Red Sand is a variation of sand that can be found in mesas. Red sand acts similar to sand, the only differences being color, and that red sand cannot be crafted into sandstone.
 As a crafting ingredient
 As a smelting ingredient
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, if there is no block below it, will turn into falling sand and 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 primed TNT), 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 resource block. Before the 1.4.3 pre-release, whenever falling sand fell into lava, it would catch fire (since it's an entity) but still landed and piled up like normal if the falling distance is short. When the sand became a block again, the fire went out; otherwise, the falling sand block burned up/disappeared while falling. 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, most famously using torches. Additionally, if sand is placed anywhere straight up from a painting, it will pass right through the painting as if it wasn't there (the same happens to gravel).
 Data values
|May 28, 2009||Added sand.|
|Classic Mode. During that time, 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.|
|1.8||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.|
|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.|
|1.0||Sand texture slightly changed.|
|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||Red sand was added and spawns only in the Mesa Biome. It acts the same as normal sand, however it cannot be crafted into sandstone.|
|Pocket Edition Alpha|
|0.6.0||Sand and gravel now fall when unsupported.|
|0.8.0||A bug was fixed where sand and gravel that fell on a non-solid block disappeared without dropping as an item.|
Issues relating to "Sand" or "Red Sand" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.
- In classic, if the player is next to a set of blocks and places 2 sand blocks above them, using the side of those blocks, they will end up inside of those blocks, with an internal texture identical, but darker than regular sand. Like most blocks, they are also hollow. The same bug happens with gravel.
- If a block of sand has snow on it and is made to fall, the snow is destroyed and will not drop a snowball.
- If sand falls onto tall grass, rail, powered rail, flower pot, detector rail, redstone torch, torch, trapdoor, signs, flowers, redstone repeaters, or cobwebs it will break.
- 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.
- There is a bug with this which will duplicate the sand. When using 2 TNT's timed almost after each other and placing the sand in air just before the TNT explodes, the sand will duplicate into 2 sand blocks on impact.
- 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.
- The block ID of falling sand can be changed so that when falling it will look like that block and will change into that block when it hits the ground
- Sand and gravel take about 0.45 seconds to fall one meter.
- In Pocket Edition, if sand falls onto a torch, it will not drop itself as an item, but simply disappear as soon as it comes into contact with the torch. (This was tested in 0.7.6 Alpha) NOTE: This bug was fixed as of 0.8.0.
 See also
- Explained physics of falling sand and gravel.