(First posted May 29, 2000)

As a service to the WAM community, and because we don't have anything better to do with our time between the hours
of 11:00 AM and 7:00 PM on most Wednesdays, we've compiled this list of selected web sites, coughed up by a popular
Internet search engine tool, which make reference to quicksand in some form or fashion.

Our comments on the site come first, followed by the URL (if we didn't suffer brain fade and forget it completely) and
then some text of interest from the site itself.

We at BinkyWare would just like to assure everyone concerned that absolutely no hedgehogs were harmed in the compilation
of this report.

So, on with it then...


Attention: Kaol! Pete Boggs! All you other QS'ers in Indiana! What if we were to tell you that southern Indiana used to have
a swamp legendary for its vast dismal tracts of tractless quicksand (the kind you can't make tracks in)? Well, apparently
there was one at one time, although in the early years of this century it was filled in and covered up (no doubt to pave the
way for a WalMart). Alas, all you can do now is go to this web site about the Limberlost Swamp and covet, Baby, covet:

At the turn of the century, the Limberlost Swamp was described as a "treacherous swamp and quagmire, filled with every plant,
animal and human danger known -- in the worst of such locations in the central states." Stretching for 13 thousand acres across
Indiana's southern Adams County and northern Jay County, the vast forest and swampland was a legend for its quicksand
and unsavory characters.

The swamp received its name from the fate of Limber Jim Corbus, who went hunting in the swamp and never returned. When the locals asked where Jim Corbus was, the familiar cry was "Limber's lost!"


We lost the damned URL for this web site, but it was about writer Lester Dent, who we never heard of but was apparently a well-known writer of Western novels and movie and television screenplays in his day. We can't help but wonder what exactly "the sound a horse makes as he sinks out of sight in the stuff" is like...

- - (URL was lost but do a search engine look for "Lester Dent") - -

"Lester Dent seldom spoke about of his Wyoming days. They were among the most painful of his life. Accordingly, he left behind scant written or oral recollections and what records do remain are hopelessly confused, if not deliberately distorted. Dent possessed the westerner's love for the tall tale.

"When writing about himself, he took few pains to be careful with his facts. According to one account, the Dent family had been
ranching somewhere north of Gillette, in Campbell County, when a neighbor moved to within ten miles. Like Daniel Boone before him, Bern Dent thought this infringed upon his privacy, so he, along with several of Lester's uncles--including Bert Norfolk it would seem--broke a trail over the Big Horn Mountains into the basin of the Big Powder River. Along the way they encountered trouble in the form of an incident which served as the inspiration for Lester's 1948 Colliers' story, 'River Crossing,' which was later adapted for the television show, Wagon Train:

"'In a few weeks...we came to the Big Powder River and its quicksand. Various uncles rode in, were lassoed, and hauled out.
During the fifth week a wool train arrived--several great wagonsdrawn by twelve-horse teams.'

"'The wool boss knew the way across, he said, and then he lost a wagon and five horses. You really get to know quicksand when you hear the sound a horse makes as he sinks out of sight in the stuff. The heck of it all is that I can't remember how we finally crossed.'"


Those of you who listen to radio a lot in the U.S. have probably heard the little "Earth and Sky" syndicated science spots. We
have no idea why or how these one or two-minute-long pieces are funded, but we  always enjoy hearing them. Here's the
transcript for one we missed. By the way, we did some checking on the Kansas and Pacific train accident mentioned here. It's
not a misreporting of the Texas and Pacific accident that we have a page on in our upcoming web site. On another web site,
there is a report that contemporary researchers found what happened to the "missing" engine supposedly buried in the had actually been recovered a few weeks or months after the accident, about 20 feet down instead of 50, hosed down and shuttled off to Kansas City for repairs and refurbishing (see follow-up entry later on)! And we thought our '84 Nissan pickup was a rugged set of wheels...

Thursday, December 9, 1993
Listener's Question: Quicksand

J: This is Earth and Sky with a question from a listener.

