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Quicksand Sucks

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"What is it that's not exactly water, and it ain't exactly earth?"
Bart, Blazing Saddles

Quicksand is a common and deadly element of swamp, jungle, and desert terrain. Science Fiction stories written before the Moon landings are also liable to describe thick layers of extremely fine lunar dust on the Moon's surface that are treated as functionally equivalent to quicksand. In all cases, its most dangerous feature is its ability to suck people and animals down and drown them in a malevolent blend of sand and water. Although most victims blunder blindly into quicksand, it sometimes seems that the merest touch of an extremity is enough to pull the unwary into its muddy and all-consuming depths like iron filings to a magnet.

Originally a movie serial and B-film device, this trope has been carried over to television by way of programs that mimicked or paid homage to those films, or to pulp fiction in general. Then it also moved to Video Games. This trope is a Discredited Trope nowadays, although the Shifting Sand Land of video games is still allowed to play it straight, as a gameplay challenge if nothing else. In particularly challenging versions, enemies will come out and attempt to drag the player to the depths, making them somewhat similar to Instakill Mooks if sinking in quicksand is an instant-death condition (and it often is). In movies, it is often used to set up a Chekhov's Gun scenario in which the hero stumbles into it and escapes early on, in order to set up for a villain to die that way later in the film.

In truth, quicksand, while real, isn't terribly common; exerts none of its movie counterpart's mythical "sucking" power; and isn't nearly the Sticky Situation the movies made it look like. In fact, real quicksand is so dense that you can't sink in it (with more than half your body). The usual advice for someone who finds themselves caught in deep quicksand is to simply relax and float on their back. Struggling in a panic may actually cause you to drag yourself down instead of up, and survival guides stress the importance of staying still if this starts to happen. While animals and people do sometimes die in quicksand, it's almost never from drowning — it's from exposure, dehydration or predation after exhausting themselves struggling to get out. However, with the right combination/consistency of sand, clay, water, and salt, it is nearly impossible to escape quicksand without help.

See also Sand Is Water, Mucking in the Mud, Swamps Are Evil, and Bubblegloop Swamp. Also compare Unrealistic Black Hole, because both black holes and quicksand are portrayed in media as pulling in anything nearby, whereas in reality both only consume things which have gotten too close in the first place.

This trope is Older Than Feudalism, with descriptions of it existing in fiction, as well as historical accounts for centuries, as the Real Life section demonstrates.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Doraemon: Nobita's Three Visionary Swordsmen has Nobita's Alternate Self, Nobitania, fighting General Ganbosu, a powerful elephant demon who reveals his ability to transform into a mountain-sized behemoth. Doraemon then takes out his quicksand powder and has Nobitania's allies, Shizukaria, Sunemisu and Giantosu, sprinkle the powder all around Ganbosu's feet. Cue the elephantine monster suddenly sinking and quickly drowning (the last scene being his trunk sticking out the quicksand's surface).
  • Doraemon: Nobita's the Legend of the Sun King has a guilt-ridden Prince Tio setting off on a solo quest to rescue his Love Interest, Kuku, in the jungles. Nobita, Doraemon and their friends quickly catch up and manage to find Tio, nearly drowning in a quicksand, with his hand holding on a root until Doraemon pulls him out with a gadget.
  • The 2016 remake of Doraemon: Nobita and the Birth of Japan contains a Mythology Gag for Three Visionary Swordsmen when the gang gets assaulted by two gigantic elephant-headed robots sent by the main villain, Gigazombie. Doraemon produces the quicksand powder and tells Gian, Suneo and Shizuka to drop the powder at the robots' foot; it works, and both of them sinks in a manner reminiscent to General Ganbosu.
  • In Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, the heroine is sucked down by quicksand but surprisingly is not killed but instead sucked into a subterranean world.
  • One Piece:
    • Sir Crocodile's "Desert Girasole" attack involves him using his sand-controlling powers to create a giant whirlpool of quicksand. He does explain, however, that he's tapping into an underground water source to do this, and he's never seen doing it outside of a desert.
  • In one episode of Pani Poni Dash!, the whole cast collectively walk into quicksand, and once they realise it, they're instantly sucked in, fall through the center of the Earth, and end up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat Fun Class: In The Earth Carnival episode 15, the goats find an oasis and Wolffy tries to run towards it, hoping to find the talking lamp there. He trips and gets stuck in quicksand, which Miss Earth explains is hard to get out of by moving since that gets you more stuck. Miss Earth uses her magic wand to save Wolffy.

  • John Mulaney opened one set by remarking on some of the changes in perspective he gained after reaching adulthood, citing the ubiquity of quicksand in old media vs. the reality of it as one example:
    "For instance, when I was a kid, I assumed that quicksand... was going to be a much bigger danger than it turned out to be."

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics: One story has Archie stumble into a pit of quicksand. He stops sinking at around chest height when his feet hit something solid, but it is noted someone shorter than Archie would sink all the way. It turns out that the quicksand was created by a blockage, in this case an antique car, and when Archie, Betty and Jughead remove the blockage, the quicksand is replaced with a scenic pond.
  • The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones:
    • In #5, Indy and Karen Mays get trapped in quicksand while attempting to travel overland across the moors to Salisbury Plain. The Nazis who are chasing them cut through Indy's whip and then offer to pull them out in exchange for the MacGuffin. Having little choice, Indy gives it to them. The Nazis then walk away, leaving them to die.
    • In #7, Indy and Marian attempt to escape from angry crocodiles by swinging across the river, only to land in quicksand, with Indy's bullwhip out of reach.
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1992): Link, using the Book of Mudora in the Desert of Mystery, reveals a scorpion statue that has the Pendant of Power hang on it. Before Link can approach it, he sinks into the quicksand —- and resurfaces on top of a Lanmola. Eep!
  • Red Ears: One comic involves a young woman wading through the Thirsty Desert before finding herself sinking into a pool of quicksand. Three travellers happen to chance upon her in quick succession. The first two demand fellatio in exchange for rescuing her, but she refuses. Near death, she begs the third traveler to rescue her in exchange for letting him use her body. Upon hearing this, he angrily stomps on her head—he would have gladly rescued a brave young woman, but he preferred to let a skanky woman die.
  • Spider-Man:
    • In the Marvel UK series The Spectaculer Spider-Man #82, Spidey is facing Kraven the Hunter in the jungles of Africa. Kraven uses a blowdart to drug Spider-man, making him lose most of his strength and his spider-sense, then tricks him into falling into quicksand.
  • Supergirl storyline "The Super-Steed of Steel": Supergirl is temporarily working as an advisor for a film director. As the crew is filming some scenes set in a jungle, Supergirl gets hit by Kryptonite radiation and falls into a quicksand pit. Kara panics as she is sinking until she realizes that, by sinking deeper into the pit, she is getting out of the range of the Kryptonite rays. Once she has become completely buried, Supergirl recovers her powers and tunnels out of the pit and away from the Kryptonite.
  • Swamp Thing: The Bogeyman is killed when he stumbles into quicksand and drowns in it.
  • Tragg and the Sky Gods: In issue #4, Tragg falls into a tar pit while battling the Beast Man Sabre-Fang.
  • In White Sand, Kenton notices a patch of loose sand and makes a mention of its danger. Of course, the final sphere he has to acquire to pass his exam sits right in its centre.

    Comic Strips 
  • Beetle Bailey. In the strip for May 17th, 2013, when Beetle finds himself walking on some quicksand he immediately sinks below the surface.
  • Crabgrass: This comic, Kevin gets stuck in what appears to be quicksand and he sinks up to his chin. It turns out he was just playing a prank, and the quicksand was actually just mud.
  • An old Esquire cartoon showed two very proper British explorers up to their necks in you-know-what captioned 'You know Smithers, I've half a mind to struggle.'
  • Garfield gets sucked under in a bowl of oatmeal
  • In one Hägar the Horrible strip, Hägar and Lucky Eddie seem to be sinking in quicksand, but a local (whom only Eddie can speak to, so we only see gibberish) informs them that it isn't quicksand. It's concrete.

    Fan Works 
  • One entry into a Miniatures forum about what to do when you have nothing but standard bearers in your army is to plant the standards in a sandtrap; the enemy will waste a lot of time to "avoid the quicksand".

