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Graboids are not fooled by thunder. It is a natural event and they can easily differentiate it from the sounds that prey make. However, they are in effect “blinded” by heavy rain. The steady noise makes it nearly impossible for them to hunt, so they just go idle and wait it out. As to whether or not they can go deaf, you’ve touched on a point of contention among scientists. We aren’t really sure how Graboids “hear.” They do not seem to have ears or ear-drums, so some researchers speculate that they have some other mechanism for sensing vibration in the ground. My personal guess is that a very loud sound would not permanently impair a Graboid. In Tremors 1, Burt’s improvised explosives only drove them away, but they kept coming back.
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