As kids, I think we’ve all had a collective fear of getting stuck in quicksand. Movies like Indiana Jones and numerous cartoons including Timon & Pumbaa ingrained in us that if we were to ever fall into the perilous sludge, there was very little hope of escape.
Thankfully, a Redditor has recently shared a clip of a very brave man instructing the public on what to do if they ever find themselves stuck in the wet sand.
Some may watch in horror as the wetsuit-clad man, Chris, attempts to purposefully get himself stuck in the gloopy mud. “Generally speaking, if you go down past your knee, depending on [the mud’s] consistency, you could be there permanently,” the clip’s narrator is heard saying. “So don’t wiggle from leg to leg, trying to pull one leg out and then shoving the other leg in.”
The actual method to survive and avoid being sucked into quicksand is probably not what you’re expecting at all, as the narrator explained and Chris demonstrated, “Fall onto your back, spread all the way onto your back.” That’s right—become one with the mud.
He continued: “Now wiggle your legs out and work them upwards. If you ever find yourself stuck in mud, that’s the only way to get them out.”
This tutorial fits nicely along the series of tips on what to do if you’re ever attacked by a shark—the chances of which are very slim for both, but regrettably, never zero. But back to the quicksand, it seems that even seasoned wilderness explorers are wary of being sucked into the hazardous ground, as resident wild man Bear Grylls showed viewers on his show Man Vs. Wild what to do if they ever found themselves in that situation.
“[A] muddy bog is a place where the earth will literally suck you in,” he explained. “These holes have been known to swallow entire small off-road vehicles. The reason they are so dangerous is because if you go into them, the more you struggle, the more it sucks you into it.”
The adventurer then proceeded to jump feet first into the bog, immediately sinking up to his hips. Rather you than us, Grylls. “Each muscle I pull creates suction that pulls me down deeper. A technique for getting out of this, if you’ve got a stick, is to use that to create more surface area to be able to put your weight on and try and wriggle your chest onto it,” he said.
Grylls wrapped up the tutorial with one final piece of advice: “Once you’re on the surface, just monkey crawl until you hit solid ground.”
While these clips should make us feel more confident about encountering these situations, it just makes me want to never venture out of the house ever again. Thanks, but no thanks.
Every year, Discovery Channel runs a week-long celebration of our favourite ocean predator: sharks. Termed ‘Shark Week’, the channel showcases these infamous creatures in all their glory on various programmes created especially for the event. This year, biologist Forrest Gallante hosted Island of the Walking Sharks and captured some never before seen footage of—you guessed it—walking sharks.
Now don’t panic, we’re not talking about Jaws popping out of the ocean for a morning jog here. The predator in question is the rare epaulette shark, scientific name Hemiscyllium Ocellatum, and is usually a cream or brown colour with spots. This little guy can grow up to just over a foot in length, so there’s no danger of it actually chasing you down the beach.
However, the epaulette can survive up to an hour out of water as it forages for food in tide pools and uses its fins to ‘walk’ across the rocks.
Gallante was ecstatic after witnessing the event. “This is the first time in history one of the Papuan species of epaulettes has been documented walking,” he said.
“This is so incredible. All traits are selected for, when it allows a species to survive better and eke out an environment where they’re safe and can get food…But once they’re done, they’re trapped. What epaulettes have learned to do is climb up in the reef and plop themselves in the next tide pool.”
Epaulette sharks only feast on worms, bony fish and crustaceans, so there’s no need to worry about one of us becoming a tasty snack for them. That being said, however, future generations might have to watch out as these walking sharks have the potential to evolve and head to shores worldwide with rising temperatures. But as of today, it’s safe to say that the breed is the last one on the list you should be worried about.
Gallante also received mountains of praise on social media after the programme was broadcast, with one fan writing, “@ForrestGalante once again, Forrest has my fav show on shark week. That was awesome. Thank you!” and another saying: “Dude, this is a show I didn’t think I’d like that is absolutely captivating!!!”
Gallante himself admitted that he ‘totally freaked out’ when he witnessed the world-first scene play out in front of him and has since urged people to catch up on the show on Discovery.