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“Quicksands of conformity, subdued by times past.”
Quicksand is a geographical hazard much beloved by cartoonists and Hollywood but very difficult to prove in the real world. In comparison, it's not hard to find 'slow sand' on a beach or covering bloodstains in the road after a hit-and-run.
Why therefore was 'quicksand' invented? For those who believe it does exist will now howl and point to the screen and say this denial of quicksand's existence is an example of Fake News. So, for the purposes of study and this being a site that intends to educate via misdirection, let's examine this in a scientific way. As I believe the Pyramids were built to provide salt, pepper and chilli in times of dinner party, here goes.
Sand. Yes, that's a definite requirement. Sand of course comes in different colours and can be as coarse as the sand you find on Coney Island to the refined stuff I see in Lawrence of Arabia. Now besides sand, you need something to make it goey and move around a bit. Water if you can get it but can I suggest Coca-Cola as this article will require product placements to continue? Agreed?? So, next what we need is hay or straw. You see the point of a quicksand is that it looks solid and firm but once you step on it, down you go.
Technical handbooks call this process 'getting truly liquefied'.This involves consuming a lot of alcohol and fried food so that your stomach becomes unstable like a star running out of gas. When it reaches the critical point, a mass is ejected. When you stare at the pavement (or if unlucky), the inhabitants of a train carriage, then what you have produced is a quicksand. See how the fluid and solids didn't bind to create something more solid? That is exactly how quicksand is created in the natural world.
To be truly effective, quicksand has to imitate something you would trust. Like your parents or a dog. So then you would be encouraged to step into it without fear or favour and then..and only then...to discover your dog had lied. Of course the other main ingredient is TRUST. Yes, that simple. And when that is lost, quicksand will take its place.
edit Where to find them?
Though I suggest quicksand doesn't really exist, it can do if enough people believe it to be so. Just like religion in fact. So for the purpose of argument, I will say you can find metaphorical quicksand is a lot more common than real quicksand. This is why it can be so deadly. It can pop out of nowhere and drag you down.
Taking out insurance to prevent you becoming a victim of quicksand is a bit problematical in the USA. If it is an existing problem, you won't get cover. Perhaps combining the insurance cover with a gun license will help you in say Texas but premiums will be high. Of course, in places like Europe they have long socialised this issue so that everyone covers each other when it comes to quicksand prevention. In Germany they have also encouraged people to jump over the problem which can be equally effective.
So does quicksand exist or not? Yes and no. Careful where you tread next time...
edit See Also