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How Accurately Do Movies Depict Quicksand?


Tom Hale

Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.

Senior Journalist

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We’ve all seen quicksand in the movies, but chances are you’ve never actually been up to your neck in it like cinema and cartoons often depict. So if you are escaping from a bunch of bad guys after raiding a lost tomb, should you really be worried about a slow and sinking death from quicksand?

This video from Brit Lab, hosted by science communicator Dr Emily Grossman, explains the science behind quicksand. It is part of their “Cinema Science” series that dissects all the finest Hollywood clichés and sees whether they can stand up against scientific scrutiny. To help explain the physics behind this one, all it takes is a little bit of wisdom from Archimedes.


Although quicksand might not be the evil death trap it’s often made out to be, it does have its dangers. Fortunately, there are also a few tips and tricks that could save your life if you ever do have a "Blazing Saddles" moment.


spaceSpace and Physicsspacephysics
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  • density,

  • video,

  • physics,

  • film,

  • cinema,

  • quicksand