Talk:Dry quicksand

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WikiProject Soil (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
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Dry quicksand is a loose sand which yields easily to weight or pressure. Different from regular quicksand, dry quicksand does not cointain any water. Up to recently, it was believed that dry quicksand was a legend, and the reports of humans and complete caravans being lost in dry quicksand were considered fictional.
However, Detlef Lohse of Universiteit Twente in Enschede, Netherlands, experimentally prooved the almost non-existing load bearing capacity of dry quicksand. Lohse disturbed small sand grains with a size of about 10 µm in an air stream and let them sink to the ground. Only about 41% of the volume was occupied by sand, and 59% by air, whereas completely settled sand occupies about 55 to 60% of the volume. This reduced the weight bearing capability to almost nothing. A table tennis ball was placed carefully on the settled sand, but even though this ball is extremely light, it disappeared completely in the sand within less than a second. A small column of sand also jumped up in the air where the ball vanished, similar to a stone fropped in water. The final depth at which the ball came to rest depended on theweight of the ball.

You beat me by 5 minutes in creating this new article. I just wrote the above text but got in an edit conflict with your new article. Do you also read the german Spiegel? However, your article is better, anyway. Damn -- Chris 73 Talk 13:42, Dec 9, 2004 (UTC)


Hi Chris. Thanks for the feedback!

I'd appreciate your thoughts on the duplication between granular material (which was mine) and granular matter (which I didn't know existed). One day I'll get round to combining the pages and redirecting.


best wishes

Robinh 15:55, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I just thought that the mention of "Blazing Saddles" should be possibly mentioned within the list of films. The part where the two African American men were ordered to locate the possible quicksand spot where the train tracks were supposedly by. When the men were manually moving the cart down the track, and talking at the same time, they ended up finding it, unfortunately too late. They called for help, and when one of the white cowboys showed up, all he did was save the cart, not the "slaves". The good thing, though, the two guys got out ok, but ended up getting bitched at for "laying down on the job".

There is another, more sinister flavor of quicksand called dry quicksand which is potentially a lot more dangerous, though there are no confirmed natural occurrences of the phenomenon. Dry quicksand is created when grains of sand form a very loose structure which can barely hold it own weight, like a house of cards. In the lab, it is created by causing air to flow through the sand, but it can theoretically be caused by the gradual buildup of very fine sand after it has been blown into the air. If an object of sufficient weight is placed on the dry quicksand, it will immediately sink, and the delicate structure will rapidly collapse in on itself, burying the object in the process. When this happens, the energy released by the collapse causes a jet of sand particles to shoot high into the air. A deep, naturally occurring area of dry quicksand would be a formidable hazard, because it would cause anyone who stepped on it to sink and become buried very rapidly. No dry quicksand has ever been officially observed outside of the laboratory, but there are reports of travelers, vehicles, and even whole caravans suddenly vanishing into the sandy earth. These reports have always been viewed as mere folklore, but perhaps there is more to the stories than we realize. Science does not completely dismiss the possibility of naturally occurring dry quicksand; in fact, during the planning of the Apollo moon missions, scientists added large plates to the ends of the Lunar Module legs to help support the craft in case the astronauts found dry quicksand on the moon… but the precaution proved unnecessary, since no such soil was encountered. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 115.252.108.124 (talk) 18:23, 27 September 2010 (UTC)[]

Wow![edit]

I never new about dry quicksand! I think its scarrier than regular quicksand because everything sinks way quicker. Wouldn't want to get caught in that!

Dry Quicksand is very bad for you!!!!!!

References[edit]

Thanks to whomever post the reference of the latest indiana Jones film. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Longlivetheloud2 (talkcontribs) 05:12, 27 May 2008 (UTC)[]

Deleted the supposed reference in Dune. Sinks on Arrakis are not pits of quicksand; the term refers to lowland basins which are sheltered from storms, and therefore habitable. - Lurking User

Ball weight[edit]

If that table tennis ball really weights 133g, the sudden disappearance of it under the surface is much less surprising then it is made to appear (that's what a rather big apple weights). The Wikipedia article on table tennis mentions the mass of 2.7 grams for a standard ball. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Misiu mp (talkcontribs) 21:08, 18 April 2010 (UTC)[]

yes - it was a metal weight inside a tennis ball. – SJ + 19:44, 28 February 2015 (UTC)[]