Everybody knows deserts are dangerous. You’ve got your dehydration, which can kill you in less than two days. You’ve got your venomous animals—snakes, scorpions, spiders, lizards, and I’m sure I’m missing some others—which, with just a bite or sting, can either kill you outright or kill you more slowly. Then you’ve got your sandstorms, which have buried many caravans and even some armies (if Herodotus is to be believed…but that’s a different discussion).
That’s enough to make you nervous and keep your distance, where deserts are concerned. But say you’re really intent on making the desert your home, and you’ve accounted for all of the above. You figured out where to find water (didn’t you?). You’ve taken precautions to avoid being bitten or stung. And you’ve learned what to do should you be caught in a sandstorm (see: don’t be).
You could be forgiven for forgetting about dunes.