Kw-logo-smaller

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!

 

>
>

readers voted!

Comments

wolfiegal

wolfiegal wrote:

o:
commented: Thu Jul 31, 2014

Glitter613

Glitter613 wrote:

I've done this in science before. My science teacher called it Oobleck.We mixed cornsta...
commented: Mon Feb 03, 2014

momasboy13

momasboy13 wrote:

I thought it was sand, dirt, mud, and water.
commented: Sun Jan 12, 2014

there are 23 more comments

Please login or register to add comments


like this article?
Sign up now to get more just like it!

latest videos

F1128636421796

What Scares You The Most?

  • Heights.
  • The dark.
  • Spiders.
  • I have no fear!

related stories

Micro_how to plan a picnic-micro
School’s out and summer is here, which means it’s finally time to relax and have fun in the sun w...
Micro_micro_geyser
What’s better than soda, candy and explosions? What about soda, candy and explosions all at the s...
Micro_micro_icecream
Ice cream is definitely one of the most delicious treats you can have, but did you know you don’t...
Micro_terranium-micro
Would you like a rain forest in your bedroom? What about a sandy desert? Though you may not want ...

Random in the forums

BeMyBae
BeMyBae posted in Say Anything:
Why join chat when all you say is that you're bored? O.o
reply 14 minutes
Charulata
Charulata posted in Say Anything:
ethnicitY
reply 26 minutes
AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Debating:
The state of being offensive is subject to whether it is offensive, or if one would take offense to it. Quite honestly I would say yes, it is offensive, because it is offensive. But not because people find it offending emotionally, but find it offensive socially.
reply 27 minutes
kayshay
kayshay posted in Debating:
"sasukeslife1" wrote:The only reason I can think is because the ages after 12 (13-19) have the suffix teen. 11 and 12 are just before the "teens" start so they are called preteens. truu
reply about 1 hour
AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Debating:
because people think that 13 is a magic maturity number. It's actually 14 3/4's.
reply about 1 hour

play online games

Candy-100

A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

Big_icon_(7)

Have you ever fancied being a ranger like those fantasy characters you love so m...

Hour-of-code-tumb

Millions of Students will be doing an Hour of Code with Tynker December 8th-14th...

Big_icon_(4)

You run across the city in a car chase with the police officers.

Big_icon_(6)

The evil master kidnapped all of your friends!