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Brave Little Toaster, Kirby and the others trying to pull him out get sucked into a mud pit in a swamp.
  • In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Spring Breakdown, Rainbow Dash falls into a pit of quicksand when she visits a small island, but sinks realistically slowly as she struggles to escape it. Sunset also tells Rainbow not to struggle, and it's only when a Man-Eating Plant shows up that forces the issue that Rainbow begins to rapidly sink from trying to get free. It turns out to be a Portal Pool to Equestria.
  • In Once Upon a Forest, the quail leaves one poor bastard who gets stuck in the mud to die. Luckily for him, the party comes through and The Smart Guy has them build a lever device to pry him out.
  • In Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, the gang loses footage of all the paranormal things they witnessed after their camera falls into quicksand.
  • In the second The Swan Princess film, while Derek is swinging over a deep pit in a swamp, Knuckles cuts the vine and Derek falls in. Knuckles then just sits and watches as Derek pleads for his life, all the while being swallowed alive by the bog. Fortunately for him, Odette (now in swan form for the time being) shows up and pulls him out just before he can go completely under.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Nesquik Sand is a chocolate version of quicksand found in the wild fields of the Sugar Rush world. When Felix begins panicking over sinking downward, Calhoun has to smack some sense into Felix to get him to stop making it worse, which actually helps them figure out an escape via slapstick.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The British PSA Apaches has one of the children fall into a slurry pit (a pit full of liquefied cow manure). The boy sinks under and drowns the same way as if it were quicksand. Which is an accurate depiction of how slurry works.
  • In Apocalypto the protagonist falls into a quicksand pit, but he manages to escape, signifying his prophesied "rebirth from mud".
  • In The Beastmaster, Dar ends up falling into a pit of quicksand after sliding down a cliff thanks to two mischievous ferrets, and struggles to keep himself afloat as he's sinking. He escapes thanks to using his power to get the ferrets to lower a branch, and then ends up saving one of them from being sucked down in return.
  • A pit appears early in Blazing Saddles; other than the fact that it shows up in the middle of an arid desert, it's actually a pretty accurate representation. Rather than panicking, Bart urges his friend that they should remain calm instead of flailing around, then they slowly move back along the rail just enough that they don't disturb the sand grains even more.
  • The Curse of the Living Corpse: Bruce and Vivian dispose of Letty’s body in a quicksand pool which swallows her instantly. Philip tries to drown Deborah in quicksand, but winds up being dragged down himself.
  • Dora and the Lost City of Gold: Quicksand is one of the perils that the heroes encounter. More realistically than most examples, Dora coaches her companions in the correct way of getting out, not by struggling to break free, but letting oneself sink in further then lying on your back to float your whole body up to the top. Unfortunately, Alejandro is too stubborn to try it and ends up having to be rescued by the others.
  • Dune and Dune: Part Two. An approaching Sand Worm vibrates the ground to cause soil liquefaction, essentially turning hard-packed, walkable sand into quicksand for Fast Tunnelling. Needless to say this causes problems for anyone trying to run away from them.
  • The first Dungeons & Dragons (2000) movie had a magic quicksand trap disguised as a rug. Presumably, it was solid when the Evil Sorceror who cast the spell was about.
  • In Django, the eponymous hero nearly downs in quicksand after the gold-loaded coffin he drags behind him slips from his grasp. There's a bit of foreshadowing at the start of the film; Django kills a handful of mooks, the last mook falls into the quicksand and is instantly swallowed.
  • In Fauve, two boys go playing in an open-pit Abandoned Mine. The mine appears to be asbestos, and there are pools of standing water in the bottom of the pits, and the asbestos and the water make a sucking mud that plays out just like this trope.
  • In Guns Of Darkness, the protagonists run their station wagon into quicksand as they're trying to smuggle the deposed President of Tibulación out of the country. After getting his wife across to safety, Tom Jordan goes back to help the President across. The human characters barely go in up to their necks in the course of all this, and the car takes several minutes to go completely under despite being a lot heavier than the three of them combined.
  • The Hallelujah Trail: The opening narration tells you that there is going to be a disaster at Quicksand Bottoms.
  • Hidalgo: The Prince is thrown from his horse and ends up neck-deep in a quicksand. He stays there for hours, solemnly waiting to die of thirst. Frank rescues him, however.
  • One of the Sheriff's attempted duels in Hot Lead and Cold Feet ends with him sinking in quicksand brought about by heavy rains. Don Knotts really did get swallowed up by quicksand on camera, and it took an hour to get him cleaned up after they pulled him out upon completion of the take.
  • In the climax of House of Frankenstein, the finally powered up Frankenstein's Monster grabs the Mad Scientist and tries to evade the local Angry Mob, whose purposedly chase them straight into a nearest bog where it sinks with the scientist.
  • In Ice Cold in Alex, Anthony Quayle's "Nazi Spy Disguised As South African Officer" falls into quicksand and is exposed by his inability to remember the Afrikaans for "Quicksand" ("Wilsand"). Only reason he even sank was because he was rushing to get to his listening device to sink it before the others saw what it was, and because he kept struggling afterwards when they tried to get him out.
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: At one point, Indy and Marion begin sinking through what appears to be quicksand. However, Indys explain that the substance in question is not actually quicksand, but some sort of collapsing dry sand pit. It's parodied when Indy starts to lecture Mutt on the difference between quick sand and dry sand, only to be interrupted before he can actually explain anything informative.
  • Jumanji: Alan's penultimate turn in the eponymous game turns the floor on which they're sitting into quicksand which starts to suck him in. Judy's next roll causes the floor to freeze up again just before Alan's face is pulled under. Strangely, when characters go downstairs they can see Alan's legs hanging out of the ceiling.
    Alan: (reading) "Beware the ground on which you stand, the floor is quicker than the sand."
  • In Jungle, Yossi stumbles in a patch of quicksand and is soon stuck in it up to his neck. He manages to escape by grabbing an overhanging branch and dragging himself out, but he loses his backpack and his lucky charm.
  • In the film Lawrence of Arabia, Lawrence has two young servant boys, Daud and Farraj. Daud falls into quicksand, and Lawrence and Farraj try to save him, but fail. In real life, Daud died of hypothermia—in Arabia, no less.note  Also, in Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Lawrence describes his own fall through a crust of ice into mud, in which he is trapped until his obliging camel pulls him out.
  • The chariot race scene in Magadheera have Kala Bhairava and Ranadev Billa crossing a desert full of quicksand pits, just as Billa's mercenaries tries to ambush Kala. One unfortunate mook ends up falling in a quicksand pit and drowns, while Kala nearly suffers the same fate if not for his trusty steed pulling him out.
  • Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears: While arguing with Jack in the desert, Phryne steps in the middle of a patch of quicksand that sucks her down to her shoulders in the time it takes Jack to turn around.
  • In The Mummy (1999), a biplane sinks into a pit of quicksand... in the middle of a desert. The protagonists stand atop a dune and solemnly watch it sink. The sequence takes so long that it's hard to tell if it's lampshading its own absurdity or just deathly oblivious to it.
  • The Neverending Story contains a particularly heartbreaking scene in which Atreyu's horse Artax sinks to his death in quicksand in the Swamp of Sadness. It is explained, however, that Artax' sinking was not due to quicksand, but sadness.
  • In A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Kristen finds herself trapped in the beach dream when the sand beneath her turns into quicksand. Freddy Krueger places his foot on her head, and pushes her down.
  • The Princess Bride features a super-quicksand called "lightning sand," which is dangerous because its grains are so small that you fall straight through it. At least as dangerous (in the novel, at any rate) is the way the stuff gets into your lungs.
  • In Pure Luck, Martin Short's extremely unlucky character manages to walk into a quicksand pit in the California desert.
  • A Quiet Place. During the climax, Marcus falls through a hatch into a silo and starts sinking under the grain. A hatch door breaks off and falls in (barely missing Marcus), so his sister jumps in as well and is able to pull him out and onto the door. She then sinks under the grain herself and has to be pulled out in turn by her brother.
  • In The Return of Count Yorga, the eponymous vampire has a pit right behind his house which he uses to conveniently dump bodies of those he doesn't want turned undead, or dealing with meddling priests.
  • In Robin Hood (2010), Lady Marion Loxley tries to free a ram stuck in the quicksand-like mud on her own without help, but she falls in mud and only manages to herself stuck along with ram. After falling in mud while making a loud splash on it, Marion manages to right herself while her skirt gets folded up around her body, very close to her and starts trailing in and out of the mud. Marion assures Robin and rest of the peasants near the bog that she is fine and that she does not need help to be rescued from being stuck in the mud as she holds one hand near the mud while raising one hand in the air to try to regain her balance and wave away peasants's concern for her. But when Marion tries to stand back up, the quicksand-like bottom had caught her and now holds her tight, causing Marion to sink low to her shoulders and to realize that she can't move her legs and that she now needs help to be rescued from being stuck in the mud as she is now helpless to do anything on her own, leading to Robin going to rescue both Marion and ram. Fortunately, Marion is not in any danger of sinking deeper into mud to her death while being stuck in mud, she's just too stuck to free herself from the mud and has a hard time getting out of the mud.
  • In The Scarlet Claw, Watson twice winds up up to his neck in quicksand while searching the marshes.
  • In Southern Comfort, one of the National Guardsmen meets his demise in sinking quicksand.
  • Tyranno's Claw has the two bumbling cavemen sidekicks accidentally stumbling across a quicksand in a valley (while being stalked by a pterosaur). One of them falls in, and while his partner tries searching for him by sticking both hands into the quicksand, the partner managed to grab on something and pull it out... and turns out he had grabbed a human skull.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Force Awakens has Finn run to the crashed TIE Fighter to rescue his friend Poe, only for it to be submerged by one of the quicksand pits around the desert. Although the belch sound effect implies that it was eaten by something.
    • The Rise of Skywalker: The planet Pasanna has a field of quicksand, which the heroes inadvertently crash into. However, once they sink it turns out there are caves underneath, and they're fine, aside from the angry cave worm.
  • In Sugar Hill (1974), zombies chase Morgan until he falls into a pit of quicksand, which just looks like water with sand dumped into it. He flails around yelling for help, slowly sinking until his face vanishes.
  • The B movie Superargo And The Faceless Giants (one of the Rifftrax Movies) involves a quicksand pit in a forest that appears to be a nondescript pile of dead leaves.
  • In The Terror, Gustav stops Andre from walking into a patch of quicksand on the path to the Baron's castle. He demonstrates its lethality by tossing a large stone into it, where it is immediately sucked down. The quicksand is an unfired Chekhov's Gun, as originally Gustav was later supposed to die in it, but the script was changed so he was attacked by a falcon and fell of a cliff instead.
  • In 12 to the Moon (1960), one Red Shirt gets sucked under 'pumice dust' while dramatically clutching at nothing, while the lead character is pulled out by a 'magna-buoy'.
  • In Woman in the Dunes, the protagonist manages to make his way out of the sand pit where he's being held prisoner and seems to be on his way to freedom, when he stumbles into quicksand. He has to call to his pursuers for help.

