Mud is a liquid or semi-liquid mixture of water and any combination of
different kinds of soil (loam, silt, and clay). It usually forms after
rainfall or near water sources. Ancient mud deposits harden over
geological time to form sedimentary rock such as shale or mudstone
(generally called lutites). When geological deposits of mud are formed
in estuaries the resultant layers are termed bay muds.
1 Building and construction
1.2.2 Fired brick
1.2.3 Stabilized mud
3.2 Marine life
5 As food
7 See also
9 Further reading
Building and construction
Mud plastered home in Pakistan
Arg e Bam, One of The largest adobe and mud building in the world.
In the construction industry, mud is a semi-fluid material that can be
used to coat, seal, or adhere materials. Depending on the composition
of the mud, it can be referred by many different names, including
slurry, mortar, plaster, stucco, and concrete.
Mud, cob, adobe, clay, and many other names are historically used
synonymously to mean a mixture of subsoil and water possibly with the
addition of stones, gravel, straw, lime, and/or bitumen. This material
was used a variety of ways to build walls, floors and even roofs. For
thousands of years it was common in most parts of the world to build
walls using mudbricks or the wattle and daub, rammed earth or cob
techniques and cover the surfaces with earthen plaster.
Main article: Mudbrick
Mud house in Amran, Yemen
Mud can be made into mud bricks, also called adobe, by mixing mud with
water, placing the mixture into moulds and then allowing it to dry in
open air. Straw is sometimes used as a binder within the bricks, as
it adds a support lattice. When the brick would otherwise break, the
straw will redistribute the force throughout the brick, decreasing the
chance of breakage. Such buildings must be protected from
groundwater, usually by building upon a masonry, fired brick, rock or
rubble foundation, and also from wind-driven rain in damp climates,
usually by deep roof overhangs. In extremely dry climates a well
drained flat roof may be protected with a well-prepared (puddled) and
properly maintained dried mud coating, viable as the mud will expand
when moistened and so become more water resistant.
were commonly used by the
Pueblo Indians to build their homes and
other necessary structures.
Mud that is mostly clay, or a mixture of clay and sand may be used for
ceramics, of which one form is the common fired brick. Fired brick are
more durable but consume much more energy to produce.
Stabilized mud (earth, soil) is mud which has had a binder such as
cement or bitumen added. Examples are mudcrete, landcrete, and soil
Main article: Pottery
Pottery is made by forming a clay body into objects of a required
shape and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln which removes
all the water from the clay, which induces reactions that lead to
permanent changes including increasing their strength and hardening
and setting their shape. A clay body can be decorated before or after
firing. Prior to some shaping processes, clay must be prepared.
Kneading helps to ensure an even moisture content throughout the body.
Air trapped within the clay body needs to be removed. This is called
de-airing and can be accomplished by a machine called a vacuum pug or
manually by wedging. Wedging can also help produce an even moisture
content. Once a clay body has been kneaded and de-aired or wedged, it
is shaped by a variety of techniques. After shaping it is dried and
In ceramics, the making of liquid mud (called slip) is a stage in the
process of refinement of the materials, since larger particles will
settle from the liquid.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January
Mud can provide a home for numerous types of animals, including
varieties of worms, frogs, snails, clams, and crayfish. Other animals,
such as hippopotamuses, pigs, rhinoceroses, water buffalo and
elephants, bathe in mud in order to cool off and protect themselves
from the sun. Submerged mud can be home to larvae of various insects.
Mud plays an important role in the marine ecosystem. The activities of
burrowing animals and fish have a dramatic churning effect on muddy
seabeds. This allows the exchange and cycling of oxygen, nutrients,
and minerals between water and sediment.
Below the surface, the burrows of some species form intricate
lattice-like networks and may penetrate a meter or more downwards.
This means that the burrowed mud is a productive habitat, providing
food and shelter for a wide range of mud-dwellers and other animals
that forage in and over the mud.
