Taking Inventory: Seagrass

We're kinda lichen it

The ocean! Once it used to be a barren wasteland, but since the 1.13 update, the soggiest biome is now packed to the gills with fish, icebergs, sea pickles, coral reefs, and all sorts of other goodies. But the best addition of all, the one that gets me out of bed every morning because I love it so much, is seagrass – our item of the week.

Why is seagrass so exciting? Let me tell you. Firstly, it’s beautiful – look at it swaying in the currents of a warm ocean biome and tell me it’s not gorgeous. Secondly, you can find it just about anywhere that’s underwater – it grows in every ocean biome except for frozen oceans, because they’re frozen. Finally, it’s renewable and compostable, making it the most sustainable underwater resource around – perfect for an undersea habitation sphere.

Seagrass has been mentioned a few times throughout the game’s history, but finally came into being in version 1.13. It’s found all over Minecraft’s underwater biomes, in both tall and short varieties. The short one drops one seagrass when harvested with shears, and the tall one drops two. Don’t just punch it, or it’ll break off into nothingness in your hands.

Fun fact: seagrass is the favourite food of turtles. It can be used to breed them, accelerate the growth of baby turtles, and a turtle will drop 0-2 bits of seagrass when killed, or more if you have a looting enchantment on your sword. Need a large quantity and don’t want to slaughter zillions of turtles? No problem – just use some bonemeal on the seafloor, and you’ll be swimming in the stuff, literally.

Seagrass is about as common in the real world as it is in Minecraft. It spreads across large underwater meadows in the coastal areas of many different parts of the world. There are 60 different species of seagrass, all of which evolved from land-based plants that migrated back into the ocean about 100 million years ago.

Coral reefs get all the press, but seagrass meadows are just as important a part of underwater life. They’re home to hundreds of different species – from baby fish, to worms, turtles, manatees, sharks and crabs. Not only that, but seagrasses slow down the movement of water, allowing sand and other floating particles to float to the bottom, which makes it clearer.

Humans also use seagrasses. Historically, they were used to fertilise sandy soils, and during the First World War they were used by French soldiers to stuff mattresses, which were in high demand. Recent research showed that they can remove dangerous bacteria from the water. Oh, and they pull CO2 out of the air, fighting climate change too!

Water impressive list of achievements. Whale, I’m off. Sea you next week!

Written by
Duncan Geere
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