Never try to hold lava in your hands, especially not in the real world.
August 8, 2021 6:46 PM   Subscribe

A handy guide to the rocks and minerals of Minecraft. (SL labor of love from Jolyon Ralph of, "the world's largest open database of minerals, rocks, meteorites and the localities they come from.")
posted by MonkeyToes (11 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
I was not expecting that to be fun to read but it has a very engaging tone. Now I want all the minerals and gems explained to me.
posted by fleacircus at 8:22 PM on August 8 [3 favorites]

I only know Minecraft by reputation, but that was still an interesting read.

Loved the "Interesting fact" and "Boring fact."
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:47 PM on August 8 [2 favorites]

I'll forward this to the kids and we'll see if they cotton on to the fact that it's educational while it's still summer holidays...
posted by Harald74 at 10:28 PM on August 8 [1 favorite]

It’s a pity this article doesn’t cover the most recent update, which added not only copper ore, oxidized copper, amethyst, stalagmites, tuff, and calcite, but is also part of a plan to extend the world downwards with a massive layer of compressed slate.
posted by lazugod at 11:07 PM on August 8 [1 favorite]

As a geologist, I thoroughly approve! Great find and already forwarded to the Minecraft-playing kids in my life 👍
posted by sedimentary_deer at 12:23 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]

Minecraft: it isn’t rock science.
posted by Phanx at 12:39 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]

My Minecraft-obsessed kid often asks me about particular Minecraft materials and whether they exist in the real world. We had a chat just the other day about whether obsidian is a suitable material for swords or armour (it's not really, being essentially a glass). I was lucky enough to have a hefty chunk of obsidian in a drawer, which I found when I was his age.
posted by pipeski at 4:35 AM on August 9 [4 favorites]

This was better than I was expecting. Now I'm plotting out the nearest stone museum for my minecrafters.
posted by zenon at 7:08 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]

Ooh, I used to write with Jolyon! I knew he was a bit of a rockhound, but that's an understatement. Last I heard of him (which dates things to ~1990) he was happily selling me and UK defence services Quantum hard drives. Apparently these were the only devices that survived missile tests for drogue aircraft.
posted by scruss at 7:53 AM on August 9

Oh nice. I wonder how many people have become more interested in geology due to Dwarf Fortress and Minecraft?

I know I've learned a bunch from the Dwarf Fortress wiki since it lists real world uses and traits alongside the in-game ones, so I'm actually learning what minerals are iron ores and such.
posted by Canageek at 1:36 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]

We had a chat just the other day about whether obsidian is a suitable material for swords or armour (it's not really, being essentially a glass).

Macuahuitl is not quite a sword, more like a club with blades wedged in, but I think the kids would still get a kick out of it. Still one of my favourite weapons, Morrowind had Glass swords and I wondered the same way as your kids did about it obsidian in MC.
posted by GoblinHoney at 8:17 AM on August 10 [1 favorite]

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