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This article is about Overworld fossils. For Nether fossils, see Nether Fossil.
Fossil Skull 1.pngFossil Skull 2.pngFossil Skull 3.pngFossil Skull 4.png
Fossil Spine 1.pngFossil Spine 2.pngFossil Spine 3.pngFossil Spine 4.png

Deserts and Swamps

Consists of

A fossil is a skeletal structure composed of bone blocks or coal ore.


Fossils randomly generate 15–24 blocks at y-coordinates from 40 to 49 underground in the Overworld (deserts, swamps, and their variants). Each chunk has a 164 chance to generate a fossil. They may generate as one of the four variants of skull or one of the four variants of spine.

Fossils first generate the pure-bone block fossil with a structure integrity of 0.9, meaning 10% of blocks are replaced with structure voids. Next, the coal ore fossil generates with a structure integrity of 0.1.


Main article: /Structure

Note that naturally generated fossils are composed of a mix of bone blocks, coal ore, and structure voids, as detailed above. They are made with the NBT structure block format and have NBT files for each type of fossil located in the folder minecraft.jar/data/minecraft/structures/fossil.

Structure name Description Consists of Image
skull_1 The largest skull. 86 Bone Block Fossil Skull 1.png
skull_1_coal Skull_1 being petrified. 86 Coal Ore
skull_2 The second largest skull. 75 Bone Block Fossil Skull 2.png
skull_2_coal Skull_2 being petrified. 75 Coal Ore
skull_3 The second smallest skull. 58 Bone Block Fossil Skull 3.png
skull_3_coal Skull_3 being petrified. 58 Coal Ore
skull_4 The smallest skull, one-eyed. 32 Bone Block Fossil Skull 4.png
skull_4_coal Skull_4 being petrified. 32 Coal Ore
spine_1 The narrowest spine. 37 Bone Block Fossil Spine 1.png
spine_1_coal Spine_1 being petrified. 37 Coal Ore
spine_2 The second narrowest spine. 61 Bone Block Fossil Spine 2.png
spine_2_coal Spine_2 being petrified. 61 Coal Ore
spine_3 The second widest spine. 97 Bone Block Fossil Spine 3.png
spine_3_coal Spine_3 being petrified. 97 Coal Ore
spine_4 The widest spine. 121 Bone Block Fossil Spine 4.png
spine_4_coal Spine_4 being petrified. 121 Coal Ore


May 13, 2016ProfMobius tweets an image of the new structure blocks in action, generating what appears to be a fossil made of quartz.
Java Edition
1.1016w20aAdded fossils.
Pocket Edition
1.1.3alpha fossils.
Legacy Console Edition
TU43CU33 1.36 Patch 131.0.1Added fossils.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
1.9.19Added fossils.


Issues relating to "Fossil" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.


  • Fossil are one of the five generated structures that do not have a loot chest (the others being swamp huts, desert wells, nether fossil and ocean monuments).
  • The one-eyed skull variant is based on an incident where the Ancient Greeks mistook mammoth fossils for the bones of a cyclops.
  • The author of Fossil is ProfMobius. This is written in the structure NBT.
  • Ender Dragon and Fossil 4 size comparison 2.jpg
    The whole skeleton compared to an ender dragon.
    The 4th fossil skeleton (spine_4 and skull_4 together) at 17 blocks long and at 9 blocks wide, may have belonged to the largest mob to have ever existed. It is even 1 block longer than the Ender Dragon.


Odd generation[edit]

See also[edit]