Careers: Chemistry/House Hold Product?


I have no idea if this question falls under your expertise.  I am writing a book.  The villain is ensnared in a bobby trap. The villain's foot or leg, caught in a bear trap, falls into a hole filled with a house hold product that simulates the effect of quicksand (a tough suction to extract himself from but not impossible#.  The villain should not be hurt, just delayed in his efforts so another character can escape #15-minute delay#.  What common house hold product could work as quicksand? The product should be sold in a high volume container. Mixing something simple would work too.  The person setting the booby trap doesn't have a chemical or construction background #something very simple, somewhat common knowledge).

Thanks for your time.

Dear Meghan:

What you want is Oobleck.  While the name sounds silly, any Google search will point you in the right direction.  Basically it is cornstarch and water, and can be made as thin or as thick as you like.  I promise that if you shove your hand into a jar filled with oobleck, it will be hard to get it out.

Best of luck!

Careers: Chemistry

All Answers

Ask Experts


Dr. Jeffery Raymond


Materials chemistry. Materials science. Spectroscopy. Polymer science. Physical Chemistry. General Physics. Technical writing. General Applied Mathematics. Nanomaterials. Optoelectronic Behavior. Science Policy.


Teaching: General Inorganic Chemistry I & II, Organic Chemistry I & II, Physical Chemistry I, Polymeric Materials, General Physics I, Calculus I & II
My prior experience includes the United States Army and three years as a development chemist in industry. Currently I am the Assistant Director of the Laboratory for Synthetic Biological Interactions. All told, 13 years of experience in research, development and science education.

Texas A&M University, American Chemical Society, POLY-ACS, SPIE

Journal of the American Chemical Society, Nanoletters, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, Ultramicroscopy Proceedings of SPIE, Proceedings of MRS, Polymer News, Chemical and Engineering News, Nano Letters, Small,, Angewandte

PhD Macromolecular Science and Engineering (Photophysics/Nanomaterials Concentration), MS Materials Science, BS Chemistry and Physics, Graduate Certificate in Science Policy, AAS Chemical Technology, AAS Engineering Technology

©2017 All rights reserved.