How to Escape Quicksand

Quicksand scenes were all over Hollywood scenes in the ’90s. It’s a mixture of mud, water, & sand that one can easily slip onto & die.

Quicksand is a dangerous natural phenomenon that traps humans & animals alike, leading to a slow & painful death. If you find yourself trapped in quicksand, here’s how to escape.

What is it?

Quicksand is a colloid hydrogel consisting of sand, clay, and water. It appears solid until a sudden change in pressure or shock initiates liquefaction. This causes the sand to lose its strength, while the cushioning of the water gives the quicksand a spongy, fluid-like texture.

Where is it located?

Quicksand can be found both inland–such as on riverbanks, near lakes, or in marshes–as well as near the coast.

How will it kill you?

Quicksand is denser than animals & humans, therefore living things that fall into liquified sand sink only to the level in which the weight of the object is equal to the weight of the displaced sand & water mixture due to buoyancy. But constant movement may cause you to sink even further into the sand. The majority of deaths don’t actually come from drowning in quicksand, but instead due to starvation, or dehydration from the sun’s intense heat beating down on you when you can’t escape.

How to escape:

If you’ve found yourself stuck in quicksand, drop everything immediately. Take your backpack off or drop whatever you’re carrying. Also, be sure to take your time & not panic as frantic movements will agitate the sand & only hurt your cause. The most effective way of escaping is to spread your weight throughout the sand in order to make it harder to sink. Do this by bending backwards & floating on your back while slowly moving your legs up to the surface. Once your legs are free, you can inch yourself to safety by using your arms to propel yourself backwards with a sweeping motion as if you were swimming. As soon you get near the edge of the quicksand, you can roll yourself to hard ground.


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