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Red Sand.png
SandRed Sand

Solid Block









Blast resistance





This block can be broken with any tool, but a shovel is the quickest




Yes (64)



First appearances
Classic 0.0.14a
Red Sand
1.7.2 (13w39a)

Smelted: 0.1



Data values
dec: 120 hex: C0 bin: 11000
Red Sand
dec: 121 hex: C1 bin: 11001


Sand is a block naturally found on coasts and deserts. Sand has a very low blast resistance.

Red Sand is a variation of sand that can be found in mesas. Red sand acts similar to sand, the only differences being color.


Sand generates naturally in many biomes of the Overworld, notably deserts, beaches, and rivers, generally in four-block-deep layers supported by stone and sandstone. Red sand generates naturally in Mesa biomes and variants.

Sand can be mined instantly with an Efficiency III or better diamond shovel. [1]


As a crafting ingredient[edit]

Name Ingredients Crafting recipe

Red Sandstone

Red Sand

Grid layout Arrow (small).png Red Sandstone
Red Sand Red Sand
Red Sand Red Sand



Grid layout Arrow (small).png Sandstone
Sand Sand
Sand Sand


Gunpowder +
Sand or
Red Sand

Gunpowder SandRed Sand Gunpowder Grid layout Arrow (small).png TNT
SandRed Sand Gunpowder SandRed Sand
Gunpowder SandRed Sand Gunpowder

As a smelting ingredient[edit]

Ingredients Smelting recipe

Sand or
Red Sand +
Any fuel

SandRed Sand Grid layout Furnace Progress.png Glass
Grid layout Fire.png
CoalCharcoalOak WoodOak Wood Planks


Sand can be used in the construction of airlocks and the creation of mob suffocation traps. It is also useful as a scaffolding material in some situations. Being affected by gravity, it can be quickly and easily removed from ground level and can be used to construct a safe path downwards from a higher position (such as a hole directly down through the roof of a large cavern) even if the ground itself cannot be reached by hand.


Sand and red sand can be used for farming cactus and sugar canes.


[edit]Falling Sand
Red Sand.png
First appearance

Classic 0.0.14a

Network ID


Savegame ID


Sand, if there is no block below it, will fall until it lands on the next available block, thus making it one of six "blocks" to which gravity applies (the others being gravel, TNT (turns into the primed TNT entity), anvil, Red Sand and the Dragon Egg). This will happen even if the block of sand is attached to a sticky piston, as the piston will only stick to a block when retracting. When sand is being affected by gravity and falling, it exhibits a smooth falling animation.

If falling sand lands on a mob or the player and covers their head, it will suffocate them until they successfully destroy the block, move out of the block or die. If falling sand lands in the space occupied by a non-solid block, (such as torches, slabs, rails, or Redstone), it will drop and turn into a sand item. If it falls onto a cobweb it will slowly fall until it has gone through it completely, or until it touches the ground, at which point it will turn into a resource block.

Placing a block of sand into the space directly above a non-solid block will not cause it to turn into falling sand. Sand blocks can be suspended in indefinite defiance of gravity in this way. Additionally, if sand is placed anywhere straight up from a painting entity or an item frame entity, it will pass right through the painting or item frame like any other entity (the same happens to gravel).

Minecraft is capable of making any kind of a block become a falling block. Unlike usually thought, there is only one FallingSand entity. It is able to take any texture of any block,even non-solid blocks, such as a torch, but doing that will usually mess up the textures. FallingSand has two important NBT Tag fields that change the appearance, movement, and lifetime of the entity. Most notable of the is BlockID. Using a BlockID for FallingSand in /summon grants the player the ability to, for example, create a falling bedrock block. ('/summon FallingSand ~ ~ ~ {BlockID:7}'). Note that even though as of 1.8 Minecraft has moved to item ID's of 'minecraft:stone' etc, the BlockID still uses the number format. The other important tag is Time. Time stands for the time (in ticks) for how long the FallingSand has existed. If 0, the entity despawns, if 1 or greater, will continue ticking up, until it reaches a maximum lifetime. This means if the player wants to have a falling bedrock block that does not despawn immediately, then they should put that in the NBT tags ('/summon FallingSand ~ ~ ~ {Block:"minecraft:bedrock",Time:1}'). When the maximum lifetime is achieved, the FallingSand will despawn and drop a resource Block respective to the Block. In normal conditions the maximum lifetime will not be reached, but using a command that would make a FallingSand ride another entity, would stop it from falling, and therefore from becoming a normal block. If this is done, the Time will be ticking up until the maximum lifetime is reached.

Data values[edit]

Sand has the ID name minecraft:sand and is further defined by its block data. Sand also has a block state which is expected to replace the functionality of block data in a future version.