Tape: "Hi, my name is Bob Campbell, and I'm from Pearl High School -- I'm an Earth science teacher in Lower Burl, Pennsylvania. I listen to you on WDUQ in Pittsburgh. My question is this -- what is quicksand, and where is it found?"

D: Bob, people used to think that quicksand was a certain kind of sand -- that the grains had to be round and smooth like little ball bearings. But grains of quicksand can be big or little, rough or smooth. You can even have quicksand made of gravel. You find quicksand in places where there's water flowing underneath sand. The water pushes up with just the right pressure to equal, or slightly more than equal, the sand's weight. Then each sand grain has a cushion of water around it -- and that's quicksand.

J: About a century ago, an entire train in the Kansas Pacific Railroad line plunged into quicksand. Workers later pulled out most of the cars, but, although they dug down fifty feet, they never did find the engine. On the other hand, most people can float in quicksand. It actually holds you up better than water. If you ever find yourself stuck in quicksand, try not to panic. Try gently falling backward spread-eagled. You may eventually have to roll or swim -- very slowly -- to solid ground. Quicksand is found throughout the world, especially in hilly country where there are caves and channels riddled with underground springs. You also
find it in river bottoms, near sand dunes by the sea -- anywhere downflowing underground water is likely to push up again -- to make sand come alive as quicksand!

D: This is Earth and Sky. Today's show was made possible by the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades New York. I'm Deborah Byrd with Joel Block for Earth and Sky.


Not only is the Emerald Isle known for delicious ales interesting music and funny place names, but it *also* has
head-sucking mudholes! Could you EVEN ASK for more?

Headline: Man saved from death in quicksand mud hole

By Brendan McDaid

"A TYRONE man was today described as 'lucky to get out alive' after firefighters pulled him from a quicksand-type mud hole in the nick of time after his head was sucked under.

"Although the incident happened late on Monday night, details only emerged today after police revealed the man was treated at hospital for shock and exposure.

"It also emerged that at one stage during the terrifying ordeal, firefighters feared the man would suffer greater injury after he was completely submerged in the mud in the Canal Link area of Strabane. The fire officers were already in the area as part of a team called to the scene of a fire on waste ground near old warehouses.

"One firefighter said he was alerted by calls for help as he was climbing over a ten feet high wall to get to the fire.

"When he reached the scene, he saw the man's girlfriend trying in vain to help him from an embankment above.

"The fireman went into action straight away, using ropes to pull the man to safety.

"The local man, who is described as being in his twenties, was then taken to hospital and released later after being treated for shock and exposure.

"A police spokesman said: 'The man was extremely fortunate to get out alive as his head was submerged at one stage in deep mud.

"'It is understood the couple had earlier been keeping warm at the fire and left it when the fire service arrived.

"'They were later questioned by police about how it started but it was established that no damage was done.'"

© Copyright Belfast Telegraph Newspapers Ltd.


We wonder how this guy explains to the parents why all their kids' clothes are stained brown.

"Mr. Twichell, another veteran teacher who is now the Director of Development, "took a canoe trip down the Colorado River, starting at Separation Rapids and paddling 60 miles to Terry Point on Lake Powell.

"We camped on the shore of the river. One evening we camped by a mud bog which students enjoyed running around in. It was almost like quicksand and watching them extract themselves from this clinging goo was fun. To see them come out covered with mud was laughable."


The following web sites all contain this same nugget of timely information concerning donkeys and quicksand. Also, we are extremely interested in that little tidbit about pigs, and wonder if they mess around with Viagra, or what?


*Alexander the Great was an epileptic.

*The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.

*A donkey will sink in quicksand but a mule won't.

*Mr. Rogers is an ordained minister.

*Hugh "Ward Cleaver" Beaumont was an ordained minister.

*John Lennon's first girlfriend was named Thelma Pickles.


* yano-acrylate glues (Super glues) were invented by accident. The researcher was trying to make optical coating materials, and would test their properties by putting them between two prisms and shining light through them. When he tried the
cyano-acrylate, he couldn't get the prisms apart.

* A donkey will sink in quicksand but a mule won't.

* The Sanskrit word for "war" means "desire for more cows."

