Around the Block: Mangrove Swamp
Do you like being soggy? Soggy and muddy? Soggy, muddy, and tangled in vines? Well, then you’re going to love the biome we're talking about in today's edition of Around the Block. Introducing: the Mangrove Swamp!
Mangrove swamps were added to Minecraft pretty recently in the Wild Update, released in June 2022. At least, that’s when they were first spotted in the Overworld.
[Editor: Nah, they weren’t in the game before that.]
Maybe they were always in Minecraft and no one found one until then?
[Editor: Duncan, that’s not... that's not how game development works.]
I guess we’ll never know...
[Editor: *puts head in hands*]
However they appeared in our lives, Mangrove Swamps are pretty cool! Well, actually, they’re kinda warm. They’re a variant of the good ol’ fashioned Minecraft swamp, which tends to generate next to hotter places, like jungles and deserts.
The winning combination of warmth and water allows the vegetation to grow pretty densely here, with a muddy floor covered with plenty of mangrove trees, vines, and grass. It’s a great place to find frogs, bees, glow squid, and tropical fish, as well as the occasional enormous fossil.
Survival here isn’t too tricky. You’ll need to clear some flat, dry ground – or build on stilts over the water. But the mangrove wood makes a great building material, and the marshy ground surrounding you will slow down any nasties that try to attack – giving you loads of time to take them down with a bow and arrow.
In the real world, mangroves are an extremely important tropical ecosystem, covering about 135,000 square kilometers of the Earth’s surface in 114 different countries. They’re made up of trees and shrubs that grow on the coastlines and have grown tolerant of the salty water.
The protection that these trees, and their roots, offer from the ocean’s waves make them a wonderful home for many species. They’re also fantastic at protecting coastal areas from erosion, storm surges, and tsunamis. They’re also great at storing carbon – more than four billion tonnes of carbon is stored in mangroves around the world.
So you’d think we’d be trying to grow more of them, right? Well, actually humans have cut down about 3,500 square kilometers of mangrove in the last 20 years, and it doesn’t grow back very fast. So that’s a problem.
But the good news is that it’s a problem lots of people are trying to solve. Including Mojang Studios! So far, we’ve raised more than 200,000 USD for The Nature Conservancy to fund mangrove restoration. If you want to find out more, then check out this awesome documentary here below!
Otherwise, I’ll see you back in the swamp!
- Duncan Geere
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