Block data[edit]

DV Description

0 Sand

1 Red sand

Block state[edit]

See also: Block states
Name Value Description

Red Sand



0.0.14a_01 Added sand.
A plug of sand at the bottom of a lake which forms the roof of a cave
Sand blocks were rare and only appeared naturally in one block-thick beaches (usually by water or in the middle of a landscape). These beaches were always at and below ocean level. Sand instantly appeared at the lowest point it could go when placed above an air block without any sort of falling animation. Destroying a pillar made from sand from the bottom would cause the sand to disappear from the top first. Gravel and sand "fell" when placed in mid-air by moving directly on top of the nearest block directly below them, instead of turning into falling block entities and falling. These attributes were present until the release of Infdev. Code for this still exists within the source of Minecraft, in the form of a boolean dictating whether it does this or exhibits its new behavior.
Map editors could be used to create floating sand, although the server would crash if the sand was affected from its state.
An old glitch in Classic mode allowed players to raise the height of a fluid block by placing sand (or gravel) over it. The sand block would stay suspended in mid-air until it was broken. When broken, a fluid block corresponding to the type below the gravel would appear where the block was. The suspended fluid block would remain immobile until a block was placed next to it, causing a flood. This bug has since been fixed.
January 11, 2010 Islands have more sand.
Sand and gravel removed during map tests.
April 13, 2010 Sand and gravel re-added.
Seecret Friday 1 Sand and gravel now fall realistically.
Originally, sand would not turn into an item object when falling onto a non-solid object, thus destroying itself. This was fixed in a later update.
1.3 Before this update, generated sand did not have sandstone under it, and if a cave spawned below sand, then floating sand blocks would persist until one of the blocks was updated.
Usual sand beach before 1.8
New terrain generator in the Adventure Update. Beaches are usually generated next to oceans or lakes and covered all nearby low elevated shorelines. Before this update, they could be found in any biome. They came in two varieties: sand beach and gravel beach. Sandstone was located below sand in sand beaches. Gravel beaches had no such border and thus posed dangers like falling into caverns located right underneath them.
Gravel beach before 1.8
Due to the changes in the terrain generation algorithm in the update, beaches were removed completely from the game. Floating sand is more common with the new seed terrain coding.
Sand generates anywhere that water does in large, circular patterns, noticeably larger than the similar patterns of clay. These can occur anywhere water does, including in NPC Village farms. Before beaches were re-added in 1.1, this would create what looked like a small beach along shorelines.
Official release
1.0 Sand texture slightly changed.
Re-added "beach" composed of sand blocks
Beaches were later re-added, although this new version is not the same type as the ones generated before the Adventure Update, since the sand replaces existing blocks instead of being generated with the first sweep.
1.2.5 From Beta 1.8.1 to official release 1.2.5, sand duplicating was possible by using a sticky piston and a block detector connected to one. Two blocks of sand falling on the detector generated a short impulse. Sticky pistons facing upwards and getting two of those impulses duplicated sand.
1.4.2 12w38a Sand now has new sounds when being placed or walked on.
1.7.2 13w39a Added red sand.
1.8 14w27b Sand and red sand's textures now rotate randomly, making beaches and deserts look less uniform.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.1.0 Added sand.
0.6.0 Sand and gravel now fall when unsupported.
0.8.0 build 5 A bug was fixed where sand and gravel that fell on a non-solid block disappeared without dropping as an item.
build 8 Sand falling on a torch will turn into a resource.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.9.0 build 1 Added red sand.
Falling red sand no longer looks like regular sand.
Console Edition
TU1 Added sand.
TU14 Changed sound made when mining sand.
Pi Edition
0.1.1 Added sand.


Issues relating to "Sand" or "Red Sand" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.


  • If a block of sand has snow on it and is made to fall, the snow is destroyed and will not drop snowballs.
  • Even sand is affected by cobwebs. If it falls on one, it will slowly fall and eventually break.
  • Because falling sand is considered an entity it can be launched in a TNT cannon, similar to an ignited piece of TNT. The only significant building difference between a normal TNT cannon and a sand cannon is that a piston is needed at the end of a sand cannon. A correctly-timed piston will allow a sand block to fall just before the TNT charge detonates, launching the falling sand entity a considerable distance.
  • Sand will fall at the same rate when submerged in water as it will when in air. This is also true for lava.
  • If a player is standing on a stack of sand or gravel, and the stack falls on a non-solid block, the player will fall fast enough to take damage or even die.
  • Even though 4 sand blocks can be crafted into 1 sandstone, 1 sandstone cannot be crafted into 4 sand blocks.
  • Falling sand entities can be caught inside cobwebs. When falling, the block will be slowed down. If there are more blocks falling into the cobweb than there is room beneath the cobweb for the sand to settle, the sand caught in the cobweb will instead drop as items. This can be used to simulate quicksand.
  • Sand will fall through torches without breaking if there is air below the torch.
  • Sand and gravel take about 0.45 seconds to fall one meter.


See also[edit]