FROM - - -

** When a female horse and male donkey mate, the offspring is called a mule, but when a male horse and female donkey mate, the offspring is called a hinny.

** The way to get more mules is to mate a male donkey with a female horse.

** A donkey will sink in quicksand but a mule won't.

** Mr. Rogers is an ordained minister.

** Hugh "Ward Cleaver" Beaumont was an ordained minister.

** The Old English word for "sneeze" is "fneosan."


* A pig's orgasm lasts for 30 minutes.

* "Evian" spelled backvards is naive.

* Charles de Gaulle's final words were, "It hurts."

* A donkey will sink in quicksand but a mule won't.

* The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.


You know, our family used to live next to the Platte River. Then, one day, Dad got a job and we could afford to live by the Missouri River! HAHAHAHAHAHA. Ha ha. Hem.

"The Platte River, rising in Colorado and one of the largest branches of the Missouri, is very broad and shallow, a meandering, braided river that old timers used to say "flowed upside down" -- a reference to the many visible sandbars.  One disgruntled pioneer remarked that it would make a pretty good stream if it were turned on its side. Travelers seemed to enjoy thinking up insults for the Platte.  The consensus regarding this river was that it was a mile wide, six inches deep, too thick to drink, too thin to plow, hard to cross because of quicksand, impossible to navigate, too yellow to wash in, and too pale to paint with. For hundreds of miles the pioneers hauled themselves across its flat, monotonous plain in what is now Nebraska."


We tell ya, ya just can't go out and lose a trifling little railroad train engine without a bunch of know-it-all busybodies getting involved! This web site puts to rest the legend about the Kansas Pacific Railway engine being lost forever in bottomless quicksand (as reported by "Earth and Sky," see above).

"On June 5, 1878, the Kansas City Journal reported:

"'Information was received yesterday at the general office of the Kansas Pacific Railway that the engine which went in the quicksand at the time of the accident has been located. It was found 20 feet below the level of the prairie and 15 feet to the right of the track line, having been carried that distance downstream by the current. As soon as the water subsides sufficiently, the engine will be raised by use of derricks and taken to the shop for repair.'

"Glasier found that Aug. 30, 1878, the Kansas City Times reported:

"'The Kansas Pacific engine which was lost in the quicksand some time ago has been recovered from its 20-foot grave, and it passed east to Armstrong Monday night.'"


Well, so far we haven't come across a single web site disputing the Great Donkey/Mule Factoid, so it must be true, right? We *know* the part about Mr. Rogers being an ordained minister is true, because we've had him drop by to do an exorcism.

"Horses cannot vomit. Rabbits cannot vomit
A donkey will sink in quicksand but a mule won't
Mr. Rogers is an ordained minister"


Isn't "Arctic Glacial quicksand" a new air freshener scent?

"We were tooling along aimlessly when all of the sudden Shlloooop! I was immediately sucked under and buried to the axle housings in some Arctic Glacial quicksand. Now I must stop and explain for all you non-Alaskans to understand this concept fully. The sand looks like hard packed moist sand. In fact the average Joe-Schmo 6'2", 200 lb. individual can walk on it with little or no trouble at all."


Hell if we can remember what this is! Go there and see if there are some interesting photos or whatever. Judging by the final directory name, this is probably photos of somebody's 4-wheel-drive truck with huge Earth Ripper GT tires and coil-over shocks the size of the Empire State Building sunk to it's McPherson Struts in quicksand. If you do a web search for the term "off road," you'll eventually come across dozens of web sites of 4x4 clubs, and every single site will have at least one or two pics of somebody's Humvee stuck in the Grimpen Mire. We must admit we have a fascination for mechanical devices stuck
in mud. Must be an unconscious desire to seek revenge on that '85 Yugo we were suckered into buying years ago...

"Chavez Siding, Diablito Mountain, Saucito Wash (between Green Valley, AZ and Nogales, AZ) 24 July 1999 (photos by J. Hill)

"chavez01.jpg 2910kB 'John (John's truck, that is) stuck in quicksand'"


So, starting a winery reminds this fellow of drowning in quicksand. Our first thought is that possibly the soil there is too sandy to grow grapes...

