Beachgoers making the most of the weekend weather have been warned to stay away from a popular UK beach after bubbles mysteriously began appearing in the sand.
Bubbles could be seen rising up through the sand in a shallow pool on Rest Bay, near Porthcawl in Wales, this weekend.
Soft sand could be seen in the pool, which contained extremely cold water despite the glorious sunshine,WalesOnline reports.
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The sand appeared to be quicksand, or sinking sand, and people, especially parents with their children, are advised to stay far away.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency warns on its website: “Our advice is: Stay calm, spread your weight and avoid moving.
“Anybody trapped should tell well-meaning members of the public not to rescue them because without the proper equipment they could become stuck too.”
Quicksand as it’s sometimes called, usually consists of sand that’s become waterlogged.
Sand can become so saturated with water that it reduces friction between particles, meaning it can’t hold as much weight from above.
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This means that any weight put on top will almost immediately fall through.
It's thought that sinking sand is often caused by an underground spring. A spring is the point at which groundwater discharges onto the surface.
Water moves at different rates though the ground depending on its flow path and the permeability of the geological layers. Springs occur when water pressure causes a natural flow of groundwater onto the earth’s surface.
One geological structure commonly associated with springs is a layer of permeable soil or rock overlying an impermeable one.
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Quicksand can also be caused by intense storms.
In 2020,the Daily Star reportedthat Storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge were creating liquified patches on beaches up and down the country.
One bloke who got stuck while out for a run on a beach in Newquay said: “There are lots of people on the beach. I fear a dog will go in and get stuck and then the owner will go in after it.”
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