"None of us, no matter what continent or island or ice cap, asked to be born in the first place, and that even somebody as old as I am, which is 80, only just got here."
This very puzzling item is introduced early in the story; it is not until mid-way through that the reader discovers the incredible purpose of this device. The rhythmic vibration produced when a thumper is placed in the sand calls one of the enormous sandworms of Dune.
Why would the Fremen want to call this fearsome creature, from which all others on the planet fled? Read the book for the astonishing answer.
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