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"Science fiction has gotten more accurate as we've gotten closer to the present, because science fiction stories have not only attracted, but also generated current scientists."
- Larry Niven

Windtrap  
  A device which precipitates water from the air for use by people.  

In the desert planet of Dune, the inhabitants are in a constant battle to obtain water to live. One way to get water was from a windtrap, described as a device placed in the path of a prevailing wind and capable of precipitating the moisture from the air. This was accomplished by a sharp drop in temperature within the trap.

Stilgar stopped at a yellow rock wall. He pressed an outcropping and the wall swung silently away from him, opening along an irregular crack. He led the way through past a dark honey-comb lattice that directed a cool wash of air across Paul when he passed it. "That air felt damp." A man behind them said "Plenty of air in the trap tonight."
From Dune, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Putnam in 1965
Additional resources -

The native inhabitants of Dune hid thousands of these devices across the surface of the planet in their quasi-religious quest to make the surface of their planet a fit place for humans to live.

Be sure to read the comments below for some excellent material on ancient sources for windtraps in the Middle East.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 4 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Dune
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Herbert
  Tech news articles related to Dune
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Herbert

Windtrap-related news articles:
  - Aqua Sciences Water From Atmospheric Moisture
  - Burj al-Taqa Dubai Energy Tower - High Tech Badgir
  - Fog Harvesting For Fresh Water

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