What Dune’s Sandworms Actually Eat (Not Just People)

Dune’s monstrous sandworms:

A Still Of Timothée Chalamet's Paul Atreides & The Sandworms
A Still Of Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides & The Sandworms

The enormous sandworms of Dune are a continuous menace under the surface of the desert planet Arrakis, but the monsters consume more than just humans. Sandworms are fiercely territorial organisms that provide a continual threat to local Fremen and off-world colonists alike. They are initially introduced in a sequence in which one devours an entire space harvester in the desert and nearly kills the film’s central protagonist, Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet). Sandworms play an important role in Arrakis’ environment, including the manufacture of spice melange, the universe’s most precious resource. The Imperium has little understanding of their long and enigmatic lifecycles at the start of Dune 2021, but the Fremen realize that without the worms, there would be no spice. The Fremen genuinely emphasize the value of the animals to the audience by worshipping them, yet many viewers were left with numerous unanswered concerns regarding the nature of the strange monsters. What makes them appear to feed on humans? What did they consume before there were spice harvesting crews? And how could such massive animals live in Arrakis’ desolate desert?

 How These Sandworms Depicted In The Film Dune:

A Still Of The Sandworm From The Movie Dune
A Still Of The Sandworm From The Movie Dune

Contrary to popular belief, and how they are portrayed in the film, Dune’s sandworms do not wish to consume people. The human body, in fact, is rather toxic to the huge beasts. They also get little nutrition from eating the spice or the harvesting equipment. Sandworm diets, on the other hand, are tied to Arrakis’ complex environment, the majority of which occurs under the sands. Dune depicts sandworms assaulting human beings, although they do not pursue people as prey on purpose. Sandworms dislike water because it works as a toxin that damages their metabolism. A sufficient amount of water can even kill them. Humans, which are around 60% water, pose a significant risk to the worms and, at best, cause considerable agitation in their systems when ingested. Sandworms only follow people because the rhythmic vibrations created by their movement mimic those of native Arrakis creatures that would be more suited. This is why the Fremen walk across the planet’s surface in a unique way that mimics the free-flowing movement of sand and removes any rhythmic pattern from the individual’s gait.

The Sandworm’s Diet Of Choice:

The Sandworm From Dune Had A Diet Of Choices
The Sandworm From Dune Had A Diet Of Choices

The sandworm’s preferred food is also unconnected to the spice that makes Arrakis such an important planet in Dune. Instead, the worms subsist on minute sand plankton found all across the arid world. Plankton feed on residues of melange in the sand, giving the impression that sandworms are drawn to the spice when, in fact, they are only interested in the plankton. Sandworms also devour natural desert species that have a low enough water content to pose no threat to the worms. Sandworms are said to graze on other, smaller members of their species, but they avoid eating sandtrout, which produce the spice and ultimately develop and evolve into juvenile sandworms, according to dune tradition. Dune’s sandworms are the most lethal predator on Arrakis, but only because of the colonists’ mistakes. They may be lethal to harvesters, but the Fremen have perfected coexistence, and they are essential to the production of Dune’s spice melange. The animals, who are perhaps the most important non-human species in the series, serve as a metaphor for the risks of colonisation and misunderstanding other civilizations. Given their importance in the Imperium’s operations, there’s little question that the sequel to Dune will go even deeper into the mysterious sandworms.

Source: ScreenRant

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