Seems like being inside a sand tent down inside a dune would act like a vibration amplifying chamber -- even the vibration of simply breathing, snoring. etc - much less any movements would be amplified nto the compacted drum-like sand (from the sand compaction tool) such that it would essentially be a horn call to a sandworm??

Random movements seemingly could only take you so far.

  • Two things: First, a tent is buried in part by dune-making processes of the wind. The second thing is that what digging there is is brief, and it is not like every single moment of vibration at the surface results in a worm attack.
    – Lexible
    Dec 4, 2021 at 20:24
  • 5
    If you dig without rhythm, you won't attract the worm
    – Valorum
    Dec 4, 2021 at 20:30

1 Answer 1


Building a stilltent on open sand does sound dangerous. It's worth noting that the tents we see being used in Dune are mainly sited on rocky outcrops, presumably so that the Worms will avoid them.

Paul stared out the transparent end of the stilltent at the moonshadowed rocks that ringed this place where Idaho had hidden them.


Night still covered the stilltent within its rock-enclosed hideaway. His mother’s grief could still be heard.


“I’ll put up the tent,” he said. “Better slip off that robe and shake it out.” He turned away, taking the pack.
Jessica nodded, suddenly too tired to answer.
“There’s anchor holes in the rock,” Paul said. “Someone’s tented here before.”

Where tents are used on the open erg, it's on soft sand sheltered by surrounding dunes, where presumably their sounds will be muffled.

The reassurance gave him a new hold on his world. Bits of solid reality began to dip through the dream state into his awareness. He knew suddenly that he was in a hiereg, a desert camp. Chani had planted their stilltent on flour-sand for its softness.

  • Notably, the tent that paul and his mother use (which gets covered in soft sand) is built within a circlet of rocks, so the process of digging out can't attract a worm.
    – Valorum
    Dec 4, 2021 at 21:09
  • That's true, they do mostly anchor tents in rock somewhere. However this is the passage that sparked the question. "he (Leto, Chld-Dune) reached out (to) the sand-compaction tool. He gripped it, rolled onto his stomach, and breached the tent’s sphincter. A pool of sand drifted across his hand. , he worked swiftly, tunneling upward at a steep angle. Six times his body length he went before he broke out into darkness and clean air. He slipped out onto the moonlight windface of a long curving dune, found himself about a third of the way from the dune’s top.
    – user5479
    Dec 5, 2021 at 16:29
  • 1
    @user5479 - That quote is referring to the first instance. Leto and his mother are using a tent in an area that is "within [a] rock-enclosed hideaway". They can make as much noise as they like because the worms can't get to them.
    – Valorum
    Dec 5, 2021 at 17:42

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