Recently I've re-watched David Lynch's Dune, and particularly the sandworm attacking a spice harvester has made me wonder something, as strange as it might sound- do the sandworms see humans as pests or intruders in their territory, or are they aware that humans are there to extract the spice and attack their machinery to stop them? Is it possible the worms are more intelligent than it has been assumed?

  • 12
    They attack the harvester because they are attracted by vibrations.
    – Darren
    Sep 4, 2020 at 11:01
  • 3
    If I recall the novel properly, sandworms are territorial and attack one another when they enter their "turf." As Darren points out, other sandworms create vibrations that alert them to their presence, so they attack anything that vibrates. Sep 4, 2020 at 16:13

1 Answer 1


I don't really understand the question. However in the books at least it's explicit that the worms don't have any intelligence until

they are infused with a pearl of Leto II's awareness after he dies

at the end of God Emperor of Dune.

  • I thought the spice was just a by-product of the sandworms digestive system. I don't recall where I read that but I'm thinking it was some long outdated info that was (at the time) official canon
    – Danny Mc G
    Dec 5, 2021 at 6:55

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