Around the Block: Warm Ocean

Down where it’s wetter

A life on the ocean wave is an intriguing survival experience. It’s not too tricky to turn an abandoned shipwreck into a home, and from there you can strike out to islands and distant shores to collect resources and bring them back. 

There are plenty of benefits to this approach, in fact. A home surrounded by water is pretty safe from zombies, skeletons, spiders and creepers (though watch out for drowned). Fishing means that food is very easy to acquire. And the sunsets are really special.

But just as there are many different land biomes, there are also lots of different ocean biomes - and picking one to set up home in is no easy task. Today, I’ll be making the case for the tropics.

Warm oceans are a very pleasant place to swim. Unlike the deep cold ocean, where the water is choked by dense forests of kelp, the warm ocean is easy to navigate and the warmth supports a far greater diversity of life

The first thing you’ll likely notice is the sandy floor, dotted with seagrass. In and around it, you’ll find sea pickles - colonies of small animals that live on the ocean floor and emit light. Pickles don’t grow or spread naturally, but if you give them a little bonemeal then they can be farmed quite effectively - making them a decent source of light, compost and lime dye.

If you’re lucky, you’ll also come across a coral reef - which you’ll recognise by its bright colours and plentiful coral. Reefs grow on top of the seabed, making the ocean shallower, and they’re made up of coral blocks as well as coral fans and yet more seagrass and sea pickles. 

You’ll also find lots of animals supported by the plentiful plant-life in warm oceans. Tropical fish are all over the place, coming in thousands of combinations of colours and patterns. There are pufferfish, which I’d advise you to steer clear of, and then there are dolphins, which live in groups and love to play with boats. Splash around near them, and you might even learn a few tricks - giving you the ability to swim faster for a limited time.

In the real world, tropical oceans - and particular the coral reefs found there - are one of the richest ecosystems on our planet. Reefs take up only half a percent of the world’s ocean floor, but they support an estimated 90% of all marine life. Without coral reefs, we’d be in trouble.

And that’s bad news, because bad fishing practices, agricultural chemicals, pressure from tourists and coastal development, and rising ocean temperatures due to climate change are damaging reefs around the world. Without changes in the way we live, they’ll disappear - and as wonderful as Minecraft’s coral reefs are (and they’re pretty great, I have to say), they’re no substitute for the real thing.

Duncan Geere
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Duncan Geere
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