Quicksand is back and this woman almost succumbed to it

When I was young in the 1970s, there was an underlying fear that one might be caught in quicksand (or vanish in the Bermuda Triangle). We don't hear much of quicksand these days but the threat is apparently all-too-real. On Saturday, Jamie Acord were finishing their frolic on Maine's Popham Beach and planning dinner when she almost succumbed to the horror of nature.

"All of a sudden I was hip deep in a wet slurry of sand," Acord told CentralMaine.com. "I couldn't feel the bottom and I couldn't get a footing."

Acord's husband Patrick stretched out his hand and fortunately was able to extract her from the muck.

"He pulled me out like you'd pick up a toddler off the floor," Acord said. "I turned around and the hole was gone. I looked down and my shorts were covered with muddy sand. I was like, 'What just happened?'"

Quicksand can form when water saturates an area of loose sand, reducing friction between sand particles and creating a semi-liquid state that can't support weight, often due to underground water or ocean tides. In this case, the supersaturated sand is a consequence of erosion on the coast of Maine, explains Jim Britt, spokesperson for the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands.

Apparently, it's not possible for a person to fully sink because quicksand is denser than the human body.

"It's nothing new, but it can be a scary situation for a visitor," Britt says. "You'll sink in, but you can remove yourself if you relax and work yourself out of it."

• Science of quicksand
• Watch an octopus disappear into 'quicksand' on the sea bottom