  • Fighting Fantasy have a few of these:
    • Right off in one of the earliest adventure, Island of the Lizard King, you can choose a path that leads to your friend, Mungo, being attacked by a Giant Crab. Bordering on Video Game Cruelty Punishment, if you choose NOT to help Mungo but to flee, you then automatically fall into a tar pit and drown. Saving Mungo by killing the crab and you'll never even notice the pit.
    • Creature of Havoc have the marshes of Bu Fon Fen, filled with soggy quicksands and inhabited by hostile a Frog Men tribe. In the correct path, as you're about to be killed by several frog men, your friend Grog pulls a Heroic Sacrifice by tackling the frogmen leader into a quicksand, dragging him into it, allowing you to flee in the confusion.
    • In Fangs of Fury you can come across a pair of goblins struggling to drag a chest out of a quicksand, but if they see you they will abandon their treasure and attack you on sight. You'll need to kill both goblins within a handful of Attack Rounds if you intend to check out the chest - take too long and the chest is lost forever.
    • The jungles of Southern Allansia in The Riddling Reaver have plenty of quicksand pits which can swallow the players.
    • Deathmoor has a swamp area which doubles as a Shout-Out to The Neverending Story; spend too much time there, you end up losing hope and decide to let yourself be gobbled by a quicksand.
  • Intruder in the Dust: The bodies of Vinson Gowrie and a witness to his murder both mysteriously disappear, leading to a search for them to conduct a ballistics test on the bullets. It turns out they were dumped in a patch of quicksand, and Mr. Gowrie leaps into the quicksand and kicks around the bottom with his feet to find the bodies.
  • Sorcery!: The Quicksand spell can create instant puddles of quicksand by throwing grains of sands at the intended target's feet.

  • The 13 ½ Lives of Captain Bluebear: The intelligent quicksand encountered by Bluebear note  is not only intelligent, but benevolent and can communicate telepathically with potential victims to warn them away. However, if someone chooses to ignore the warnings and step into the quicksand anyway, there's not a lot the quicksand can do about it other than say "I told you so" and offer its condolences as the poor victims sink to their deaths.
  • In the A to Z Mysteries book "The Quicksand Question", the kids' investigation into who stole the fundraising money for a bridge for the ducks crossing the nearby road leads them to a marshy part of the river where an elderly man says that he saw a jeep with the duck bank storing the change for the ducks charge off the road near there. As they're wading in for clues, the kids run into a patch of quicksand that formed in the riverbed recently. Fortunately, Dink remembered to lean back into the water and not struggle in order to not sink in any further and has Josh do the same thing. Even more fortunately, Ruth Rose wasn't far enough into the river at that point to also get stuck in the quicksand, so she was able to get out of the river and run to the nearby fire department to get help. The incident also ends up solving the case because Josh felt a jeep antenna poking at his leg before he was rescued. Once the fire department fishes the jeep out of the quicksand and find the fundraising money stored inside, and the police department runs its registration, the culprit is found and arrested. Officer Fallon speculates that the reason why the culprit didn't get stuck in the quicksand when he ended up accidentally driving the jeep into the river is that he either jumped out of the jeep to the solid riverbed when it got stuck or he just swam from the jeep to the edge and never touched the bottom in the process.
    Ruth Rose: I never even knew there was quicksand in Connecticut.
    Firefighter Lenny: Quicksand can be anywhere there's water and sand. I was a Navy SEAL, and I saw plenty of the stuff.
    Josh: But we've waded in the river lots of times. We've never gotten stuck before.
    Firefighter Lenny: Sometimes you find it only in small pockets. In fact, right here is the perfect spot for it. Lots of sand under shallow, slow-moving water.
  • In Nick Cave's novel And the Ass Saw the Angel, the narrator recounts his story while sinking into a bog. The unlikelihood of this contingency is easy to swallow compared to some of the other stuff we're asked to believe, or asked not to believe.
  • In one of the Bill the Galactic Hero books, a Space Marine in a heavy suit of Powered Armor lands in a bog. All his squadmates tell him to take the suit off because it's so heavy that all they'd accomplish trying to help is to drown as well, but that takes an hour so it guzzles him up.
  • In Clouds Of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers, Lord Peter Wimsey, walking on the Yorkshire moors in fog, accidentally strays into a notorious local bog with the coincidental but appropriate name of Peter's Pot. It immediately begins to suck him in; the suction is so powerful that Bunter is entirely unable to pull him out, and just barely manages to hold onto him until help arrives. The incident is also notable for the normally made-of-iron Wimsey being prostrated (although not for very long) by the strain of the event.
  • The Commissar by Sven Hassel. The protagonists lose all the gold they've stolen when a bombing raid sets off a landslide of quick clay, dragging under most of their vehicles with it.
  • In Bram Stoker's short story "Crooken Sands", rich Englishman on a vacation to Scotland is menaced by a ghostly Doppelgänger who is constantly sinking into quicksand, and tries to lure him into same fate.
  • In H. P. Lovecraft's short story "Dagon", it is mentioned that after the narrator's boat landed on what he claims to be a piece of the ocean floor brought to the surface by volcanic upheaval, he had to wait three days for the land to dry sufficiently enough for him to walk on.
  • In one of the smaller Dinotopia books, Magnolia and Paddlefoot, her dinosaur companion, get mired in quicksand. However, the author has done their research — Magnolia and Paddlefoot are experts about water, so they simply lie flat and float. Eventually a boy and his Triceratops come along and give them a hand out.
  • During Dinoverse: Raptor Without A Cause an Acrocanthusaurus ends up in deep mud that is noted to be "like quicksand". She panics and thrashes, sinking, and the other Acros make a Chain Of Dinosaurs to get her out. The closer ones all also sink somewhat, but are pulled out by their fellows.
  • In Dream Park, when Griffin enters the South Seas Treasure Game as an alternate, the party finds him trapped waist-deep in quicksand.
  • A Fall of Moondust by Arthur C. Clarke is one of the better-known pre-Moon landing stories that described Moon dust as being fine enough to amount to quicksand. The plot involves the rescue of a tourist moon-cruiser designed to skim over the moondust, but a moonquake causes it to sink into it instead.
  • In The Law of the Gun by J.T. Edson, the main bad guy perishes when he attempts to escape the heroes by diving of the trail through the cane brakes along the Rio Grande and plunging into quicksand where he vanishes without trace.
  • In Book 7 of The Hardy Boys Casefiles, Deathgame, Joe starts sinking in the quicksand and knows enough to float on it, but then has to force himself to sink below the surface to hide from his attacker. The caked mud later serves him as improvised camouflage.
  • In The Hound of the Baskervilles, the swamp is dangerous to enter even if you know the way, and nigh impossible to traverse without a guide. Stapleton, who boasts that he is the only one who can safely cross, falls victim when he tries to escape justice in a hurry. In the 1959 Hammer Films movie adaptation, it is his daughter who dies that way, after they had saved Watson from it earlier in the film.
  • In the Known Space stories of Larry Niven some areas of Mars have sand that is so fine that it essentially is a liquid and people can sink in it.
  • The Shivering Sand in The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. Dangerous, but not an impossible trap. It's used by a certain character to hide an incriminating piece of evidence, using a locked box and a chain, and to commit suicide.
  • The Neverending Story contains a particularly heartbreaking scene in which Atreyu's Sapient Steed Artax sinks to his death in quicksand in the Swamp of Sadness. It is explained, however, that Artax' sinking was not due to quicksand, but sadness.
  • In The Pavilion on the Links by Robert Louis Stevenson, the quicksand even has a name: Graden Floe, a piece of treacherous terrain which is said to swallow a man in "four minutes in a half". The protagonist saves his love interest from walking into it. One of the antagonists is not so lucky; only his hat remains as proof of his gruesome demise.
  • In The Sea Mystery by Freeman Wills Crofts, two men are supposed to have drowned in a bog on Dartmoor. The local police sergeant explains how it's possible to escape from such a situation by lying on one's back. Later, Inspector French wonders if a dead body could have been sunk in the bog, but the sergeant is dubious: unless weighted the body would float, while the person carrying the body would be vertical and so sink. So they'd have needed to support themselves on a plank while dumping the body, and that would have left obvious traces.
  • About halfway through Swiss Family Robinson, Fritz falls into a quicksand while taking a shortcut back to camp from collecting bamboo. He uses the bamboo reeds as floaties until a zebra wanders by, which is tame enough (the family had been using them as regular horses) to let him hitch a ride.
  • In The Takers (a modern Two Fisted Tale-homage by Jerry Ahern) the protagonist and his Plucky Girl get caught in quicksand while wading through a swamp on a Caribbean island.
  • The Vor Game: During a stint of being Reassigned to Antarctica, Miles Vorkosigan runs across a nasty arctic "Permofrost Inversion Zone"; this appears to be solid ground, but has the potentially lethal property of unexpectedly thawing into a gooey sea of mud. Miles manages to sink an entire "scat-cat" (a kind of arctic all-terrain jeep) in one after he parks on top of it rather than try to drive back to base at night, and very nearly dies because he chained his tent to it.
  • The RainWings in Wings of Fire use quicksand as a makeshift prison for Mastermind (they don't have a real prison since they've always punished criminals with exile). They have to pull him out of the quicksand every few hours so he doesn't just die.
  • The Warrior Cats novels The Fourth Apprentice and Mothwing's Secret both take place during droughts and involve cats trying to cross land that would normally be covered by water. While neither resulted in a death, both were life-threatening events and required the help of others to escape.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The rescues reconstructed by the series 999 include several examples of children being rescued from deep mud (or similar situations, such as slag heaps).
  • At the end of the Batman (1966) episode "Batman's Anniversary", Batman and Robin are caught in a Death Trap consisting of a 15 foot deep pool of quicksand. At the beginning of the next episode "A Ridding Controversy", Batman realizes that they won't sink deeply enough into it to drown. The Dynamic Duo escape by using the experimental "heel and toe Bat Rockets" in their boots.
  • In Bill Nye the Science Guy, Bill gets stuck in a tidal flat. He takes the opportunity to explain that you won't be buried alive in the sand, or mud in this case: you're more likely to drown or get stranded, especially if no one knows where you are. The trouble is if you're in a place where a high tide comes in; some rescue workers pulled him out safely before it can get that far.
  • The Coroner: In "The Drop Zone", Beth gets stuck in quicksand on a secluded beach, but is not actively being sucked down. She cannot save herself by lying back and floating (assuming that Beth would even know this) because doing so would cause her to put her head underwater. She has to call Davey to come and rescue her.
  • In Emergency!, the paramedics respond to a call about a woman who fell into a forgotten well barely covered by soil. When the paramedics take a careful look, they see the woman waist deep in really thick mud at the bottom and sinking into it. Fortunately, the crew of Station 51 is able to quickly set up some ladders and ropes to pull her out.
  • In Get Smart, Max, 99 and the Chief get captured on an artificial island created by KAOS. To kill them, Siegfried forces them on a patch of synthetic sand, which is specifically designed to be a quicksand Death Trap. They escape with the series' usual silliness: they use a small powerful magnet they have on their person to try to interact with a giant horseshoe magnet used to capture shipping so as to use their mutual attraction to pull them out. Unfortunately, their magnet somehow proves more powerful than the giant one and all they accomplish is to force the giant magnet to reorient itself to them without pulling them out. However, this ridiculous situation saves them since the giant magnet pulls a submerged submarine to the island to the point of plowing through the ground and into the synthetic sand pit, thus allowing our heroes to grab on the periscope and ride the sub to solid ground.
  • One episode of Gilligan's Island had Skipper stumble into a pit of quicksand. While Gilligan is preparing a rope to throw him, a vine conveniently dislodges from a treebranch and lands right next to him. He uses it to climb out, and taps Gilligan on the shoulder. Gilligan replies, "Do you mind, I'm trying to save my..." And notices it's Skipper.
  • The intro for I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! shows someone up to their neck in a quicksand pit saying the title of the show.
  • In one episode of Magnum, P.I., Rick stumbles in what he believes is quicksand and yells for help; when TC and Magnum arrive, Magnum tells Rick he's in a swamp — "There is no quicksand in Hawaii."
  • One episode of The Man Show has a segment advertising fake products. One of those was "Quicksand Kitty Litter," which causes cats that step in it to sink in and drown. Technically, it does what it's advertised to do: free you of the responsibility of cleaning the litter box.
  • In Man vs. Wild, Bear Grylls demonstrates how to escape from a quicksand in the middle of the Sahara Desert and prevent health problems as a result from having clay on your skin.
  • In Sea Patrol 2Dads sinks into a pit, briefly going under before he's fished out by a team member. It's described as 'swamp', not quicksand, but it works the same way and when he falls in he's immediately buried up to his chest.
  • In an episode of SeaQuest DSV, a French leisure submarine was lost and the SeaQuest was sent to investigate. Their findings? Small underwater caverns were filled with fresh water, and they caved in like undersea potholes. Rather than aerated water causing the issue, the freshwater mixed with the sea water and desalinated it through dilution. This made the vessels too heavy to remain buoyant in the brackish zone, and they fell to the bottom of the freshwater pockets, unable to escape as their oxygen dwindled.
  • In one episode of Small Wonder, Ted walks into quicksand on a camping trip, and Vicki can't save him due to being ordered not to use her powers for the rest of the trip. It then turns out that the quicksand is only three feet deep.
  • Tales from the Crypt: In "'Til Death", Logan loses one of his workers (and his hat) to the quicksand that covers most of the land he just acquired. Later, while trying to escape from Maggie, he blunders into the quicksand himself and starts being sucked down, only to be pulled out by her. After setting her on fire, he shoves her into the quicksand and she vanishes beneath the surface. Logan thinks he's seen the last of her, but he's wrong.
  • In the Bolivia Special on Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson gets stuck in river mud along the Amazon's riverbank and slowly sinks about eighteen inches before Hammond and May are able to get him free.
  • The Big Bad in The Wild Wild West's "The Night of the Bottomless Pit", who absolutely hates muck, meets his maker that way.

