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Soul Sand

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Soul Sand
Soul Sand JE2 BE2.png




Blast resistance




No‌[Java and Bedrock editions only]
Yes‌[Legacy Console Edition only]


Yes (64)



Catches fire from lava




Data value

dec: 88 hex: 58 bin: 1011000

Namespaced ID


Marsh Davies Mojang avatar.png

Only in the fiery caverns of the Nether, amid columns of lava and flame-belching Ghasts, will you find this creepy material in abundance. At a quick glance it might look like a ruddier version of cobblestone, but then you look a little closer - are those screaming faces etched into its surface? Eep!

Marsh Davies[1]

Soul sand is a block found naturally only in the Nether. Soul sand slows down the movement of mobs and players standing on it. It is also used for growing nether wart and for constructing a Wither.


Natural generation[edit]

Soul sand is found below Y=65 in the Nether, generally in four-block-deep layers. It is also found naturally in nether wart rooms of nether fortresses.


Soul sand can be mined with any tool, or without a tool, but shovels are the quickest.

Block Soul Sand
Hardness 0.5
Breaking time[note 1]
Hand 0.75
Wooden 0.4
Stone 0.2
Iron 0.15
Diamond 0.1
Golden 0.1
  1. Times are for unenchanted tools in seconds. For more information, see Haste § Instant mining.


Soul sand slows the movement of any mob or player, and causes them to sink 2 pixels into the block while walking on it. Its slowing effect is increased when placed above ice, packed ice, or slime blocks.‌[Java and Legacy Console editions only] It can also suffocate mobs that are smaller than a slab, namely silverfish, endermites, and baby turtles. In addition, zombies and skeletons will not burn in sunlight if standing on soul sand.

Growing nether wart[edit]

Soul sand is used for growing nether wart, a primary base ingredient for many varieties of potions. Nether wart is planted on soul sand (like seeds on farmland), and at full maturity produces multiple nether wart when harvested.


The wither build configuration.

4 blocks of soul sand are used in the construction of a wither.

Bubble columns[edit]

Placing soul sand under source water blocks creates a lifting bubble column, which causes items, players, and mobs inside the column to rise to the surface.‌[Java and Bedrock editions only] The bubble column extends upward through any number of empty water source blocks (not waterlogged blocks).

Note blocks[edit]

Soul sand can be placed under note blocks to produce cowbell sounds.‌[JE & BE only]


Sound Subtitle Namespaced ID Subtitle ID Source Pitch Volume Attenuation distance
Block breaking block.sand.hit subtitles.block.generic.hit Blocks 0.5 0.25 16
Block broken block.sand.break subtitles.block.generic.break Blocks 0.8 1.0 16
Block placed block.sand.place subtitles.block.generic.place Blocks 0.8 1.0 16
Footsteps block.sand.step subtitles.block.generic.footsteps Blocks 1.0 0.15 16
No subtitle block.sand.fall (Plays when fallen on from a height) Blocks 0.75 0.5 16


Java Edition Alpha
October 8, 2010Soul sand first appears on Notch's blog.
v1.2.0previewSoul Sand JE1 BE1.png Added soul sand, which generates in the newly added Nether dimension.
v1.2.0_01Gravel now generates where Soul Sand should generate. Existing soul sand remains.
v1.2.0_02Soul sand generates again.
Java Edition Beta
1.6.6The player can now get out of soul sand to another block while sneaking.
Java Edition
1.0.0Beta 1.9 PrereleaseAdded nether warts, which can be grown on soul sand.
Beta 1.9 Prerelease 6Shovels now mine soul sand faster.
1.3.112w22aInventory sprites for blocks have flipped from left to right, changing to Soul Sand JE1 BE1.png.
1.4.212w36aWither skeleton skulls can be placed on a formation of soul sand to create a wither.
12w38aSoul sand now has new sounds when being walked on.
1.513w02aIn texture packs, soul sand now uses /textures/blocks/hellsand.png.
1.814w17aSilverfish and endermites now take damage if they walk on soul sand.
14w32bOne-way doorways can now no longer be made with soul sand.
1.1317w47aPrior to The Flattening, this block's numeral ID was 88.
18w07aSoul sand now produces upward bubble columns when under water.
1.1418w43aSoul Sand JE2 BE2.png The texture of soul sand has now been changed.
19w09aSoul sand can now be used to play the cowbell, if they are under note blocks.
Upcoming Java Edition
1.15pre3Soul sand no longer suffocates silverfish.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.12.1build 1Soul Sand JE1 BE1.png Added soul sand.
0.16.0build 4Soul sand can now be used to spawn the wither.
Bedrock Edition
1.5.0beta sand now produces upward bubble columns when under water.
1.10.0beta Sand JE2 BE2.png The texture of soul sand has now been changed.
1.13.0beta sand can now be used to play the cowbell, if they are under note blocks.
Legacy Console Edition
TU1CU11.0Patch 1Soul Sand JE1 BE1.png Added soul sand.
TU19CU71.12Soul sand can now be used to build the wither.
TU691.76Patch 38Soul sand now produces upward bubble columns when under water.
PlayStation 4 Edition
1.90Soul Sand JE2 BE2.png The texture of soul sand has now been changed.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
0.1.0Soul Sand JE1 BE1.png Added soul sand.


  • Soul sand can generate on the floor of caverns and lava pools below Y=60 only if it generated in that same column at Y=60 or above.
  • Because soul sand is not as high as a full block, standing near lava while on soul sand sets the player on fire.
  • If a water current is pushing the player diagonally against a wall and soul sand is the block adjacent to the player's head when the current ends, it causes the player to jump.
  • If snow or carpet is over soul sand, the effects of it being a partial block are avoided because the player walks on the cover block, not the soul sand.
  • Due to the ability to reset the Nether in the Legacy Console Edition, soul sand is renewable in that edition. Although a player can reset the Nether in Java Edition by deleting the DIM-1 folder in a Minecraft world file, some may consider this cheating. Also, explored nether fortresses disappear if the player does not delete data/Fortress.dat that stores data of nether fortresses.
  • When heads are broken, the resulting particles have the soul sand texture.
  • Despite soul sand being a type of sand, it does not fall the same way sand and gravel do.



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