The sandworms from dune They are not only one of the most dangerous creatures on Arrakis, they are also a major source of wealth. Hence this complex relationship that the inhabitants of the planet must assume. If you still did not know what we are telling you, calm down, because now everything will be clear to you.
Geonemolodium arraknism, the worms of Arrakis
If you’ve seen Denis Villeneuve’s latest movie, Dune, you’ll know what we mean by sandworms. Otherwise, you may know them from the novel that gives rise to this film adaptation. And if you’ve neither seen the movie nor read the books, you can always watch the trailer to see them in action.
Awesome creatures, right? Well, these worms are one of the great attractions of the universe created by Frank Herbert, although before telling you the reason that makes them so special and important, let’s talk a little about other important details and characteristics.
The scientific name for these Arrakis sandworms is Geonemolodium arraknism, although in the books they are also called Shai-Hulud, the ‘Maker’, the ‘Old Man of the Desert’, the ‘Old Father Eternity’ and ‘Grandfather of the Desert’. What’s more, Shai-Hulud’s first name also refers to a deity within the tribal superstitions of the Fremen.
Physically they are authentic critters that can reach between 400 and 450 meters in length. In case you want a reference to get an idea of its size, a whale can reach 35 meters long.
Along with its large size is also its great longevity. These can live for many years. Moreover, it is possible that if it is not because another of his kind kills him or drowns with the water, poisonous substance for them, they would give much more war than they already give to those who inhabit Arrakis.
With a very impressive appearance, the external part of these worms is thick and consists of scales that cover the thick skin with a rough touch and an orange color. Although beyond all this it will be interesting to know that they can be assembled.
That is, in the previous film adaptation and in the books, a rider could get on it and control the movements. Of course, to achieve this, it would first have to be able to take advantage of when one of those scales opens to introduce some hooks with which to hold on and be able to direct it. Although the biggest challenge is to prevent it from diving back into the sand.
Why are sandworms important?
Of course the most important of these sandworms from dune are their larvae. Yes, these are responsible for producing a substance that on the planet of Arrakis is known as ‘the spice’. This very important mineral resource is the reason why the Harkonnen Clan is not satisfied that the Atreides family has been appointed as responsible for the management of the planet that they have exploited for so many years and made so much money with this activity.
Therefore, that ability to produce ‘the spice’ on the part of the sandworm larvae is why the relationship between them and the inhabitants of Arrakis is so special. A mixture of love and hate that while it involves taking significant risks when leaving the safe zone, it is also the only way to allow them to obtain other things that they also need.