  • The song "The Legend of Wooley Swamp", by the Charlie Daniels Band, involves quicksand. A group of hoodlums murder an old man who lives in the eponymous swamp by beating him up and throwing him in a pond. When they turn around, they sink into a quicksand with the laughter of the old man's ghost ringing in their ears. The legend is that on certain nights, you can hear the hoodlums screaming and the old man laughing at them.
  • Waist Deep in the Big Muddy is about sinking in quicksand. Specifically, the singer's experience in 'Nam where the sergeant marched the squad into a swamp and was guzzled up by it, and the Captain ordered an immediate about-face. It turns into political commentary, likening the state of things to a "great fool saying 'Push on! push on!"' while the squad (country) is neck-deep in stupid.

  • In the Cool Kids Table game Creepy Town, Spencer's fear is drowning, and the monster ends up pulling him into the floor like it was water.

  • How Green Was My Cactus: While attempting the lead the Liberal Party out of the political wilderness, Andrew Peewit gets the entire party trapped in quicksand. The sketch ends with Little Johnny sitting down to wait to be rescued, and vanishing completely under the surface.

  • A number of students in Survival Of The Fittest Mini met their fate in tar pits that form a part of several arenas. First appearing in SOTF-TV, where a single student was drowned in tar, they later returned in Second Chances and ultimately claimed the bodies of a sizable portion of the cast.
  • In Survival of the Fittest, Melina Frost gets stuck in the sand long enough to be stabbed, and Beth Vanallen gets pulled in head first and drowned.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Call of Cthulhu supplement Fragments of Fear, adventure "Valley of the Four Shrines". While traveling through the jungle the PCs can fall into quicksand. If they do, they will be sucked under and start to drown in about 1 minute unless they either (a) realize they can use their Swim skill to stay afloat or (b) pull themselves out or are pulled out by their fellow PCs.
  • Carcosa: Weird Science-Fantasy Horror Setting. Hex 1613 has quicksand that can trap travelers. If the victim is unlucky they will be pulled under the surface and die of suffocation.
    • Nomads of the Nine Nations. The Deadmar Bog near the town of Batai has deadly quicksand..
  • DC Heroes adventure When a Stranger Calls. While traveling through a Central American rain forest, a hero can fall into a pit of quicksand. When the hero sinks beneath the surface of the pit, they will drown.
  • In Death March, a Weird Historical War World War 1 game, the half-awake stirrings of an Eldritch Abomination have awakened the dead and granted a malevolent half-life to any hazard that caused enough misery to the soldiers fighting in the Somme, including the ever-present sucking mud of the place, which of course has become pools of quicksand. There's even rules for what kind of mud it is, ranging from regular mud to blood-soaked earth to a buried latrine pit. Your character can even have "drowning in mud" as their Phobia.
  • The Dragon Tree Spell Book. The fourth level spell Bog causes any horizontal surface to act like quicksand. Anyone who walks on it starts to sink into it and can't save themselves.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Supplement I13 Adventure Pack I, adventure "The Weird Woods of Baron Orchid". Several patches of quicksand occur near a lake.
    • Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits. One of the rooms in Lolth's spider ship has a quicksand floor to trap unwary PCs.
    • OA6 Ronin Challenge. Quicksand can be encountered in the Kutuk Valley. Anyone falling in sinks at a rate of 2 feet per minute.
    • OA7 Test of the Samurai has several patches of quicksand in the other-dimensional plane of Qui.
    • AC3 The Revenge of Rusak. One type of trap in Rusak's lair is areas of quicksand. A character who falls in can sink at a rate of two feet per minute and thus be pulled under the surface in three minutes.
    • World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting boxed set (1983) "Glossography" booklet. One of the many terrain dangers in Greyhawk is quicksand. Anyone who falls in cannot swim their way to safety: if they attempt to do so they will sink under the surface at a rate of two feet per minute and drown three minutes after their head goes under.
    • Mayfair Games' Role Aids supplement Dark Folk. Quicksand is one of the many dangers of the Jovian Swamp. The PCs will encounter a Will-o'-Wisp monster that will try to lure them into some quicksand.
    • The 1st Edition ''Wilderness Survival Guide" has rules for quicksand. A character who falls in can tread water for a while but will eventually sink below the surface and start to drown.
    • Dungeon magazine
      • Issue #5 adventure "The Rotting Willow". One of the dangers of the swamp near the village of Rotting Willow is quicksand pools. If a Player Character falls into one and is either wearing armor heavier than leather OR thrashes around, they will sink under the surface in one minute and drown one minute later unless they're pulled out.
      • Issue #25 adventure "Hrothgar's Resting Place". If the PCs decide to travel through the moors they are at risk of falling into quicksand. If they do, they will sink to their deaths in two minutes unless rescued; they can't save themselves by normal means.
      • Issue #33 adventure "That Island Charm". The PCs may fall into a 20 foot deep pit of quicksand. Anyone who does so and can't free themselves somehow will sink into it and suffocate.
      • Issue #38 adventure "Things That Go Bump in the Night". The PCs find two firbolg giants, one of which is trapped in a pit of quicksand. The trapped giant will sink under the surface in six minutes and suffocate four minutes later if not rescued by the PCs.
      • Issue #41 adventure "Old Man Katan and the Mushroom Band". One of the hazards of the Glitchegumee Swamp is quicksand. Anyone who falls in must make a Wisdom check or sink below the surface and drown within five minutes. If the person is moderately (or more) encumbered, they will sink under in three minutes.
      • Issue #53 adventure "Steelheart". One random encounter in the realm of Vaasa is quicksand. If someone falls into the quicksand and isn't rescued, they will be sucked under the surface in a couple of minutes and drown.
      • Issue #72 adventure "Mistress on the Mere". While in the swamp known as the Mere of Dead Men, Player Characters can encounter pools of quicksand. If they fall into one, they can make a Dexterity check. If they succeed, they sink at a rate of 6 inches per minute: if they fail, at 1 foot per minute.
    • White Dwarf magazine
      • Issue #36 article "The Druid's Grove". In the Grove, any creature caught in quicksand will be sucked under at a rate of 1 foot of the victim's height every six seconds.
      • Issue #55 adventure "Spiderbite". One possible random encounter is quicksand. Anyone who falls in will sink deeper at a rate of two feet per minute unless they are thrown a rope.
    • Imagine magazine
      • Issue #17 adventure "Tir Nan Og". The title island has two beaches, one of which has pools of dangerous quicksand. Anyone who falls into one of the pools will sink under the surface in 1-4 minutes and drown 2-8 minutes later. It is impossible to escape the quicksand without help.
      • Issue #26 adventure "The Great Paladin Hunt". In order to escape a tribe of gnolls, several paladins must cross a swamp. One of the hazards of the swamp is quicksand, which will drag the victim under the surface in a few minutes. The victim has no chance to escape without outside help.
  • Judges Guild adventure Tegel Manor (1989). One trap found in the manor is quicksand. Anyone who falls into it sinks at a rate of six inches per round (1 minute).
  • Midkemia Press' Heart Of The Sunken Lands. One of the hazards of the Sunken Lands is quicksand. Any party encountering it will have 1-4 people fall into it. They will sink under the surface in 1-8 minutes (1-6 minutes if wearing armor or carrying a pack) unless pulled out by someone else.
  • Marvel Super Heroes supplement Uncanny X-Men boxed set "Adventure Book". In chapter 5 "Nightmare in New Guinea" the PCs can accidentally fall into pools of quicksand while trying to rescue a woman. If they do, they will sink at a rate of one foot per minute.
  • Rolemaster Shadow World setting
    • Demons of the Burning Night. The PCs can run into this deadly threat in the Elder Swamp near the city of Tarek Nev.
  • Several Classic Traveller adventures and one supplement have this as a possible encounter on alien planets.
    • Adventure 3 Twilight's Peak has quicksand as a possible encounter in wetlands on the planet Fulacin. If PCs get into it, they will be trapped and sucked down with no chance to save themselves.
    • In Double Adventure 4 Marooned/Marooned Alone, PCs can encounter dangerous quicksand in the jungles of the planet Pagliacci. If trapped, they'll be sucked under in 4-9 minutes.
    • Supplement 2 Animal Encounters. PCs can randomly encounter quicksand in swamp terrain on two types of planets: small worlds with thin atmospheres and medium sized worlds with standard atmospheres. Both types can pull an adventurer under the surface to drown.
    • Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society #2 article "The Bestiary". On the planet Victoria, one possible encounter in chasm floor jungle terrain is quicksand that will pull anyone trapped in it under its surface in a couple of minutes unless they are rescued.
  • Some older editions of Warhammer had random terrain features that included dangerous Khemrian quicksand regions. As a general rule, if you failed your armour save, you got to live, because you obviously weren't wearing enough to drag you down. Funnily enough, you could get an armour save penalty from having your equipment turned into lead by the Lore of Metal, leading to the odd situation of lead armour being easier to swim in than its steel equivalent.