"I also happen to like opera a bit, and there's a famous opera by Donizetti called Lucia di Lammermor and the hero of that particular opera is this guy named Lord Ravenswood and of course Lucia is the heroine, and it's definitely a story of love gone awry. Ravenswood and Lucia are madly in love, but they can't get married since her brothers have ascertained that she needs to marry someone else, and besides that they don't much like Ravenswood. Ravenswood goes back to his castle and Lucia goes to the wedding, but she decides that she's going to take a very firm stance: she's going to say "You can make me marry him but you can't make me sleep with him." So as the would-be groom approaches the bridal bower, she pulls
out a knife and disembowels him and proceeds to sing her last aria and dies of some kind of a fit and meanwhile Ravenswood back at the castle probably has a fit of hormones and decides to kidnap Lucia and by the time he gets there she's already
done herself in. He's so distressed that he rides his horse into quicksand and drowns. So I thought, starting a small winery is sort of like drowning in quicksand. So we became Ravenswood, and hence we're here, and hence we're still doing it."


After reading this, we're thinking to ourselves: "That Steve guy...wonder if he's leading any more hiking trips to Trail Creek this year?"

"Boundary Peak, Nevada

"At first, we followed a sketchy trail for a bit, hiking through some small trees bordering Trail Creek itself. Shortly, the trail became less distinct, and we began hiking cross-country. Steve suggested hiking up the middle of the creek. We did so, but quickly determined this to be a lousy, muddy, goopy route. Cutting across to get out of the bog, I stepped up to my knee in quicksand, a first for me. Kelly gave me a hand to get out, and we both decided to not listen to Steve's route-finding suggestions any more."


We've never understood why dinosaur fossils are always found way the hell out in the middle of nowhere, instead of in our sock drawer. This may be one reason we're not paleontologists, although the trip to this dig site looks like a blast. Go here to see TWO! YES TWO! transportation devices stuck in HONEST TO GOODNESS ARGENTINIAN QUICKSAND!!! Accept no substitutes!

"Argentinian/Canadian Joint Dinosaur Expedition"

(pic of both a large truck and a small truck stuck)

"Monday, the 16th, dawned wet and soggy, but we still managed to get up to the excavation site. Our work was interrupted by
the arrival of a very wet and muddy Daniel, however. He had been trying to attract our attention for several hours from a place on the riverbed several kilometers away. A big truck was trying to come into our camp with wood and water, but had sunk up to the axles in what was essentially quicksand. Two days earlier, the spot where he was stuck had been a sand quarry in the dry riverbed. But the river had flowed enough during the rainstorms to fill in all of these pits with sand and water, and he had
driven unaware into one. It took us four hours to get him out."


We've never been to the Quicksand Club in Las Vegas, but then again, we've never met Bo Diddly, either. We heard that the Quicksand Club went under! (rimshot) But seriously, folks...take our wives...please! (uproarious laughter) Thank've been a great audience...we'll be here all week...

"My Friend Irma Goes West (1950) Filmed partly in Las Vegas, with a scene at the Flamingo pool and scenes at the
'Lucky Dollar Club' and the 'Quicksand Club'. Sequel to My Friend Irma, which was based on a radio program and later
became a TV series. The My Friend Irma movies, which chronicled the misadventures of a ditzy blonde, featured the film debut of the Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis duo."


The thing in New Jersey sounds fun. Just what exactly is a "slag heap," anyway? And why was he dodging the quicksand...was it coming after him? Why do we ask all these questions?

"An Activity Called 'Hashing'"

"As part of a trail, I've ridden the Peoplemover in Detroit, been herded into the back of a rental truck in Reading, explored
underground storm sewers in Pittsburgh and Dayton, swam across the Saint Clair River in Ontario, dodged quicksand in
New Jersey, and climbed slag heaps in the middle of winter (fun because the slag is frozen solid, so you can get good
holds, but sometimes the holds break off and you slide down twenty feet, trying not to hit anyone)."

