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Block of the Month: Mud

Glorious mud!

There’s been dirt in Minecraft for a very long time. It was added just six days after development began on what at the time was called "Cave Game”. But for some reason it took us more than a decade to add dirt’s soggier cousin to the game. Our block of the month, today, is Mud.

Mud finally became a part of Minecraft in The Wild Update, released in June 20222. The update added the Deep Dark, the Warden, and the Allay. But it also added the Mangrove Swamp biome, and with it the ability to make your dreams come true – particularly if your dreams involve filling your inventory entirely with mud.

There are two ways to get mud in Minecraft. You can locate a mangrove swamp biome and dig it up (a shovel is the best tool to use for this), or you can pour the contents of a water bottle over a dirt block. Either way, you’ll be rewarded with a nice pile of mud. Now, what are you going to do with it?

Well, mud has some interesting properties. You can combine it with wheat to get “packed mud”, which is used to make mud bricks for building with. You can also place it directly above a block with pointed dropstone underneath it – the water will slowly leach out, turning the mud into clay.

Finally, you can combine mud with mangrove roots in a crafting table to get... er... muddy mangrove roots. We really think you’ll enjoy that one.

In the real world, mud is the name given to a whole range of different mixtures of water with soil, loam, silt, and clay. It generally shows up near water sources or after rainfall and gets all over the place. Nonetheless, it’s an important part of our architectural history!

For thousands of years, mud has been used in construction – dried out in the sun to form mud bricks, sometimes with the addition of stone, straw, gravel, and other things to give it a bit more strength. When this happens it’s sometimes called cob, or adobe. Entire cities have been built this way – particularly in drier parts of the world – most notably the ancient citadel of Bam in Iran.

But humans aren’t the only creatures that live in mud. It also provides a home for worms, frogs, snails, clams, and crayfish – and it’s frequently used by larger creatures, like buffalo, pigs, rhinos, hippos, and elephants to cool off and protect themselves from the sun.

So next time you’re finding yourself overwhelmed by the heat in Minecraft, locate a mangrove swamp and sink into the deep, cooling mud. You’ll be glad that you did!

Duncan Geere
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Duncan Geere
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