    Video Games 
  • A staple of Adventure Island series are desert levels where Master Higgins can sink into quicksand patches and lose a life. Then again, Higgins is a real fidget who can't stand still without stomping with his legs. Adventure Island III introduces a rideable triceratops who can stand on quicksand without sinking. In Adventure Island IV, quicksand is no longer lethal; sinking in it at worst drops Higgins into a hallway leading back to the start of a patch.
  • In the Armello quest "Sinking Caravan", a merchant is late and he was last seen entering a swamp. When you get there, his wagon is stuck in a quicksand and you have the choice to either try to get it unstuck (body test) or to tell him to leave it.
  • B3313:
    • The game takes the quicksand physics from Super Mario 64 and uses them at unexpected points to fit with the overall surreal vibe of the game:
    • The pit in front of the Delicious Cake room has a blood splatter that acts as insta-killing quicksand. The cake itself turns out to be a sinking lie once you figure out how to climb it.
    • The dark room with spotlights will sink Mario if he steps outside the highlighted spots.
  • In Banjo-Tooie, there is quicksand in Mayahem Temple and Terrydactyland, but it doesn't pull you down, the Dragundas living in it do, then spit you back onto solid ground. The wading boots are used to cross the quicksand. The Dragundas are also in Grunty Industries' toxic waste and polluted water.
  • Clonk: One of the Trick Arrow types added by the fans turns the ground where it hits into sinking quicksand.
  • Castle of Illusion: The Toy Time stage features jelly that can suck Mickey in, though there are some sections where he actually needs to pass all the way through the jellied floors to progress.
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow has the Dead Bog stage, which will promptly pull Gabriel down if he fails to get out of there within an alloted amount of time.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day: Traditional quicksand isn't present in the game, because sand as a whole is very rarely present in the game; however, the creek of poo in the Great Mighty Poo's lair has a similar effect: if Conker falls in, he sinks and drowns. The whole creek does allow the aforementioned boss to move around the place easily, allowing him to attack Conker from different positions.
  • The Curse of Monkey Island: One puzzle on Plunder Island has Guybrush escaping the belly of a snake, only to get stuck in a pool of quicksand that sucks most of the cool stuff he found in the snake's stomach (i.e. everything he doesn't need to solve further puzzles) out of his pants ("Now there's an odd sensation"). Fortunately, Guybrush only gets sucked in up to his waist, but he still needs to find a way to grab onto a nearby conveniently-placed vine in order to get out and progress.
  • Day Dreamin' Davey: There are floors in Hades' Underworld lair (Ancient Greece) and the Medieval Swamp (Medieval Times) that can make you sink down like quicksand and swallow you up if you stay on the floor for too long.
  • Death In The Caribbean: One screen is a patch of quicksand within a foggy swamp, which you'll sink into and die if you don't have a length of rope to throw around a tree to help pull yourself back to safety. A hat on said screen implies that an explorer who came before you fell victim to it.
  • In Donkey Kong 64, there's quicksand in Angry Aztec that will damage you steadily the longer you stay in it and also slow you down, but you don't sink in it.
  • Environmental Station Alpha: There are sections of sand that sink the player in, often revealing rooms underneath.
  • Fight Knight: In the sand area, all the upper floor "out of bounds" sand tiles cause you to sink to the lower floor, but the rest of the sand only sinks when you step on specific tiles within two tiles away from the stone faces, which immediately Turn Red and cause you to sink. Being constantly aware of where you can step and where you can't is a vital part of solving what is effectively one big navigation puzzle, and later you need to figure out which tiles to step on to deliberately sink yourself to reach certain blocked-off lower floor areas you can't reach otherwise.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VII. It doesn't pose a direct hazard to your player characters, but Corel Prison is described as "a natural prison in the middle of the desert... surrounded entirely by quicksand."
    • Final Fantasy IX has sand whirlpools on the path leading up to Cleyra. If you end up in one, you whirl towards the centre, sinking in. Mashing X repeatedly allows you to jump out, failing to do so will land you in a fight with a sand scorpion. The scorpions are presumably causing the whirlpools in order to trap prey.
  • Kirby series:
    • Kirby Mass Attack: Quicksand appears most frequently in Sandy Canyon, the second world. Kirby will slowly sink when standing on it, and he'll swim in it when commanded to.
    • Kirby's Epic Yarn: Pyramid Sands features a lot of quicksand. The yarn graphics give it a unique approach: the sand is in fact horizontal strands of yellow and orange yarn, and each strand is pulled away rythmically, leaving Kirby fall onto the strand below the previous one, effectively pulling Kirby lower and lower.
  • There are quicksand pools in the desert area, but they simply mire down the player and make it difficult for them to get out. They won't actually kill them on their own, but being a sitting duck for the other players is often dangerous enough regardless.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening: You fight a Lanmola in a pit of quicksand. You only get sucked downward (to a cave you must traverse to get back to the surface) if you get put in the center of the pit; the rest of the quicksand simply pulls you toward that center.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: The Haunted Wasteland has a river of no-escape quicksand that you cross by either using the Longshot or the Hover Boots. Once across, you are still in danger of sinking if you stray off the path.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: The Arbiter's Grounds has quicksand, including the instant-death type, as a frequent and dangerous obstacle. While some areas can be crossed while sinking slowly, wearing the metal boots is instant death.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass: Zigzagged. There's only regular sand in both the desert-themed Isle of Gust and its dungeon the sandy Temple of Wind (the actual threat is the wind currents and geysers, sand is harmless otherwise); but in the Goron Temple, all sand can suck anyone within and is deadly for Link (luckily, his Bombchus can navigate through them just fine).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks: The Sand Realm has quicksand pits in the Sand Temple and parts of the nearby Tower of Spirits. The Sand Wand can create sand bridges by solidifying part of the quicksand's terrain so Link (as well as Phantom Zelda in the Tower of Spirits) can walk over them safely.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Link can keep from getting sucked into the quicksand of Lanayru Desert if he sprints across it. Also, the Timeshift Stones can change it back into the solid, grass-covered ground it once was Before the Dark Times.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds: There are quicksand pits in the final room of the Desert Palace and the battlefield of Zaganaga in Lorule's Misery Mire. The Sand Wand makes a return since its debut in Spirit Tracks (now under the name of Sand Rod) to allow Link to cross over them safely with the created solid sand tiles.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: There are bottomless bogs, patches of sucking mud encountered throughout Hyrule. Link will sink steadily the moment he enters them; he can cross them safely if he hurries, but staying in one for more than a few seconds will see him sucked down below the surface. Notably, objects that normally float when dropped in water, such as wooden weapons and monsters parts, will also sink instantly in this substance; however, amphibious enemies such as lizalfos and water octoroks can swim and float in it just fine.
  • The Lost Vikings: In the Egypt levels, you have to get across by having coconuts drop into the quicksand and landing on the coconuts.
  • Lucy Got Problems: Lucy wanders into a mangrove swamp and ends up sinking in it, largely to titilate the sinking fetish. It uses the "Why am I getting shorter?" version as well. She manages to use the mangrove trees roots to pull herself out too.
  • Max Blaster and Doris de Lightning Against the Parrot Creatures of Venus: At one point, Max ends up in a quicksand pit, and you need to figure out how to get him out of it.
  • Mega Man:
    • Mega Man 4 and Mega Man 10: Pharaoh Man's and Commando Man's levels have Mega Man rushing through quicksand pits. Although he can move and shoot normally in them, even completely buried, he needs to jump to exit it, and if he's dragged to the bottom of the screen, he dies as if he had fallen in a bottomless pit.
    • Mega Man X: Command Mission: One character falls into a quicksand trap, which pulls him and his two friends down into it. Which wouldn't make sense in the first place, but made even worse by the fact that all three are super-strong reploids that could have easily pulled themselves out (especially since one was still on firm ground). They even treat it like it's deadly, despite the fact they don't even need to breathe and would, at worst, just be stuck.
    • Mega Man: Revenge of the Fallen: Zig-zagged. In Pharaoh Man's stage, when you reach the bottom of the screen in quicksand, you'll usually die instantly. However there are two instances where sinking in quicksand can be beneficial, even opening up a new alternate route!
  • Metal Gear:
    • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty: There is a pool of quicksand whose dangers are carefully described by Vamp. Seconds later, the boss starts swimming through it with ease (it's justified in-universe because he has superpowers). This has been implicated in the loss of ships at sea, because of a subsidence or other event on the seabed which causes a dramatic release of gas.
    • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater features bottomless swamps full of muck early in the game that behave like quicksand. Once you go under, you suffocate and die. It makes for a great way to dispose of enemy bodies, though.
