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"Quicksand is a mix of sand, mud and water and depending on the viscosity it's not as dangerous as people sometimes think."
Indiana Jones[src]

Mutt, Jones and Marion at a dry sandpit.

Quicksand is a form of sand that yields to weight or pressure, thus causing someone stepping on it to sink. Quicksand exists in two different forms:

  • Normal quicksand is a mixture of sand and water. When the water cannot escape, a sudden change in pressure causes the sand to form a suspension and lose strength.
  • A dry sandpit is a pit filled with loose sand through which air is blown so that the sand has a reduced bulk density. It contains no water and therefore is also called dry quicksand.

Adventures with quicksand[]

Normal quicksand[]

At one point during his career, the American archaeologist Indiana Jones found himself trapped in quicksand during a dig in Sudan. However, Indy used his bullwhip to get out of the quicksand and survive.[1]

In 1936, Jones and his English companion Karen Mays got trapped into quicksand on their foggy way to Stonehenge, United Kingdom while escaping from the Gestapo captain Emil Loeb. Indy used his bullwhip to escape just like he did in Sudan, but Loep cornered them and demanded the pair to surrender the Crystal Cylinder of Stonehenge under the threat of being shot. Jones accepted despite not expecting Loeb to keep his word, though Loeb surprisingly did, but not before cutting off the whip and leaving the pair to die as he never promised to free them. Fortunately, Mays revealed herself to have a Webley, which Indy resorted to use to shoot broken a tree branch which they were able to use as a bridge to escape with their lives.[1]

Later that year, Indy and Marion Ravenwood got trapped in quicksand while fleeing crocodiles in Africa. They were rescued by Curt Johan Vogel, a Nazi SS colonel disguised as a doctor from the Dutch Pharmaceutical Expedition.[2]

Dry sandpit[]

"The motion makes space, and space makes you sink."
Indiana Jones on dry sandpits[src]

In 1957, when Jones, Ravenwood, Mutt Williams and Harold Oxley were held captive by Russians under the command of Irina Spalko at a Brazilian jungle camp, Mutt created a diversion so that the four could escape. Hiding from their pursuers, the group left the way. Jones and Marion accidentally stepped into a dry sandpit and began to sink in.

While sinking, Jones explained the difference between the dry sandpit and normal quicksand, stating that they had nothing to worry about. Until a void collapse changed his mind. When Oxley went away to get help and Mutt searched for something he could use to pull them from the pit, Marion, in the belief that they would die, told Jones that Mutt was his son. Jones then reproached her for letting the boy quit school.


Mutt throwing a rat snake to Jones

Mutt returned with an abnormally large rat snake and threw it to Marion so that he could pull her out of the pit. When he threw it to Jones, however, the archaeologist refused to touch the reptile due to his ophidiophobia. It was only when Mutt and Marion exasperatedly followed Jones's demand to call the snake a rope that Jones reluctantly grabbed it and allowed himself to be rescued. In the meantime, Oxley brought the Soviets as "help" so the four were recaptured.[3]



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