Quicksand occurs once the right kind of sand i do not care super-saturated through water. Sand frequently becomes super-saturated with water once it is deposit in a sink feet or hole in the ground that is made out of product (such as clay) that does not permit the water to drainpipe from the sand. The sand and also water do a soupy mixture that often looks heavy on top, but when it is agitated (by being stepped on) it turns right into a liquid. The most most likely places to find quicksand room along beaches, lakes, rivers, marshes, and also swamps because there is a all set supply the water there. However, quicksand can also be developed by underground springs or runoff water from heavy rains.

You are watching: How to make quicksand with cornstarch

Making real quicksand deserve to be tricky. The seed of the sand should be ring in shape and also the exact same size. Simple playground sand (the type you deserve to buy in a store) seldom meets this standard. Because quicksand is normally uncovered along beaches, marshes, and other wet areas, if friend can discover sand here, friend probably have sand with the appropriate grain kind to make quicksand.

A much easier and much more dependable way to make ‘quicksand’ is to use cornstarch rather of sand.

What you Need:SpoonCornstarchWaterPlastic mixing bowlWhat friend Do:

1. In the plastic mixing bowl, combine little amounts of water and also cornstarch with each other to kind a mixture that looks like heavy whipping cream and also has the consistency that honey. The approximate proportion of the cornstarch-water mixture is 1-1/4 cups of cornstarch to 1 cup that water. For this reason if you use a consistent sized crate of cornstarch (about 16 oz), you will use about 1-1/2 come 2 cup of water.

2. ~ making her mixture, gently lay your hand on the surface ar of the cornstarch-water mixture. Friend should notice that her hand sinks in the mixture prefer you would mean it come do. Relocate your hand through the mixture, slowly first and then trying to move it yes, really fast. Was it easier to relocate your hand slowly or quickly through it?

3. If your mixture is deep enough to submerge your entire hand in it, shot grabbing a grasp of the mixture and also pulling your hand the end quickly. Then try again, this time relaxing her hand and pulling it the end slowly. Go you notification a difference?

4. Try punching the cornstarch-water mixture. (Be cautious not come hurt you yourself on the bowl!) Make certain to fight the problem hard and pull her fist ago quickly. Walk the problem splatter almost everywhere or did that stay placed in the bowl? (If it splattered, add more cornstarch.)

What Happened:


Whenever friend gently and also slowly relocated your hand with the cornstarch-water mixture, the behaved prefer a liquid. However when girlfriend tried to move your hand v it quickly or struggle the substance very hard, that behaved favor a solid. Weird, huh? but the means this cornstarch-water mixture behaves is very comparable to just how quicksand behaves.

The method that a liquid flows or move is influenced by its viscosity. Quicksand and also the cornstarch-water mixture are both non-Newtonian fluids, meaning that their viscosity transforms with the kind of force used to it. Unequal quicksand, the viscosity the Newtonian fluids (fluids, such together water and honey, the follow sir Isaac Newton’s legislation of viscosity) is dependent only on the temperature and also pressure that the fluid, no the force used to it. Because that instance, warm honey flows much more freely (less viscous) 보다 cold love husband (more viscous).

Since the ability of a non-Newtonian liquid to relocate depends ~ above the force or stress applied to it, these fluids do not act favor ones us are much more familiar through (e.g. Water). A light pressure, such as putting or gently pressing the cornstarch-water mixture, permits it to move like a liquid. However a high pressure, such together punching firmly, causes the cornstarch-water mixture to act as a solid. This same principle applies to quicksand. As soon as it is easy stepped on by the unaware adventurer, the quicksand liquefies and the foot the the probe starts to sink. Panicking, the adventurer tries to easily pull his or she foot out, just to find that currently the quicksand is acting choose a solid, encasing the foot every the more firmly in this unpredictable substance.

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But don’t worry around getting suck down right into quicksand prefer you view in the movies. Although human beings do originally sink when they first enter quicksand, they can not sink every the way (only to around chest deep). This is because humans space less thick than quicksand. One means to get out that quicksand is to lay earlier on it and float, much like you would do in continuous water. If you have just a foot grounding in quicksand, gently move the foot ago and forth, adding water along the next of her leg. This will help the quicksand come act much more like a liquid and also release her foot.

One easy (and fun) means to beat with and learn around non-Newtonian substances is with thinking Putty from house Science Tools! It have the right to act like a liquid and also a solid and also even exhibits thermochromic properties, meaning its color alters with temperature changes!