  • Minecraft has patches of powder snow found in mountainous areas. Any player (and other non-adapted mobs) who doesn't tell powder snow apart from normal blocks of snow or snow-covered dirt risks sinking into it, and while one cannot suffocate in it, one can quickly get frostbite injuries. Getting out of it is made harder by powder snow reducing the players' jump height to less than a full block, but players can easily "mine" that snow to get rid of it. Or put on leather shoes and walk on powder snow like on any other blocks.
  • Mutant Football League: University of Chimera Stadium, the arid desert home field of the Cardinal Sins, has pools of quicksand as field hazards, the local spin on a concept present in most arenas: pits that take you out of the game with an injury for a short while if you fail to avoid them.
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps: The Silent Woods have pools of a tar-like muck that instantly sucks down and kills Ori if they so much as touch it.
  • Phantasy Star IV: Motavia features quicksand areas that block your party from progressing until a certain point in the plot.
  • Pokémon: The seventh generation of the games, starting with Pokémon Sun and Moon, adds the sand castle-like Pokémon Palossand, who absorbs the life of the prey it catches. In one illustration, it is seen swallowing a Pikachu in a very similar way to a quicksand.
  • Prince of Persia 2: An early puzzle requires you to jump between a set of stone platforms in a displayed but randomly-selected order. Quicksand comes in because the platforms are suspended in it, and if you miss a jump, or jump onto a platform not in the sequence, you're sucked in.
  • Ragnarok (Roguelike): Quicksand is especially dangerous, as it's impossible to free yourself without a grappling hook, or by using magical means. Otherwise, you'll eventually get pulled downwards and drown.
  • Ratchet & Clank has the planet Aridia, a desert planet with massive LAKES of quicksand. You can hop out, but only three times before you sink, for whatever reason.
  • Realm of the Mad God: Quicksand appears all over in the Tomb of the Ancients. It doesn't kill directly, but the slowing effect can be very dangerous regardless.
  • Robinson's Requiem: The moment you walk onto patches of dark wavy sand, you'll freeze in place and sink into it [while Trepliev1 sobs] like there's a black hole under it. There's absolutely no escape.
  • In Runaway 2: The Dream of the Turtle, the main character Brian encounters a quicksand pit, and when he sees the goggles of his pilot Otto in the pit, he worries that Otto was lost in it.
  • Secret of Evermore has patches of quicksand fade in and out of existence in one of the areas. Stumbling into one sends you back to the start of the area.
  • Shade: Wrath of Angels: The Shadowland swamp have quicksands, which will start swallowing you if you remain idle on the spot for too long. You can escape by jumping however.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006): Wherever sand appears, expect it to be quicksand. If you fall in, you fall straight through like there's nothing there. It's essentially another Bottomless Pit in disguise, much like water in the same game.
    • Sonic 3 & Knuckles: In Sandopolis Zone (and the 2-player mode Desert Palace level), quicksand will slowly pull the character under but it can be escaped by jumping properly. Marble Garden Zone also features surfaces that act the same way, but look like black water.
    • Sonic Adventure 2: In Tails' Hidden Base and Eggman's Sand Ocean levels, quicksand is usually no problem, but since they're piloting walking mechs, it functions like a Bottomless Pit, meaning they lose a life if they fall in. In Sonic's boss fight with the Egg Golem, he can easily jump out of the sand if the player spams the jump button. Interestingly, in Hidden Base, there's a specific shifting platform that raises and lowers just enough for the player to start sinking in quicksand only to seemingly be pushed back out to safety. However, Tails will still die in mid-air as the programmers likely never expected a player to escape the quicksand in a mech stage.
  • Spyro: A Hero's Tail has Crocovile Swamp and Coastal Remains, both of which have quicksand that will instantly cause Spyro to sink and die if he touches it.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros. 2: Quicksand is frequent in desert levels, and come into two types; the first takes about 7-10 seconds to completely suck you in and is quite easy to jump out of, the second (sand waterfalls) takes half as long as the first and renders attempting to jump out a hopeless endeavor, though fortunately the first type is typically near it. There's even a shortcut late in 6-3 that involves going in almost to your cranium.
    • Super Mario Bros. 3 features quicksand with green Piranha Plants underneath, with these enemies popping out only when they're going to shoot fireballs at Mario or Luigi. A secret area beneath a pool of quicksand can be accessed in 8-2.
    • Super Mario 64 has quicksand in the Shifting Sand Land level with three intensities. First, there is light quicksand where you slowly and steadily sink in; you can eventually free yourself by jumping. (This quicksand was used for the most realistic pit, just outside the pyramid, where you go in only halfway, and also for a deadlier pit inside the pyramid, a quicksand bin above the pit, a thorn patch in Tall Tall Mountain, and the domain of the giant Venus Fire Traps in Tiny-Huge Island, the latter two being so shallow that all they do is impede your jumping.) Second one is a middle type that sucks Mario in quickly but not instantly; it's the most common type. Last is dark quicksand that instantly sucks you in, thus counting as a bottomless pit.
    • In New Super Mario Bros. and its sequels, quicksand returns and again appears in desert levels, with some of them leading to secret areas instead of bottomless pits.
    • Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 has sands behave in different ways due to the game's bending gravity mechanic, though classic quicksand (which instantly sinks Mario to his death) is still present — it can be distinguised by having a darker orange color.
    • Super Mario 3D World: The presence of quicksand is very limited, being only present in the level Conkdor Canyon. The rate at which it sinks the characters is low enough for them to not only force their way out, but also reach an upper area by "swimming" across a waterfall made of falling sand.
    • Super Mario Odyssey: A single pool of quicksand appears in Tostarena Ruins within Sand Kingdom. The nearby sinkhole isn't lethal; in fact, entering it is necessary to get a Power Moon.
    • Mario Kart: Some of the desert tracks in the series have quicksand in them, namely Yoshi Desert in Super Circuit, Dry Dry Desert in Double Dash!!, and Bone-Dry Ruins in 8. Funnily enough, in the former two tracks the unlucky drivers don't end up completely sinking, as they're instead eaten by a large Piranha Plant lurking beneath.
    • Mario Party: Quicksand is a rare feature in the series, despite the abundance of desert-based minigames, but it still exists:
      • Mario Party 2: The minigame Quicksand Cache revolves around three characters grabbing coins in a large bowl where sand is converging downward to the center (where the fourth player, wearing the Bowser Suit, awaits while manipulating the quicksand's motion at will to grab the remaining coins).
      • In the boards Spiny Desert (Mario Party 3) and Pyramid Park (Mario Party 7), there are two quicksand pits connected from the underground and surrounded by Event Spaces. If a player lands into one of those spaces, the quicksand pit will transport them to the other (and, in 7, vice versa to anyone located in the opposite pit).
    • Paper Mario:
      • Super Paper Mario has some quicksand in Yold Desert and Yold Ruins. They fill the pits in these areas and if Mario (or other protagonists) sinks through it, he will lose 1 HP.
      • In Paper Mario: Sticker Star and Paper Mario: Color Splash, quicksand appears in Drybake Desert and Mustard Cafe respectively, both desert-themed areas. Besides serving as environmental hazards that will instantly KO Mario if he sinks under it, they also appear in battles, causing Mario, as well as most grounded enemies beside Pokeys to sink when standing on it. In battles involving quicksand, if Mario spends too much time choosing stickers or cards, he will drown in quicksand and lose all HP and receive a Game Over.
  • Super Metroid: The many quicksand pools present no danger at all, because Samus wears a sealed space suit and can't drown (it will not, however, prevent damage from spikes that may happen to be placed at the bottom of a pit of quicksand). If you don't feel like jumping out, you can sink all the way in and walk around on the bottom. In a few places this allows access to new areas. These quicksand pools are found exclusively in the aquatic area, Maridia, meaning that these quicksand pools are all underwater.
  • Super Spy Hunter: The second level features an open desert section with flowing quicksand pits scattered about. They damage you if you touch the center of them.
  • Sweet Home (1989): Several sand traps are found in the dungeons below the mansion. Anyone who falls in can be rescued with a rope, but pulling off a successful rescue takes timing. Naturally, the Infinity +1 Sword is found at the bottom of one of these pits.
  • Sydney Hunter and the Sacred Tribe has quite a few patches of quicksand around that will slowly pull Sydney down should he step on them. Sydney can repeatedly jump to get out of them.
  • ToeJam & Earl: Quicksand makes the protagonists start sinking and move slower. The sand also resembles a desert, complete with cacti.
  • Tomb Raider III has quicksand in several levels. Depending on where you stand, Lara will either sink only up to her waist or be submerged completely, but can still wade through the stuff in either case. If Lara is fully under, she'll quickly start to drown and then die unless you are fast enough to get her to higher ground. One level in particular has you jumping from safe spot to safe spot in a massive pool of quicksand since said safe spots are solid enough to stand on and one misstep will have you killed unless you are fast enough to climb up to the safe spot.
  • Toontown Online also features highly dangerous areas of quicksand.
  • Turok 2: The Death Marshes have insta-death quicksand.
  • Wacky Races (1991): In the Licensed Game for the NES, quicksand is present throughout the Desert world. The battle against Sergeant Blast and Private Meekly in the Army Surplus Special at the end of the world takes place entirely over a stretch of quicksand. Strangely, while Muttley is able to sink in the quicksand, the Army Surplus Special can't.
  • Weird Dreams: There's a quicksand pit in front of the statue that will take you back to the Hall of Mirrors.

