Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Science sinks the myth of a slow death in quicksand

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » The DU Lounge Donate to DU
 
Hobarticus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 08:54 AM
Original message
Science sinks the myth of a slow death in quicksand
Edited on Thu Sep-29-05 08:55 AM by Hobarticus
By Mark Henderson, Science Correspondent

IT IS a staple scene of B-movies and Westerns: the cowboy stumbles into a patch of quicksand and is sucked under until only his stetson remains on top, or sinks up to his neck until hauled out by his sidekick. Both scenarios have now been proved to fly in the face of physics. Research has shown that it is impossible for people to sink into quicksand much beyond the waist but it is equally impossible to pull someone out once they are stuck.

Any attempt to drag a person out with a horse or truck would put them in much greater danger than leaving them be: the forces involved would tear them apart. To pull a persons foot out would require as much force as it takes to lift a family car, and the body would give way before the sand relinquished its grip.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-1802439,0...

That pretty makes every cowboy movie I watched as a kid a bald-faced lie, even the ones without Ronnie Reagan.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
LaraMN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
1. Damn! There goes my favorite Ann Coulter fantasy:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
alarcojon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. Can't jump through a plate glass window, either.
At the end of the article:

hero jumps through window, not a scratch. In reality jumping through plate glass would slice off body parts.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LaraMN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. I hate reality. eom
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
alarcojon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. I'm one of those people you hate to go to the movies with
because I have a strange compulsion to point out flaws like these.

I know, I know, "it's just a movie." Yet I persist. I guess I'm suspension-of-disbelief challenged.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LynzM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #9
22. Most of my family is like this...
My mom is not. We drive her crazy!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Shell Beau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
2. So basically you have to live forever in the sand???
I did see something on Discovery once about a female who got stuck in some mud (up to her waist). The more her boyfriend tried to get her out the more stuck she became. They got emergency workers on the site and they couldn't get her out. They were running out of time b/c the tide was about to come back in. They never got her out. The tide came in and they had tubes in her mouth so she could get oxygen b/c she was completely under water. She eventually died of hypothermia right there in front of the rescue workers and her boyfriend. It was definitely a freak accident.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hobarticus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. OMG!!! That's like something out of a horror movie!
How WOULD you get someone out? Would you pump water down below them, hoping to thin the muck out?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Shell Beau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. I am trying to find the story right now! I remember
watching and thinking that they would surely get her out but they never did. I can't remember what they tried but it was a lot of rescue people there. They tried loosening the mud around her boots and trying to free her from her boots, but nothing worked. It was horrific. Hopefully I will find the story and I will post it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Shell Beau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:36 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. Here is some of it. It was hard to find!
In September of 1988, Adeana and Jay Dickinson, a young couple married just a month, loaded an all-terrain vehicle and trailer with supplies for a mining excursion and set off over the mud flats for a destination on the other side of the inlet, according to Chadwick. A few hundred yards from shore, the trailer became stuck and Adeana hopped off the back of the ATV to shove it free. The Turnagain mud tightened around her legs.

Her husband tried to free her for more than two hours, according to media accounts, using a dredge from their mining equipment to pump water into the mud around her legs. He freed one leg, but then the dredge broke.

And the tide moved in.

Chadwick, who then worked for the Anchorage Fire Department, responded to the call. Other rescuers came as well, from the State Troopers and Girdwood. They toiled frantically as the water rose first to Dickinsons waist, then her shoulders. Unable to free her as the tide surged forth, they had to break off the rescue attempt and watch her drown, Chadwick said.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Zuni Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. that is absolutely ghastly
that must have been horrible for everyone involved
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Shell Beau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Is today the day for ghost terms?
Edited on Thu Sep-29-05 09:58 AM by Shell Beau
Ghoulish and ghastly? Hee hee!!

Yes, I watched a re-enactment on the Discovery. I did not know how it ended then. I thought for sure that the girl would get out! It was horrible how she had to come to terms with the fact that she would die. At first, it was an inconvenience. Then it got more and more serious as the day progressed. I felt horribly for her, her boyfriend, and the rescue workers as none of them could do anything to help!! :(
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #10
18. That is horrible
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
qnr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
14. Seems like they could have brought in a back hoe or something and
Edited on Thu Sep-29-05 10:15 AM by qnr
scooped up a pile of mud with her in it --- but that's just a thought, maybe there are problems with that too

Edit: I guess it would get stuck too though
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Shell Beau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Well this was 1988 and supposedly the last death
caused by the Alaskan mudflats. They have much better ways now to prevent this from happening. I don't remember all that they did, but it seemed they tried everything. But today I think there are much better methods!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. I've heard that one of the reasons it's near impossible to
escape quicksand is because of the grain shape. Ordinary grains of sand are cube-shaped and brace against one another to hold weight. The grains in quicksand are spherically-shaped and roll against one another in the mixture of water and clay, adding to the sucking-down of a person's weight. This is another reason that thrashing quickens the sinking process.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
swimboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #2
16. I saw that! It freaked me out!
:scared:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Shell Beau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. I thought I was the only one who saw it! Wasn't that
horrible! I really didn't think she was going to die! :scared:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
swimboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #20
25. Yeh, those re-enactment things always have happy endings. That's
what made seeing that so unforgettable. And horrific.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nicholas D Wolfwood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:07 AM
Response to Original message
4. Uhm, that death sounds pretty slow and actually worse
I'd take being swallowed up and suffocated rather than being left waist deep in a trap that there is literally no hope of getting out of and being forced to starve to death.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:12 AM
Response to Original message
6. oh, now you;ll tell me there are no ROUS either
I don't believe you.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LynzM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #6
23. ROUSes?
I don't believe they exist ;)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:05 AM
Response to Original message
13. The one method of saving someone based on this situation is a jetty pump
like setup....

