Lakes are small, widespread, naturally-generating structures that contain volumes of different fluids.
Ice paths are highly lake-like structures that resemble frozen lakes.
Lakes are shallow and often small bodies of liquid. Water lakes, which are small pools of water springs, can generate above sea level or inside caverns. They can also generate isolated underground, connected to no other structures whatsoever. When in a winter biome, these small lakes are never initially frozen but turn to ice if exposed. The lakes can also be composed of lava; however, lakes of lava are much rarer. Lava lakes found at the surface are surrounded by stone (which can be replaced by ore veins such as dirt, gravel and coal). Both types of lake generate with a small air pocket above them, which may result in floating sand, floating snow cover or even the top two-thirds of trees above the lake. Lava lakes may cause trees to burn away.
|This section needs more information.|
Information requested: can we get some exact details on generation, commonness, allowed biomes and other stuff?
Lakes generate anywhere. Water lakes are most common, generating in almost all overworld biomes excluding some desert variants. Lava lakes are rare on the surface but often found in caverns, and generate stone around them replacing blocks. Ice paths generate exclusively in the Ice Spikes biome.
Lakes that attempt to spawn in midair are instead lowered down to the highest solid terrain below them. Superflat worlds with them enabled have many more lakes if the top is at a lower level than worlds that are tall.
|Java Edition Alpha|
|1.2.6||Added water and lava lakes back to world generation.|
|1.6.1||13w17a||Lakes no longer spawn in deserts. Water lakes only generate on the edge of desert and desert hills biomes|