How nice it is, lying on the beach, digging up the neck in the sun-heated sand, and then cheerfully destroy this cocoon and for a long time and slowly pick up grains of yourself … Everyone, at least once in a lifetime, had so much fun. Sand often causes us pleasant associations associated with recreation, warmth and fun games.
Quite another thing – quicksand, or, as they are called, “floating”. These dry swamps are capable of completely absorbing both an animal and a human in a few minutes.
What is the difference between the usual swamp and quicksand?
Quicksand sand consists of the actual sand or clay in the indispensable combination with water. Its surface at first glance seems hard, but if you step on it, the sand under your feet will begin to liquefy. The usual swamp is constantly in a state of viscous slurry, and the sand becomes quicksand as the underwater waters approach. It turns out that a person does not sink like in water, but sinks into wet sandy bowels. There is a theory that the sound of sand is also influenced by a particular form of sand.
The good news is that dry marshes are not bottomless! They have a depth of several centimeters to several meters.
The bad news is that using a stick out of a swamp doesn’t get out! Any support sucks together with a drowning person.
Stories are known as terrible cases of care in the sand traps of entire families and even residential areas. Here are just some of them:
Fjord Tarnagen ( Alaska )
This huge fjord consists entirely of shifting sands. The shifting sands of Alaska – the most terrible and treacherous. Once the glaciers turned the local rocks into the sand, and the streams of water washed it into the Tarnägen fjord. This formed sand deposits up to several meters thick. The ebb exposes this sandbank, but twice a day, as soon as the tide begins, all the sand turns into thick mud, and the channel is filled with icy water. In just six hours, the water rises 12 meters.
Until now, local people are telling a story about a young married couple, who made a romantic walk by car during low tide. The car, along with the passengers, was drawn into the quicksand. The man managed to miraculously escape, but the woman remained buried forever in the depths of sand.
Arnside ( England )
This town is located in the north-west of England. At low tide, the sea here retreats by as much as 11 kilometers.
A long time ago, at low tide, the fishermen went to the bay by horse-drawn carts in order to catch their catch before the next tide. So they managed to get a lot more fish, but many of the fishermen remained in the power of quicksand forever.
Independently get out of the sandpit is very difficult. Because of the frequent accidents, a rescue service was created at Arnside, which annually pulls up to thirty people from quicksand. There is a case when, in the eyes of parents, the sand almost completely sucked a four-year-old boy. Fortunately, help arrived in time. Rescuers use special portable flooring through which you can reach the victims.
Port Royal (Jamaica )
In 1692 in Jamaica, in the sand, the entire area of the city of Port Royal was gone. By average, more than two thousand people died then. The place for the construction of the city was chosen on a long sandy spit, the upper layer of which is still saturated with water. Under the water, there is a mixture of gravel and sand.
On June 7, 1692, during an earthquake, sand began to suck in buildings and people. The whole horror lasted about ten minutes, after which the thin sandy mass suddenly became as solid as cement and tightly squeezed people. Most of the citizens died, and their sticking out parts of the body was eaten by wild dogs.
In the XIX century on the site of the area destroyed by an earthquake, the remains of houses were still visible. However, in 1907, a second earthquake happened, which also hid these traces of the tragedy.
There are legends that on the site of the area that once existed in the port, the cries of people killed in the sand are still heard.
Fortunately, in places of mass recreation of tourists, quicksand not to meet, but it is better to know the enemy by sight and have an idea of how to deal with it.
How to avoid quicksand places?
Carefully study the terrain. Avoid shoals near water bodies. Water seeping through the sand and the undulating surface structure may indicate that quicksand is in front of you. Do not ignore signs warning of approaching a hazardous area.
What to do if you could not escape the quicksand?
- get rid of all heavy things;
- not to make sudden movements in the hope of freeing himself;
- lie on your back;
- relax and, having adjusted the breath, smoothly row to a safe area;
- after reaching the border of quicksand, roll onto a hard surface.
Take care of yourself!