Not-So-Killer Quicksand

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Playing in the warm summer sand is all fun and games, that is, until you start sinking Lawrence of Arabia style. But don’t worry: despite what it may look like in the hilarious stock image above, quicksand won’t actually kill you. A study published in the Nature journal confirmed that a person trapped in quicksand would only sink to his armpits. Wait long enough and the sand particles eventually settle, causing you to rise up to the top. So unless you consider a sand wedgie lethal, you’ll survive a run in with some quicksand.

For those of you who are a bit more adventurous, it might be time to join a tiny but dedicated subculture obsessed with the stuff. Quicksand enthusiasts (“sinkers”) travel around the world seeking out sinkholes, either to watch people flail around or to hop in themselves. It can get weirder, of course (thanks, Internet) but let’s leave it at that.

If your dream is to become a sinker, or if you’re just curious, here’s how to make a pit of quicksand in your own backyard:

  1. Fill two-thirds of a large container or pit with fine-grained sand.
  2. Fill the other third with water.
  3. Mix Contents until your desired thickness is achieved.
  4. Cover with a clear mesh net top with and leaves to scare your family and friends!*

*Disclaimer: please don’t throw your family or friends in the quicksand, for reals.