be more desirable to mix the mud a little at a time, either in the pit or outside the pit, pouring it in. Having the stuff on the bottom thinner, with progressively thicker stuff higher up would produce the best results.

How to Make Quicksand – At the Beach
At the beach, you can create a quicksand pit quite easily, although not necessarily as deep.What you do in this case is have a hole with water seeping in, filled with sand that is very loose and unpacked, with moisture content such that the grains are justable to stick together. Too much moisture makes them heavier, making it difficult to create a loose, porous mixture. Dry sand grains won’t stick together at all, and therefore would fall and settle into a packed formation. When the moisture content is just right, the sand grains can stick together loosely, with lots of air spaces between them, which can then fill with water, turning it to quicksand.

You first pick a spot where the level of the ground is close to the water level, but not too close. Too low, and the hole might not be dug that deep before the sides collapse, or even somewaves might wash over the top, causing the sand to settle. Too high, and the upper sand will never become saturated, making it
difficult to tell when it has reached its maximum saturation, but then if it isn’t too high, you still might be able to sink, but the quicksand will be quite thick and cakey, and you may have to pump your legs a bit to help you sink.


Before the hole is dug, you have to scrape up sand into a pile beside where the hole will be. The moisture content of the sand has to be such that it can be dropped into a loose, fluffy mixture, as described above. Basically, what you do is scrape off the dry sand from the beach away from the water until you come to the slightly moist sand, which is slightly darker than the dry sand, but lighter than the wet sand by the water. You then gather the sand into a pile beside where the hole is going to be dug,  of the appropriate size needed to fill it in afterwards. Through experience, you can anticipate the size of the hole you are going to dig, and therefore the amount of fluffy sand you need to pile up beforehand. I dug a hole by and around 1½ to 2 feet across, and around 1 foot deep, perhaps deeper, before the sides started caving in.


Next, you start digging the hole as quickly as you can, to dig it as deeply as possible before the seeping water starts to make the sides cave in. As soon as the sides of the hole start to crack and are about to collapse, you must quickly push the pile of loose sand into the hole until it is filled, leveling it off, taking care not to compress it. If the top is around water level, you might have to make it infinitesimally higher than the rest of the ground, but not much, because there is some slight shrinkage.


Then you wait. I can’t remember how long it takes, but the surface will start to dry out, and look somewhat whiter, but then eventually, you will start to see the surface darken, cracks appear around the edges of the quicksand pool, and the center will sink slightly.


Finally, the sand will start to glisten as water makes it to the surface, starting in the center and around the cracks on the sides and spreading across the entire surface, a sign that the loose sand is finally saturated with water all the way to the top. It is then ready to jump into!

Of course, if you use a shovel for digging the hole, you can dig faster, making it deeper and wider, forcing you to pile a larger amount of the loose sand beforehand, and enjoying a deeper sink afterward. Finer sand produces better results than coarser sand due to better porosity for smaller sand grains that stick together. But once you jump in, the quicksand will quickly start to settle and turn into ordinary sand with water on top. Have fun the next time you are at the beach!!!


 

Where To Look for Quicksand!

Where do you look to find places with deep mud/quicksand? Of course,the most obvious place is around bodies and sources of water.

How to Make Quicksand – Where to Find it

Here are few pointers:

Check out any body of water. In particular, check out where streams enter a lake or pond, especially if the entrance is marshy. Mud gets deposited there, which becomes exposed if the water level is low enough. Check out marshes, and in particular, marshes with streams running through them or originating
from them, or marshes containing a pond or lake. The lakes on a map that are shown as intermittent or slough, are shallow lakes with a good chance of mud exposed in the summer when water levels are lower. Seasonally inundated land could also be checked out, as well as any flats, dry riverbeds with channels
(if sandy, then good place to search for quicksand). Areas containing springs are potential sinking sites, since upwelling water can loosen the soil, turning it into a quagmire.

Streams may have a series of ponds, mostly beaver ponds, that don’t show up on a map, making them worthy of investigation, especially in areas where the slope they are running down isn’t too steep.

Peat bogs can have some peaty mud hidden underneath the mat of vegetation, as well as some that might be exposed and visible. You can tear a hole in the mat to get into the mud below, but if you are too close to a pond, there might be only water underneath the mat of vegetation.

Another place to check out is along river/stream banks, where other rivers/streams join, or where there is water coming out of the ground.

Meandering streams and rivers, like this one in northern Nevada, deposit sediments on the inside edge of the curves. When a loop in the stream/river gets cut off, oxbow lakes result. Places like that are worthy of exploration, since the sediments filling in and cuttingoff the old channel could contain quicksand and soft mud. Also, when no longer part of the river/stream bed, oxbow lake water levels could drop and/or slowly
fill in, exposing mud on the bottom.

In coastal areas, there are mudflats that are exposed during low tide. The mud can be claylike, silty, or sandy. It can be shallow, or deep. However, it can also be deadly in areas, due to incoming tides drowning someone who becomes stuck in the mud. The Alaskan mudflats are a perfect example, where
people even drown just be being stuck up to their knees! So, be cautious in coastal mud flats, and perhaps make sure someone else is with you.

Yet other spots to check out are places with clay/silt cliffs where there is ground water seeping out, or streams flowing down. In those areas, part of those cliffs tend to collapse into land/mud slides, with the debris field containing some nice sinking areas. However, you have to be cautious in places where the ground has moved, and probably will move again. You have to inspect the areas, making sure that you aren’t at risk of being hit by a falling tree or of being buried alive.

Well, I hope that you watch quicksand movies, armed with all this information, will quickly become
expert at finding great places!

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