Saturday, April 10, 2010

#1Random: How to Escape from Quicksand

I am a Googler.  I'm not sure if that is a word, but for my purposes it means "one who Googles."  I really love having knowledge at my fingertips, and any time I have a question, I research it on the internet.  If I see someone reading a book I've never heard of, I Google it.  And if I hear someone quoting a "fact" that doesn't make any logical sense to me (i.e., drinking hot beverages will cool you down, or chewing gum stays in your stomach for seven years), I just look it up to satisfy myself on the true answer.


Do you remember the scene in "The Princess Bride" where Buttercup steps into the "snow sand" and Wesley has to jump in and rescue her?  She disappears immediately in the quicksand, and Wesley dives in after her.  That, and many other movies, depict quicksand as a pit where one quickly sinks to the bottom, suffocating in the sand.

Well, according to this article at National Geographic, the most a person would sink, even while struggling, is to about waist deep.  The danger lies not in suffocation, but in getting stuck, so that when the tide comes in, you could drown.

So, how does one escape if stuck in quicksand?   Do not have someone pull you; the researchers suggest that if friends tried to pull you out, they'd only succeed in pulling you "into two pieces if [they] try hard to pull [you] out."  Instead, he continues, "The way to do it is to wriggle your legs around. This creates a space between the legs and the quicksand through which water can flow down to dilate [loosen] the sand.  You can get out using this technique, if you do it slowly and progressively."

Now you know. And if you don't believe me, you can Google it.


BTW, for those non-Americans out there who have not seen this film, you really should.  It is an American classic that children of my generation (Gen X or the Millennial Generation-- I think straddle both), were weened on.


emme said...

Elise, you crack me up! :)

I don't know if it's an actual word, either, but I'm a Googler, too. And this whole quicksand thing?? It's been bugging me in the back of my mind for years... :P


Carla said...

Princess Bride is a major classic in Canada as well! It's one of my favorites; I'm so glad you mentioned it in your post .

Hahaha....I NEVER knew that about quicksand! When I was little I was always scared of sinking in quicksand. It would be an awful way to die... Thanks for the helpful yet very surprising info!

Carla said...

p.s. I google pretty much EVERYTHING as well. I believe that being "Googler" makes you a very knowledgeable person in every subject. :)

Anonymous said...

Well, all my questions about quicksand are answered. But what about lightning sand????? and a six fingered man????

elventryst said...

You guys are great! I'm encouraged in my random posting-- I'll have to post more random things I come across.

I'm off to learn more about 6-fingered me. Hah!