A landslide on a railroad
Mud can pose problems for motor traffic when moisture is present,
because every vehicle function that changes direction or speed relies
on friction between the tires and the road surface, so a layer of mud
on the surface of the road or tires can cause the vehicle to
Heavy rainfall, snowmelt, or high levels of ground water may trigger a
movement of soil or sediments, possibly causing mudslides, landslides,
avalanches, or sinkholes.
Mudslides in volcanic terrain (called lahars) occur after eruptions as
rain remobilizes loose ash deposits.
Mudslides are also common in the western United States during El Niño
years due to prolonged rainfall.
A bowl of kava tea.
There are numerous dysphemisms for poor-tasting food such as "tastes
Kava tea is often described this way, as it is bitter,
brown, and contains sediments.
There also exist children's recipes for "mud", which is generally a
chocolate or cornstarch-based sludge used more for visual appeal than
actual taste. Never does this confectionery mud actually contain real
Main article: Geophagia
The practice of eating earth or soil-like substances is geophagia.
A mud bath is a bath of mud, commonly from areas where hot spring
water can combine with volcanic ash.
Mud baths have existed for
thousands of years, and can be found now in high-end spas in many
countries of the world.
Mud bogging is a form of off-road motorsport popular in Canada and the
United States in which the goal is to drive a vehicle through a pit of
mud or a track of a set length. Winners are determined by the distance
traveled through the pit. However, if several vehicles are able to
travel the entire length, the time taken to traverse the pit will
determine the winner.
Mud runs are a popular activity involving mud. Participants run a
distance of 3 miles to as long as 10 miles, while crawling through mud
bogs, and battling other obstacles.
Mud is used in mud wrestling as a form of entertainment.
Mud can be used in a dunk tank.
Dirt biking involves biking through muddy tracks and courses.
Baseball Rubbing Mud
Baseball Rubbing Mud is used to remove the sheen from new baseballs.
Children often like to make 'mud pies', throw mud at each other and
play barefoot and cover their bare feet in mud and/or coat themselves
Albuquerque and other towns across the United States such as Gillette,
Wyoming hold a yearly event in which participants play volleyball in a
giant mud pit.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mud.
^ Centre, UNESCO World Heritage. "Bam and its Cultural Landscape".
whc.unesco.org. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
^ admin_666 (29 July 2013). "
Mud brick". yourhome.gov.au.
^ Smith, Michael G. The Cobber’s Companion: How to Build Your Own
Earthen Home. Cottage Grove: Cob Cottage, 1998. Print.
^ "Preservation Brief 5: Preservation of Historic
^ a b A summary of the ‘Burrowed Mud’ MPA search feature. (n.d.).
Retrieved January 13, 2015, from
Mud on the Move." Earth: The Definitive Visual Guide. London:
Dorling Kindersley, 2013. 98. Print.
^ "Magic mud food recipe – Magic mud ingredients & cooking".
Cookadvice.com. 2 September 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
Mud Run – Obstacle Races – Tough Mudder". Tough Mudder.
Retrieved 15 October 2014.
^ "Cerebrun – Get Mental". Cerebrun. Retrieved 15 October
^ "Warrior Dash – The World's Largest Obstacle Race Series". Warrior
Dash. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
P.J. Depetris; P.E. Potter; J.B. Maynard (2005).
Mud and mudstones
introduction and overview (1 ed.). Berlin [u.a.]: Springer.
Wood, C.E. (2006).
Mud a military history (1st ed.). Washington, D.C.:
Potomac Books. ISBN 9781612343310.
C.L.V. Monty; D.W.J. Bosence; P.H. Bridger; B.R. Pratt, eds. (1995).
Carbonate Mud-Mounds Their Origin and Evolution. Chichester: John
Wiley & Sons. ISBN 1-4443-0412-7.
Okonkwo, Festus (2009). Introductory
Mud Engineering Handbook.
Booksurge Publishing. ISBN 9781439227275.
Rael, Ronald (2009). Earth architecture (1st ed.). New York, N.Y.:
Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 1-