Soul Sand

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Soul Sand
Soul Sand.png





Blast resistance






Yes (64)





Data value

dec: 88 hex: 58 bin: 1011000



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 only naturally found in the Nether.


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

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.

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 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 in water, or above ice, packed ice, or slime blocks. It can also suffocate mobs which are smaller than a slab, namely silverfish, endermites, and baby turtles.

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 water will create a lifting bubble column, which will cause items, players and mobs inside the column to rise to the surface.‌[Java and Bedrock editions only]



Java Edition Alpha
October 8, 2010Soul sand first appears on Notch's blog.
v1.2.0 preview Soul Sand.png Added soul sand, which generates in the newly added Nether dimension.
Java Edition Beta
1.6.6 The player can now get out of soul sand to another block while sneaking.
Java Edition
1.0.0 Beta 1.9 Prerelease Added nether warts, which can be grown on soul sand.
Beta 1.9 Prerelease 6 Shovels will now mine soul sand faster.
1.3.1 12w22a Inventory sprites for blocks have flipped from left to right, changing
1.4.2 12w36a Wither skeleton skulls can be placed on a formation of soul sand to create a wither.
12w38a Soul sand will now have new sounds when being walked on.
1.5 13w02a In texture packs, soul sand now uses /textures/blocks/hellsand.png
1.8 14w17a Silverfish and endermites will now take damage, if they walk on soul sand.
14w32b One-way doorways can now no longer be made with soul sand.
1.13 17w47a Prior to The Flattening, this block's numeral ID was 88.
18w07a Soul sand will now produce upwards bubble columns when under water.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.12.1 build 1 Soul Sand.png Added soul sand.
0.16.0 build 4 Soul sand can now be used to spawn the wither.
Bedrock Edition
1.5 beta Soul sand will now produce upwards bubble columns when under water.
Legacy Console Edition
TU1CU11.0Patch 1Soul Sand.png Added soul sand.
TU19CU71.12Soul sand can be used to build the wither.
TU691.76Patch 38Soul sand will now produce upwards bubble columns when under water.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
Added Template:SUSBT:PAGENAME.


  • 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 will set 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 will cause the player to jump.
  • If snow or carpet is over soul sand, the effects of it being a partial block are avoided, as player will be walking 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 will disappear if the player does not delete data/Fortress.dat that stores data of nether fortresses.
  • Walking on soul sand will visibly darken the sky in the Overworld; this effect is less noticeable during the night.
    • This is because of its partial-block nature in combination with the fact that the color of the sky reflects the light level the player is standing in. However, because soul sand is opaque, the player is considered to be in absolute darkness. This may also occur with slabs and other partially-solid blocks that the game considers opaque.



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