The Desert of Shifting Sands, also known as Quicksand Desert, is a location in Final Fantasy V that exists in Bartz's World and the Merged World. In the SNES version the desert on the world map of Bartz's World uses a unique animated desert tile. In the GBA version the effect appears to have been mistakenly applied to the deserts near Moogle Village in Galuf's World instead. Neither desert is animated in the mobile/Steam version.
Bartz and the party cross through the Desert of Shifting Sands in pursuit of King Tycoon, who is rumored to have crossed the desert floating on air. The sands are always moving like rivers, making the trek by foot impossible. Cid Previa and his grandson Mid propose summoning the Sandworm that lives in the area, and after killing it, use its body to cross the desert, like a bridge. After defeating the Sandworm, the party crosses the desert to reach Gohn. As they move through, they come across a Pyramid, but cannot enter it.
In the Merged World, the sands of the desert stop flowing, allowing the party to enter the Pyramid.
- On overworld (Merged World)
"Slumber of Ancient Earth" (古き土の眠り, Furuki Tsuchi no Nemuri?) plays as the theme to the Desert of Shifting Sands.
Quicksand is a colloid hydrogel consisting of fine granular material (such as sand or silt), clay, and water formed in saturated loose sand when the sand is suddenly agitated. When water in the sand cannot escape it creates a liquefied soil that cannot support weight. Quicksand can form in standing or upwards flowing water. The saturated sediment may appear solid until a change in pressure or shock initiates liquefaction causing the sand to form a suspension and lose strength. Objects in liquefied sand sink to the level at which the weight of the object is equal to the weight of the displaced soil/water mix and the submerged object floats due to its buoyancy. Liquefaction is a special case of quicksand where an earthquake increases the pore pressure of shallow groundwater. The saturated liquefied soil loses strength, causing buildings or other objects on that surface to sink.