    Web Animation 
  • In Dora No More, Dora sinks in quicksand quickly due to being pushed in by Boots.
  • FreedomToons: Seamus criticizes the way government measures unemployment (anyone who has given up on looking for work is not considered "unemployed") by depicting a census taker observing several people drowning in quicksand, then declaring the problem solved when their head goes under.
  • Ninjai: The Little Ninja has the Big Bad leave people to sink in a "swamp" which, despite being explicitly referred to as quicksand, seems to be a very sticky, viscous fluid.

    Web Original 
  • Creepypasta:
    • Bog of Whispers is about a Genius Loci evil swamp that shares visions of all the final moments of the creatures that died there, including, you guessed it, some poor deer sinking to its death. The protagonist also gets mired in an area of deep mud with grass growing in it.
    • In In the Bayou, we hear a ghost, who manifests as a decaying body in a tree, shrieking in terror. The sole survivor of a witch's curse states that the woman whose ghost it is drowned trying to climb the tree she appears in.

    Web Videos 
  • Several websites specialize in fetish videos involving women either stumbling or being forced into quicksand or mud and struggling (and failing) to get out, or sensually playing in and letting themselves sink into the murk. Since a lot of the "quicksand pits" are artificial mudholes a fair bit of disbelief suspension is required, though natural muddy areas and silty riverbanks are used a bit as well (the models still have to force themselves deeper to give the illusion of being sucked down).
  • Roy and Valerie get stuck in a pit of quicksand while traveling across the Second Dimension in Journey of the Cartoon Man.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: In the episode "Sheen's Brain", Sheen traps Jimmy and Carl in quicksand. Jimmy's entire lower half sinks within seconds, but Carl's high body fat causes him to sink less quickly, giving him time to shrink a light post for him and Jimmy to grab on to and escape.
  • Mozenrath's Black Sand in Disney's Aladdin: The Series. The heroes didn't even have to step in it, it reached out to suck them in, an act that was, in one episode, disturbingly referred to as eating. Of course, it's not normal quicksand, since A Wizard Did It.
  • Catwoman leaves Batman and Robin in a quicksand Death Trap in the Filmation series episode "The Nine Lives of Batman".
  • Darkwing Duck:
    • In the episode "Can't Bayou Love", Jambalaya Jake lures Darkwing into wet cement mixed with actual quicksand as a trap. Darkwing escapes by firing a rocket from his gun to push himself out and into the air.
    • In "Water Way To Go", Darkwing and Launchpad think they've fallen into quicksand. Instead, it turns out to be a hidden entrance to Steelbeak's lair.
  • Duke falls into a pit of quicksand while escaping from Cobra in an episode of G.I. Joe and goes in over his head in a matter of seconds. Fortunately, this convinces his pursuers that he's a goner, allowing him to grab a nearby vine and pull himself free after they leave.
  • Jellystone!: Parodied on "Gorilla in Our Midst". While crossing over Grape Ape's body, Doggie Daddy gets trapped in "quickhair", which is "like quicksand, but hair."
  • Heloise throws a bunch of pandas into a quicksand pit on an episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes. They only approve of the mudbath.
  • Played for laughs in the Johnny Bravo episode "Buffoon Lagoon"; Johnny is sent to search for food in the jungles on an island and he stumbles into quicksand, thinking it's pudding. Even as he's sinking, it still doesn't click with him that it's quicksand.
    Johnny: *sinking* Needs more butterscotch.
  • Kaeloo: One episode has Kaeloo, Stumpy, Quack Quack and Pretty try to find the ancient tomb of a pharaoh hidden in a desert. On their journey, Stumpy falls into a pit of quicksand and starts sinking. This being a show like Kaeloo, nobody cares. At least until he reminds them that he has their bag of supplies with him.
  • Kissyfur: In "The Birds And The Bears", gators Floyd and Jolene cross the line when they steal Gus's paddlecab and lure the poor papa bear into quicksand to drown and die while they use the paddlecab to catch some of the cubs for dinner. Fortunately, fate deals him a winning hand when Kissyfur, Beehonie, Toot, and Miss Emmy Lou manage to free him from the quicksand, giving him the chance to once again put the gators in their place and rescue the cubs and retrieve the stolen paddle cab.
  • The Little Mermaid (1992) has underwater quicksand, known in-universe as slowsand. During an episode, Ariel and a merman fall onto it and slowly begin to be absorbed, until Flounder grabs a reef branch to help them escape it (the merman is too heavy, so Ariel grabs his tail (and Flounder grabs hers) to finally rescue him.
  • In season two of Max Steel, Max and Berto walk in to quicksand and start sinking, having to use a vine to pull themselves out. In season three, Berto and Kat walk in to quicksand; however, Berto says that the human body is lighter and they manage to swim out of it.
  • In the first episode of Rainbow Brite the villain disguises quick sand as water. Rainbow is suspicious of it however Starlite is covered in dirt and attempts to clean himself. He gets stuck in the quicksand, as does Rainbow Brite, and if it wasn't for Brian they would have died.
  • A Robot Chicken sketch has a giraffe step into quicksand and, because its tall body takes so long to go down, goes through the five stages of grief as it sinks. The giraffe's life is saved when its feet hit bottom, although it's still stuck.
  • In an episode of Rugrats (1991), the babies didn't know the proper term for it, but Chuckie described it as "some kind of sand that I'm sinking into really quick".
  • In She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (2018) the Crimson Waste are filled with quicksand pits. Right after being warned about how dangerous the place is, Glimmer walks right into one of these. Adora dives right in to save her, forgetting about Glimmer's Flashy Teleportation power, who has no problem getting out herself. Only to port back to get Adora back.
  • Averted in the Skatoony episode "Hoo Loves You Baby". When Chudd, Earl, and the Quizblock end up in a pool of quicksand, not only do they sink slowly enough that they can complete a full round of quizzing while doing it, but it's shallow enough that their heads never go above water. It turns out they were in the shallow end of a quicksand swimming pool.
  • In The Smurfs (1981) episode "Handy's Sweetheart", the mean Custodian of the pools of Avalon makes the waters turn into quicksand to trap the three Smurfs who were trying to take his lilyroot without paying him gold in return.
  • There were at least two occasions on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! where the good guys found themselves getting stuck in quicksand. In a strange mistake in relation to the games, they apparently forgot they had the ability to hop out of the quicksand and needed to be rescued.
  • Taz-Mania: In "A Devil of a Job", Bushwhacker Bob and Mr. Thickley are looking for a Tasmanian Devil to use as an attraction for their hotel. At one point in their search, they wander into a pit of quicksand, and Bob is quick to blame Thickley for leading them there. Thickley has to remind Bob not to move, as the more he moves, the faster he'll sink. Eventually, the both of them sink completely, but are rescued by a van driven by Bugs Bunny. Daffy Duck is his passenger, and tells him "I told you it was a left turn at Albuquerque!"
  • Total Drama:
    • As if Boney Island isn't dangerous enough as it is, Chris sets up quicksand pits in "Up the Creek". Trent walks ahead of the other Screaming Gophers and steps into one. Lindsay tries to save him, but only ends up stuck and sinking too. Cody sees an opportunity to be a hero and swings with a vine above the pit with the intent to grab Trent's hand, but he misses and slams into a tree. The vine, however, swings back and Trent and Lindsay grab it to pull themselves out. They still give Cody full credit for their survival.
    • While they have their eyes and thoughts focused on tracking down Ezekiel in "African Lying Safari", Duncan and Alejandro fail to realize timely that they've come to a standstill in quicksand. Duncan is taken aback because he expected to meet death in the mud or the gutter, but not in quicksand. Alejandro, being a little closer to the edge, gets his hands on a stick and just as fortunately, Ezekiel drops by. With a little prompting, Alejandro gets Ezekiel to bite the stick and drag the two of them out. Later that day, Duncan gets eliminated and booted off the plane. He lands in another pit of quicksand, right next to a lion that proceeds to maul him.
  • The Transformers: In the episode "Countdown to Extinction", Megatron lures the Autobots into quicksand, expecting them to at least be stuck forever, and also expecting them to be completely submerged by it.
    Megatron: "I know you Autobots know how to tread water, but it's not quite the same in sand."
  • Wander over Yonder: In "The Epic Quest of Unfathomable Difficulty", quicksand is one of many obstacles they must face on the quest and if that weren't bad enough, this quicksand inflicts Laser-Guided Amnesia!
    Sylvia: (up to her waist in quicksand with Wander] "What were we doing again?"
    (Both look down at the sand)
    Sylvia: "Oh Yeah."

    Real Life 
  • Water with a great deal of gas bubbling through it behaves suitably, in that a human would sink like a rock in it, and subsequently drown. This isn't encountered very often, however. An example in real life which has taken many lives is Niagara Falls. The massive amount of falling water has the same effect as the aerated water of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and has resulted in many people drowning.
  • The effects of The Princess Bride's "lightning sand" can be mimicked by forcing a burst of air through sand (a phenomenon that happens daily in the Fire Swamps, of course). An object placed on top sinks instantly to the bottom. Fortunately the events required to create this dry quicksand are highly unlikely to occur in nature.
  • Large heaps of loose sand can stop a vehicle. In the rare situations this is life or death (when a stranded car in the desert means a stranded driver for instance) and it can be fatal. And in any case, it probably isn't something you wish to explain to your insurance agent.

    Sometimes, getting stuck in the sand is the desired effect. Some steep roads have sand or piles of other things to give truckers a chance to stop relatively safely in case their brakes fail. Some airports seem to have something similar at the end of the runway in case the plane doesn't stop for some reason. Locomotives and trams may carry sand for traction help.

    That's why gravel traps are so common at racing circuits. No matter if a car that goes screaming off the tarmac is doing it forwards, backwards or sideways, loose sand and gravel stop it up since the vehicle digs into the gravel, pulling itself in and creating resistance. However, since this also tends to ruin the underbody and wheels of a car, another option that's become popular in recent years is to create a large tarmac runoff area so a driver can recover from a loss of control or error in judgment and quickly rejoin the race. On cars with slicks, especially light ones such as Formula One cars, they're so grippy that gravel traps actually cause more slippage in comparison.
  • Non-Newtonian fluids are so viscous that if a great deal of force is applied to them, they behave like solids or liquids, but if the same force is applied slower and gentler (shear thickening) or faster and more abrupt (shear thinning) the opposite is true. It can be very difficult to get something out from being trapped in a pool of a non-Newtonian fluid. These same properties also explain such phenomena as being able to walk on the surface of a pool filled with custard, hitting the ketchup bottle to be able to pour out what's inside and being able to hit corn starch with a hammer.
  • This video shows off most of the mechanics behind quicksand and other shear thinning non-Newtonian fluids in action, courtesy of a silt mudflat on the banks of a river. While at first, it's possible to walk on and even jump around on the surface of the mudflat, once a stick is jammed into the ground (which takes some effort), the supersaturated silt and water mix takes on its shear thinning properties, and the ground around the demonstrator and the stick becomes increasingly 'spongy' and elastic, creating the weird imagery where it seems possible to jump off the surface of the quicksand as if it were a trampoline, though standing on it for too long results in the demonstrator's feet sinking into the ground slightly.
  • Soil liquefaction, a rare phenomenon associated with earthquakes, can cause water-saturated sandy ground to temporarily turn so slippery and unstable that it becomes too weak to support buildings' foundations. This can also lead to an interesting inverse in which objects underground may float upward, as seen in several earthquakes where manholes and pipes did just that, breaching pavements and roads damaged in the quake.
  • Mont Saint-Michel in France is a tidal island, and the ground exposed during low tide is known for its rampant patches of deep mud and quicksand. For this reason, tourists are advised to either stick to the causeway or travel with a qualified guide (who will know how to both avoid and escape quicksand), as the intensity and unpredictability of the tides creates the drowning hazard mentioned above.
  • Morecambe Bay is notorious for its quicksands and unpredictable tides, just imagine being trapped by quicksand as the tide rushes in to drown you! Many people have drowned in Morecambe Bay, from coaches pulled by horses in the 1700's to poor Chinese cocklers in the early 2000's. In fact, the area is so dangerous that there is a proper, appointed by the King, "Sand Pilot" to be used by travellers across Morecambe Bay to avoid quicksand and tidal drownings. The worst thing about the Morecambe Bay quicksands is that they move about depending on the tides beforehand, meaning that the Sand Pilot has to be a good reader of the sand conditions in front off them.
  • Grain bins are a common artificial source of quicksand-style danger, where one false move can get a worker pulled down in a matter of seconds and suffocated under all the grain.
  • Slurry pits are big drums filled with water, decaying plant matter, manure and just about any other organic material you can think of that is suitable for consumption and decomposition by bacteria into fertiliser for use on the fields. Here, the main risk to one’s life isn’t just drowning (though that certainly happens, as these pits have a very large capacity, and the material inside isn’t nearly as solid), but from inhaling poisonous hydrogen sulfide gas, which is produced in large amounts by the bacteria at work breaking down all the organic material in the pit. It's heavier than air, so it accumulates inside the drum, forming a layer of gas above the material inside. According to this document by the United Kingdom's Health and Safety Executive, A mere 0.0047 parts per million is enough for 50% of humans to be able to smell it. 10-20 parts per million is the lower threshold for eye irritation. At 150 to 250 parts per million, the victim's olfactory nerve is paralysed within a few breaths, preventing them from smelling it at all, while the victim's awareness of the danger they're in often fades by this point. Concentrations of 320 to 530 ppm are enough to cause dangerous fluid build up in the lungs. A concentration of 800ppm kills 50% of humans exposed to it for 5 minutes, and once concentrations of the gas hit 1000 ppm, it can knock someone out with just a single inhalation. If the toxic gas doesn’t kill you by causing respiratory collapse, you’ll fall unconscious through inhalation of the gas or your own fatigue, then drown in the pit’s contents, in a particularly gross way to go.
  • After signing the Magna Carta, King John of England (Robin Hood's enemy) tried to renege on the deal by raising an army to fight against the rebellious barons; his plan was foiled when the packhorse carrying the Royal treasury (i.e all his gold) and the Crown Jewels fell into quicksand while crossing The Wash (a large bay on the English east coast) and sank immediately; realising they would now not get paid, all his knights deserted. The next King, Henry III, had to be "crowned" with a plain gold ring, as the country could not afford to replace the Crown.
  • Sam Steele (a Mountie circa 1894) recounts several instances where he ended up in quicksand. Part of his survival training involved being taught to swim out. He also recounts two instances where a horse sank in a bog. The second time, it had learned that panicking only made the situation worse.


Video Example(s):


Cyber Quicksand

After getting run off the road by Hacker, Inez and Creech drive into a pool of "cyber quicksand" and begin to sink.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / QuicksandSucks

Media sources: