Taking Inventory: Conduit

Feel the power!

Every Minecraft player has, at some stage, contemplated building an underwater city. They’re super-cool in theory – a dome of glass, with fish swimming overhead. But they rarely get built.

Why? Well, until recently it was pretty difficult and dangerous to build them. The bottom of the ocean is dark and lacks oxygen, while the cold water saps at your ability to mine blocks. It’s a pain. But the Update Aquatic added something that changes all of that. It’s the conduit, our item of the week.

Conduits grant immense power. Literally – an area-of-effect status called “conduit power”. Conduit power combines the effects of water breathing, night vision, and haste status effects, which is a pretty nifty combo when underwater. Conduits also emit light and damage nearby hostile mobs in contact with water. Perfect for underwater base-building!

A conduit is made by surrounding a Heart of the Sea with eight nautilus shells, which makes it pretty difficult to obtain the materials for it. You can fish up the shells, buy them off traders, or “acquire” them from drowned, while hearts of the sea can only be found in buried treasure chests.

Once obtained, you can’t just plop the conduit down and expect it to work. You need to activate it. To do that, you’ll need to build an activation frame out of prismarine, like in the image above. The more complete the frame, the further the conduit power effect reaches.

Underwater cities in the real world were once a mainstay of popular science fiction. In the 1960s and 70s, they appeared in countless books, movies and TV shows. These days, it’s all about space stations instead.

Humankind never built a full underwater city (or did we?), but we have constructed a few small underwater habitats – places where humans can work, rest, eat, and sleep below the sea. 

The most famous is probably SEALAB, built by the US Navy to advance the science of deep sea diving and rescue. Several versions were built in the 1960s, with one of the highlights being a call between a diver and US President Lyndon B Johnson. The diver was speaking from a helium-rich environment, which garbled his voice, and the call had to be abandoned.

Today, a handful of underwater labs still exist. MarineLab in Florida is the longest-running – it’s been operated continuously since 1984, and is used for both science and training. It’s located next to another structure called Jules’ Undersea Lodge, which has been converted into a luxury hotel, including a large movie selection and even the possibility to have pizza delivered by a diver. 10,000 overnight guests have visited in its 30 years of operation.

So, if you’re looking for some inspiration for your next Minecraft project, how about an underwater habitat? Just make sure to bring a conduit with you...

Written By
Duncan Geere
Published

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