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Around the Block: Sparse Jungle

Welcome to the (edge of the) jungle, we’ve got cocoa beans!

Minecraft’s jungles are generally pretty dense (just like my editor)! They’re packed with trees, bushes, vines, ocelots, and temples, to give you that intrepid feeling of exploring a verdant rainforest paradise.

But what if you want a taste of that jungle feeling without quite so much stuff getting in the way? Allow me to introduce you to our biome of the month – the sparse jungle.

Sparse jungles became a part of Minecraft in The Update That Changed The World, back in October 2013, though jungles (as we’ve previously discussed) had been around a bit longer. Originally, sparse jungles were called “jungle edge”, but we renamed them in our latest update in favor of something much more creative to reflect the new way that terrain is generated.

Sparse jungles spawn far fewer trees than regular jungles – and only small ones at that. But otherwise, it’s still a rich source of vines, cocoa, and melon. You won’t find any jungle temples here, because apparently, their ancient builders preferred to hide their secrets deeper into the rainforest. But generally, it’s a pretty great place to set up home – rich in flora, fauna, and those all-important building materials.

In the real world, the edges of rainforests are one of the most beautiful but threatened ecosystems on our planet. Over the last few decades, humans have been cutting down more and more of the world’s rainforests to turn into cattle-grazing, crop-growing and urban areas and this process is estimated to be driving about 50,000 species into extinction every single year. 

That’s a lot – if you said the name of one of those species every second, it would take you almost 14 hours to say them all. But it doesn't have to be this way. For millennia, indigenous peoples have successfully lived alongside the rainforest without destroying it – and there’s much we can learn from them.

If you’d like to know more, then check out our deforestation lesson in Minecraft: Education Edition. And for every rainforest tree you chop down in Minecraft, maybe try to plant a new one, yeah?

Duncan Geere
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Duncan Geere

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