DEVICES-TRAPPED-IN-QUICKSAND DEPARTMENT it's mud, not quicksand...but the one guy *was* in a truck or van of some sort, so we're counting it in with the
final tally. This is on "The Reader's Digest" web site, but we can't recall if there are any illustrations or photos with the
story. One valuable lesson we learned is to NEVER, EVER drive your truck INTO A MUDSLIDE, not even if there's a WalMart on the other side with incredible limited-time prices on 12-packs of Royal Crown Cola. NEVER.

"Reader's Digest Canada 'Drama in Real Life' Feature"

"Trapped in a Mudslide BY JIM HUTCHISON"

"He survived the terror of the seven-storey plunge, but broken and bloodied, now he faced an even greater fear."


Why you would want to drive on your water bed is incomprehensible to us, but apparently it's all the rage in Australia. We're in total awe of a country that can put lager in 24-ounce cans, so maybe we're missing out on something here.

"(4-Wheeling in Australia)"

"Castle Wall - Creek Run"

"You can play a bit, but you don't want to take a turn into some gigantic drop holes in the water bed, or get sunk into the 'quicksand' sandy mud that can quickly engulf a vehicle."


This lady had the unmitigated gall to plod her fine steed right into the middle of some quicksand in New Zealand. She also had
the unmitigated gall to name her horse "D'Artagnan." Serves her right if the poor horse immigrates to Australia, where they know how to put lager in 24-ounce aluminum cans, and DON'T make their horses step into quicksand (they have kangeroos for that).

"(Woman Explores Her Native New Zealand)"

"I wondered how the locals knew there was quicksand. Had people or cattle been lost, swallowed up by the black, gooey mess? I voiced my question to Rodney, just as D'Artagnan began to plod through sand which was 20 or 30 cm deep. Suddenly my own feet were touching the ground - D'Art's feed had disappeared."


Yes, we proudly salute those brave men and women like Chris here, who boldly sally forth into the VERY JAWS of death to capture that rare tropical Burmese Stickleback fish that you'll pay $59.95 for at PetWorld only to have it die after two and a half days because you've been keeping it in a saltwater tank when what it really needed was a freshwater *mud* tank.

"Amazon Fish Collecting Diary by Chris Scharpf"

"This is all very exciting for Alfredo, who has never before ventured so far inland to collect fish. We stop at several small streams or creeks that had been routed by tunnels under the road. At one of them I get stuck in a quicksand-like mud.

"First, I throw my backpack to Andy, a tropical fish farmer from Florida. No point in having my camera sink with me. Then I try to get my bearings. But each time I raise one foot out of the muck, the other foot sinks deeper. Eventually I'm up to my waist in muck, which is very dense, like wet cement, and still no one, except for Andy, who thinks I'm goofing around, is taking notice. I have this horrible image of me sinking up to my neck before anybody drop their seine or dip net to help."


Next time you're in Amarillo, Texas, why don't you pop some slicks on the old family sled, uncork those headers and BURN RUBBER directly into some...quicksand. Even motorsports enthusiasts like us find this event a little, well, bizarre. We're fairly certain, however, that the organizers of the Indianapolis 500 have little to fear about this event stealing away their fan base.

"Amarillo (Texas) Sand Drags"

"The mud bog lacked even the scant sophistication of the sand drags. Basically, the organizers marked a straight line course through some quicksand on a small island created by a recent meander of the river. Vehicles blasted down the course, traveling as far as they could before the quicksand swallowed them. The trucks pulled a cable behind them, so that a 'Deuce and a Half' six axle military truck could pull them back in the other direction. Clearly, the first vehicles to run the bog had a
considerable advantage, so the most stock rigs took the challenge first.

That's it for this edition of the BinkyWare Internet Quicksand Report.

Man, are my fingers tired from all this typing,

Dr. Yen
Director, Product Development
BinkyWare Marginal Industries
"BinkyWare--We'll Have Another Report on Your Desk First Thing in the

Next Up: The BinkyWare Internet Quicksand Report #2!