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Mob Menagerie: Silverfish

They’ll get a stronghold on your heart

A few weeks back, when I wrote about the Fox, I mentioned that there’s a comprehensive and inarguable list of Minecraft’s most adorable animals. The fox is up there, and so is the pig and the ocelot. Turtles rank highly, along with rabbits, and - weirdly – the magma cube. But the creature at the very top of that list might come as a surprise to you. It’s the silverfish - and it’s our mob of the month.

“What the heck?” I hear you respond. “The silverfish?” It’s true, they’re not the most obvious choice for Minecraft’s most adorable insect (and there's not that many!) but let’s be guided by facts and evidence, rather than messy, unreliable feelings. 

  • Fact one: the silverfish is tiny and tiny things are adorable. 

  • Fact two: the silverfish has a fuzzy-wuzzy coat. 

  • Fact three: silverfish turn cold stone blocks into cute little homes. 

  • Fact four: omg look at that wiggle dance!!! 

In conclusion: there’s absolutely no choice but to put the silverfish at the top of the table. Sorry ocelot lovers, those are just the facts.

Silverfish have been part of the Minecraft world for quite a long time – since the Adventure Update in September 2011, to be exact. They’re sleepy creatures by nature and generally just like hanging out in the homes that they burrow into the rock.

What they don’t like is when Minecraft players (that’s you) carelessly destroy those homes in their unending quest to collect shiny metals and gemstones. What that means is that when you break a block containing a silverfish, then it’ll leap out and attack you. If you fight back, then the silverfish will let out a screech that alerts all the other silverfish in the area, who’ll come join the defense.

In an attempt to avoid all of this happening, silverfish generally hang out in the least-visited parts of the overworld. They conceal themselves in strongholds, igloo basements, and woodland mansions, and they’re also sometimes found deep below ground in mountain biomes.

In the real world, silverfish are a species of wingless insect that live in dark, moist places across most of the world – including Africa, the Americas, Australia, Eurasia, and parts of the Pacific. They don’t live in rocks and they’re not quite as cute as the Minecraft version, though they do still do the fish-like wiggle dance that (along with their silvery-grey colour) gives them their name.

The diet of a silverfish consists of starches and sugars, and this is where they can become a bit of an annoyance – because there are all sorts of things humans make that consist of starches and sugars. The list includes carpets, book bindings, clothing, glue, paper, photos, wallpaper, and even coffee. As such, they’re considered pests – though they don’t transmit disease or harm humans in any way.

If you do have silverfish in your home (not naming anyone in particular *COUGH* Per Landin *COUGH*) and you want to get rid of them, then the best approach is to allow their natural predators to control the population – earwigs, house centipedes, and some spiders are known to hunt silverfish.

And in Minecraft? Well, the best way to avoid silverfish is simply to not destroy their homes, and if you accidentally do, then retreat and let them burrow back into the rock. The adorable little critters weren’t harming you, so why harm them?

Duncan Geere
Written By
Duncan Geere

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