So I came across this interesting video in which shade-balls were dropped into a swimming pool and people tried to swim around.
Towards the end of the video, a smaller part of the pool is filled with a thick layer of shade-balls and the poster of the video lays on top of the layer, eventually sinking and claiming that the shade-balls where behaving as quicksands.
I was struck by this remark and I was wondering if perhaps shade-balls are in some way analogous to quicksand.
Shade-balls are rigid plastic balls of diameter around 10-13 cm (I'd say), filled with water and air (more or less half water and half air). They therefore are less dense than both water and the human body. Moreover due to their shape there always are many gaps (around 9% of the total volume covered, according to the video).
While I would expect quicksands to be denser than human body, I think that the low density (numerous gaps) of the "shade-balls fluid" and relatively strong friction between shade-balls may cause them to act similarly to quicksands or to some other non-newtonian fluid. Here I am thinking more to a meters-thick layer of shade-balls, maybe with some water underneath (which is probably necessary to help making more fluid the balls, right?)