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Batman: A Riddling Controversy (2)
Having escaped The Riddler's deadly cake, Batman and Robin turn their attention to thwarting his next crime. Riddles point the way, but as always, they mislead the unwary. Batman unravels them sufficiently to realize that the Riddler's next target is exiled South American dictator Anthony Aquila who keeps a million dollars cash on hand - exactly the amount Riddler needs! But when Batman arrives, he must allow the Riddler to go free, because the prince of puzzles has trapped the exile in a puzzle cage along with a bomb! And now that he has the money, Riddler can purchase the de-molecularizer, a disintegrator the size of a pencil flashlight! Gotham City must declare all laws against crime null and void, or police headquarters will simply cease to exist!
The Escape: Batman assures Robin that if they remain calm they will sink only to the level of Robin's chin, due to the specific gravity of quicksand (a basically true statement as far as it goes). Moving carefully, the Dynamic Duo operate controls on their belts to fire "heel and toe Bat Rockets" which catapult them free.
This story is John Astin's only appearance as The Riddler.
"How can a man drown and not get wet?" asks one of the Riddler's riddles. The answer given within the show is if he drowns in quicksand. There are several problems with this statement. First, death within quicksand is not drowning, contrary to Batman's statement - it is asphyxiation. Drowing requires that fluid enter the lungs. Quicksand would simply keep air out of the lungs. Second, as Batman points out, generally a human won't sink in quicksand because of the mechanical properties of the semi-solid. Finally, a man would get slightly wet from immersion in quicksand, as it does contain a small quantity of water (but the properties of the semi-solid would keep it out of the lungs, though possibly not the mouth.)
Many of those who survived [the sinking of the Titanic] did so by remaining calm and treading water until help arrived. When White Star's Titanic sank, it did so in water temperatures around 30° F. At these temperatures, the onset of hypothermia is rapid - around 20 minutes. In fact, most of those who survived were those fortunate enough to be in life boats. Most who actually went into the icy waters died there.