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Original Dune
This article or section refers to elements from Original Dune.


A spice harvester (also called a “crawler”) was a large, heavy, mobile factory designed to harvest melange. It was dropped by carrier ships (known as carryalls) onto spice fields. These machines would then harvest and process the spice off the top of the desert floor.

This immense farming mechanism was used solely on Arrakis, as it was the only known source of spice before the Tleilaxu developed a substitute.

Because of the rhythmic sound they made, they were regularly attacked by sandworms. Accompanying the crawler were two to three ornithopters (called spotters) that hovered in the sky above, watching for wormsign (an obvious sign that a sandworm was approaching). Upon detecting wormsign, the harvester would be picked up immediately to clear it out of the way. Sandworms could be large enough to swallow a harvester.

When Paul Atreides asked Liet-Kynes if they would see a sandworm while viewing the spice harvesting, Kynes replied that they always came when they hear a spice harvester.

A good example of this process was seen when Duke Leto Atreides travelelled into the desert to inspect a harvesting operation and its equipment.

Pictures of Harvesters[]

In Other Media[]

In the 1984 Dune film, the Harvester Operator who speaks with Leto over the radio is played by director David Lynch.