Around the Block: Lush Caves

You moss check ‘em out!

As you’re exploring the new underground biomes of the Caves & Cliffs Update you might come across something rather strange. A space filled with vegetation, including mosses, grasses, flowers, and vines. You, my friend, have had the great fortune of stumbling upon a lush cave – which is our biome of the week.

Lush caves were added to Minecraft’s code in the first part of the Caves & Cliffs Update, but you won’t see them in generated worlds until the second version comes out with its enhanced world generation algorithms, unless you get all sneaky with the “buffet” world type.

Finding a lush cave is pretty easy, even on the surface. The unique nutrients these biomes harbor are the perfect environment to grow azalea, so spotting an azalea tree on the surface is an almost certain sign that a lush cave lurks below.

Dig down (but not straight down, obviously) and you’ll be greeted with a fantastic sight. Moss and ores cover every available wall, while the ground is carpeted in more moss, grass, and azalea bushes, along with small and large dripleaf plants. On the roof, you’ll see pink spore blossoms, as well as vines, hanging down, bearing luminous glow berries.

In the small lakes which dot these caves, you’ll find glow squid, tropical fish, and axolotls of all colours. But don’t be distracted trying to fish one up because spiders, zombies, skeletons, creepers, and slimes can also spawn in these caves and won’t hesitate to attack on sight.

In the real world, scientists who study organisms that live in caves are called “biospeleologists”,  and the organisms themselves are called “troglofauna”. 

There are three kinds – tag yourself! “Troglophiles”, like bats, spiders, and millipedes, don’t need to live in caves but rather like it. “Trogloxenes”, like oilbirds and daddy longlegs, hang out in caves a lot but need to spend at least part of their life cycle on the surface. And finally, “Troglobites” like springtails and cavefish are specialised for cave life and can’t live for very long outside them.

Most of these animals rely on some contact with the surface through wind, underground rivers, or the migration of animals. But a few hardy species, living in the very deepest caves, can subsist entirely on a food chain based on bacteria that pull chemical energy out of minerals.

Humans are live in caves are called “troglodytes”. So be a proud troglodyte and try setting up your next base in a lush cave. It might be a bit damp, but at least you’ll have all the axolotls anyone could ever want.

Duncan Geere
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Duncan Geere
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