Frank Herbert's 1965 novel Dune transformed the world of sci-fi, and it even influenced later works such as Star Wars. Director David Lynch brought Dune to life in 1984, and now, director Denis Villeneuve will do the same in 2021's Dune. This universe has many fascinating elements to explore, from interstellar politics and conspiracy to ecology and destiny.

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Meanwhile, the mysterious spice Melange is in the middle of all this, and it is the Dune universe's most coveted resource of all, worth more than any gold or precious gem. Everyone knows its name, and many people regularly consume it, but otherwise, Dune's characters know surprisingly little about this incredible substance. What should fans know about the all-important spice?

Warning: Dune spoilers ahead.

10 The Spice Was In The Book's Initial Title

The spice makes a few appearances outside the actual Dune universe, including its initial appearance in the first book's title. Author Frank Herbert considered titling his sci-fi novel Spice Planet, which is a fairly literal and straightforward title. But Mr. Herbert didn't keep that title for long.

Spice Planet sounds more like something from a 1930s pulp sci-fi comic, and at one point, Mr. Herbert switched to the title Dune. Besides, sand dunes on Oregon's coast were what inspired the book's desert setting, so calling it Dune makes more sense anyway.

9 The Spice Melange Inspired Star Wars Spice

The Dune universe influenced the Star Wars movie saga in a number of ways, such as Bene Gesserit being the model for the Jedi Order, and Dune being reborn as the desert world Tatooine. But that's not all. In a subtler way, the spice also made its way into George Lucas' universe.

In Star Wars, there is a valuable spice mined from Kessel, and smugglers such as the rogue Han Solo transport it all over the galaxy. When Luke and Obi-Wan met Han, the latter was a dedicated spice smuggler, along with his friend Chewbacca.

8 The Spice Tastes Like Cinnamon

Frank Herbert went to extraordinary lengths to flesh out his new sci-fi universe with countless small details, and his efforts paid off in many ways. This includes several facts on the Melange spice, including what it tastes like when a person consumes it.

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The spice smells like and tastes like ordinary cinnamon, an oddly innocent flavor for such an impactful and valuable resource. Many people living on Dune are used to the spice being in all their food, and some people might get tired of tasting it all the time.

7 The Spice Turns People's Eyes Blue

The spice affects people in several ways, including harmless cosmetic effects. If a person regularly consumes enough Melange, then their eyes will turn bright blue, regardless of their original eye color. Their eyes are actually bluer than Dune's own sky.

In some live-action features of Dune, people's eyes glow a brilliant and electric blue, making it clear that they love the spice. The 2021 Dune movie seems to use a gentler blue-eye effect, based on the two trailers.

6 The Spice Is Addictive

The spice Melange can be compared to a number of things, such as condiments, since it is often added to food and drinks like pepper or sugar. But it can also be compared to a drug, such as cocaine. The spice isn't just desirable -- it is addictive.

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Anyone who consumes enough of the spice Melange will develop a dependency on it, and if they can't get any more, they will suffer spice withdrawal, which can be rather dangerous. Notably, practically all Fremen are addicted to the spice, and fortunately for them, they rarely have trouble finding it.

5 The Spice Is Important For Bene Gesserit Witches

Many professions in the Dune universe make use of the spice, and that includes the order of Bene Gesserit witches. This all-female order has more resources at its disposal than just the spice, but arguably, the spice is their single most valuable asset. The Bene Gesserit order wouldn't make much progress without it.

The Bene Gesserit witches consume the spice to enjoy all its beneficial effects, and the highest-ranked witches, the Reverent Mothers, all have the trademark blue eyes of spice addiction. And they find uses for the spice that is unique to their order, too.

4 The Spice Is Related To The Spice Agony

The spice Melange is vital to the Bene Gesserit order, but it can only do so much. The witches need a related substance to undergo the Spice Agony and become prescient: The water of life.

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The water of life is extracted from sandworms, just like the spice, and the witch will consume it to undergo the Spice Agony and become truly prescient. In that sense, the water of life is the spice's stronger cousin.

3 The Spice Extends People's Lifespans

The spice Melange has yet another notable effect on the human body -- extending the consumer's life. Often, a spice user will have to eat enough of it to become addicted if they plan to reap the full benefits, and for some parties, this is more than worth it. If they can keep the spice flowing, they'll live for centuries.

Few people can actually afford that much spice, but some parties, such as politicians or other leaders can keep their power for many years to come by consuming enough spice and slowing down the aging process.

2 The Spice Enables Space Travel

Notably, the Dune universe has no robots or computers, since such things are outlawed. If these people can't use droids like C-3PO or supercomputers, then they need another way to plot navigational courses for their spaceships, and the spice is the answer.

Certain professionals known as guild navigators have eaten enough spice to become prescient and see the movement of the universe, and they can mentally plot the course for any spacecraft and avoid hazards along the way. Without the spice, space travel would grind to a halt.

1 Sandworms Make The Spice

This is an in-universe mystery that fans will later learn the truth to. Most people in the Dune universe that the spice Melange is only found on the planet Arrakis/Dune, and that the fearsome sandworms all attack people who try to harvest it. But no one knows what connection the worms have to the spice.

The Fremen know that the sandworms actually make the spice themselves, deep inside their furnace-like innards, and thus the Fremen call the sandworms "Makers." If all the sandworms ever died out for some reason, the spice would stop flowing.

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