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"[Science fiction is] nightmares and visions, always outlined by the barely possible."
- Gregory Benford

Sandsnork  
  A device like a snorkel that would provide air to a tent buried by a sand storm.  

The planet Arrakis (or Dune) was covered almost entirely by sand. The Arrakeen natives who were brought as prisoners to this world learned to adapt to Coriolis storms where sand was hurled against objects at hundreds of kilometers per hour. One way to survive such a storm was to pitch a stilltent in a sheltered place, then ride it out. But how do you get air when your tent is covered by a meter of wind-blown sand?

His mind focused on the storm as he had seen it begin through the transparent end of their stilltent - cold dribbles of sand crossing the basin, then runnels and tails furrowing the sky. He had looked up to a rock spire, seen it change shape under the blast, becoming a low, cheddar-colored wedge. Sand funneled into their basin had shadowed the sky with dull curry, then blotted out all light as the tent was covered.

Tent bows had creaked once as they accepted the pressure, then - silence broken only by the dim bellows wheezing of their sand snorkel pumping air from the surface.

From Dune, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Putnam in 1965
Additional resources -

This device (and the words used to describe it) show more of Herbert's artistry as he gets you to think of Dune, a planet with almost no free water, as being more like a planet covered by a vast ocean - of sand. The mental concept of an ocean is more like Herbert's concept of Dune as an environment that is constantly changing - wracked by huge storms, churned by enormous sandworms. And the social climate - the Fremen culture that had gone unchanged for generations - is changing faster.

And, for the record, the peculiar word snorkel is derived from the German word schnorchel referring to a vague resemblance to the shape of the nose. And people have been snorkeling (breathing underwater with the aid of a tube) since at least the time of the ancient Greeks.

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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

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