the key would be to have a scaffold over the individual and have a harness around their upper body.
Then you would proceed to pump a lot of water around the perimeter of their body...which would loosen the quicksand and therefore allow you to pull them out...

It would have to be done slowly but I think it would work.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
chaska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
19. Oh, thanks. I'm going to have nightmares for weeks.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Zero Division Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
21. You mean the following doesn't accurately reflect reality?:


Say it ain't so! :cry:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
fleabert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
24. Don't thrash, get body horizontal before you sink further and 'swim' ...
Quicksand is a mixture of sand and water that forms a shifting mass. It yields easily to pressure and sucks down and engulfs objects resting on its surface. It varies in depth and is usually localized. Quicksand commonly occurs on flat shores, in silt-choked rivers with shifting watercourses, and near the mouths of large rivers. If you are uncertain whether a sandy area is quicksand, toss a small stone on it. The stone will sink in quicksand. Although quicksand has more suction than mud or muck, you can cross it just as you would cross a bog. Lie face down, spread your arms and legs, and move slowly across

http://www.wilderness-survival.net/crossing-4.php

Additional Information:
Escaping from Quicksand According to The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook, escaping from quicksand is easier than you might think. Stepping into quicksand is like stepping in a pond of goo. Your weight causes you to sink. A person's natural instinct is to thrash around in an attempt to get out. In fact, this is the worst thing you could do because you only succeed in forcing yourself down farther in the quicksand pit. The best thing to do is to move slowly to bring yourself to the surface, lie back, and try to float on your back. According to the experts, you'll be able to use your arms to slowly paddle to safety.

http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiment/00000088


If you ever find yourself in a pit of quicksand, don't worry -- it's not going to swallow you whole, and it's not as hard to escape from as you might think.

The human body has a density of 62.4 pounds per cubic foot (1 g/cm3) and is able to float on water. Quicksand is denser than water -- it has a density of about 125 pounds per cubic foot (2 g/cm3) -- which means you can float more easily on quicksand than on water. The key is to not panic. Most people who drown in quicksand, or any liquid for that matter, are usually those who panic and begin flailing their arms and legs.

It may be possible to drown in quicksand if you were to fall in over your head and couldn't get your head back above the surface, although it's rare for quicksand to be that deep. Most likely, if you fall in, you will float to the surface. However, the sand-to-water ratio of quicksand can vary, causing some quicksand to be less buoyant.

"By the same token, if the quicksand were deep, as in up to your waist, it would be very difficult to extract yourself from a dense slurry, not unlike very wet concrete," said Rick Wooten, senior geologist for Engineering Geology and Geohazards for the North Carolina Geological Survey. "The weight of the quicksand would certainly make it difficult to move if you were in above your knees."

more:
http://science.howstuffworks.com/quicksand2.htm

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:56 PM
Response to Original message
26. Oh, that was debunked years ago
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
EstimatedProphet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
27. Having been in quicksand many times, it is easy to get very stuck
and impossible to sink under, without carrying something heavy.
I've always been able to dig myself out, even chest-deep. Keeping it liquified will make it easier to get out of it-if you stop moving, it sometimes sets up around you and you might as well be in dried concrete. I dislocated a knee once that way...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
tuvor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:17 PM
Response to Original message
28. They tested this on Mythbusters.
Same conclusion. Great show.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Whoa_Nelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
29. Oh yeah?? But what about INTELLIGENT DESIGN, Mr. SmartyPartyPants!
Those movies were CORRECT! Intelligent Design means you will either ALWAYS be SAVED, or you will DIE because that is all part of the PLAN!

So there! :P

(All words in CAPS must be typed as such due to the requirement to SHOUT when discussing INTELLIGENT DESIGN!)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Whoa_Nelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. Proving INTELLIGENT DESIGN and quicksand!!
Good INTELLIGENT DESSIGN students: One SAVES the OTHER!


Evil person, no doubt, an ATHEIST, who did not heed the SCHOOL lessons of INTELLIGENT DESIGN!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RevCheesehead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:37 PM
Response to Original message
30. Not to mention Gilligan's Island. n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:10 AM
Response to Original message
32. didn't you expect
to run into more quicksand when you grew up than most of us have??
It seemed to be everywhere on the kid's shows during the 60's and I thought for sure it was out there beyond my neighborhood - but no - haven't run into any yet.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Aug 20th 2014, 09:01 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » The DU Lounge Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC