Despite the popular myth, quicksand is unlikely to pull you any deeper than your waist, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get out of.
Researchers from the Netherlands and France proved that it’s almost impossible for quicksand to pull a human completely under, as our bodies are just too dense.
The real danger from quicksand is drowning because you’re stuck when a high tide comes in.
Follow these five steps to make sure you’re out of harm’s way as quickly as possible.
1. Take some deep breaths
The more air you have in your lungs, the more you’ll float. Deep breathing has the added benefit of keeping you calm in a tense situation.
2. Lose some weight
From backpacks to shoes, try and take off anything that could be weighing you down and making you sink faster.
3. Sit down
Think of quicksand like a swimming pool – if you stand up, you’ll sink – so you need to redistribute your weight. If you’re only knee deep, slowly sit down into the sand. If you’re waist deep, lean on your back.
4. Wriggle those legs
Now it’s time to pull those legs out. Starting slowly, move one leg in tiny circles and gently pull. Moving your leg moves water into the sand, weakening its hold.
5. Crawl to safety
Once both your legs are free, move onto your stomach and gently crawl to safer ground.