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Science Project: Making Quicksand

Have you ever seen a movie where the hero is dashing through the jungle when they step in a bog of quicksand which sucks them down to their untimely death, or what seems their untimely death until they're saved at the last minute? Well, quicksand doesn't actually work like that. Sorry to bust your movie going experience, but quicksand is rarely deeper than a few feet and if you hold yourself still you will float to its surface and be free. Try this experiment to see exactly how quicksand works!

Quicksand is called a non-Newtonian fluid, which means that is can be both a solid or a liquid. It depends on the amount of pressure applied to the substance. The molecules that make up quicksand are normally loosely arranged, which makes it behave like a liquid. But when pressure is applied the molecules become ordered and the substance behaves like a solid.

Quicksand is made up of sand (a granular material), clay and water. The sand is so saturated with water that the friction between sand particles if reduced. Which means that it can no longer support weight, like, for example, a person walking over it, which is why you get "sucked" into it. But if you don't move, meaning don't apply pressure to the substance, the quicksand will behave like a liquid and you will float up to the top. The best way to understand quicksand is to make some yourself!

Materials:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups cornstarch (cornstarch mimics the granular consistency of sand)
  • bowl
  • spoon
  • a place that can get messy

Procedure:

  1. Slowly add the cornstarch to the water in the bowl and stir.
  2. Notice how the slower the motion the more fluid the substance.
  3. Quickly stir the cornstarch and water mixture.
  4. Notice how the faster motion creates a more solid substance. It might feel like you're "breaking" the cornstarch and water mixture.
  5. Play with your quicksand!

Yep, it's as easy as that. Maybe not as death defying as in the movies, but definitely pretty interesting!

Have Your Say

Have you ever been scared of quicksand? Now that you know some more about it, does it still freak you out? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

 

25 Comments

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thebroandsistagteam
sweet n' sour
reply about 4 hours
_Tomgirl9
Dear Diary,  (2-20-17) So today was crazy after arguing with the fact that i should write this in a real diary but then remembering that my handwriting is terrible.     Okay look, just call me crazy but I saved the new girl in our class. I hate new girls in school. I was one which means I hate myself a couple years ago. That's..actually surprisingly accurate. Not that I'm a bully or anything whatsoever, but she always is automaticlly popular declared by the populist of popular in out class, Victoria. Or Tori for a brief yet still so disgusting I can smell her name from here period. Okay, I think we might be becoming friends after I saved her. You might be thinking, Audrey, just tell us how you saved her! Shut up, okay! I'm getting to that. Anyways, as Victoria is officially awesome, (inflicted by the awesomeness)  she hangs out with another girl which makes Alexei all mad and the whole thing blows up until I'm in the middle. (face palm) And I did some magic talk and problem solved. NOT! Now she says that I'm her friend and I do something crazy for her. She likes a boy in our class, Eddie. He likes Alexei, Alexei likes him. And you guess what i did. MAGIC! Anyways, now she owes me two favors. And that'll be getting me out of my delehma  right now by giving me stomach medicine. Or nose medicine. Either sounds heavenly.   
reply about 4 hours
mila27
mila27 posted in Debating:
In my opinion, cutting is not a cry for attention. The person's emotional pain creates some kind of need to feel physical pain, even if this person is not aware of that while doing it. However, on the last couple of years, cutting started to get popular, making some people think that if they cut themselves they will get more attention, which, also in my opinion, is an act of "desperation" and an actual need for attention or friendly advises .   :nerd  :)
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Laura-Melina
Laura-Melina posted in Random:
Simpsons
reply about 5 hours
Abbergrl
Abbergrl posted in Random:
IDLIIIIII@Cottoncandygirl77 XD Idli brains
reply about 7 hours