Thixotropic substances are also used in the oil industry
When one is drilling for oil, a liquid known as mud is pumped down the borehole. It serves a dual (sometimes triple) purpose: to lubricate the drilling head, and to carry away the debris caused by drilling. The possible third purpose is to actually drive the drilling head.
Consider the case of a inclined or horizontal borehole. If for some reason drilling is interrupted the mud stops circulating and all the debris settle. Not much of a problem if you are drilling vertically, not so good if you are drilling horizontally or at an angle. If however your mud is thixotropic, then when the mud stops circulating it will become less fluid and the debris will stay suspended.
These are quite fun to see for yourself. I remember the first time I saw one of these fluids. The guy doing the demo shook a beaker of the stuff around and sure enough it looked like water. Then he stopped and it solidified. He turned it upside down to prove his point. Not content with that, to further prove the quality of his product he started shaking it around at which point of course it became liquid and splashed all over the floor.