Soul Sand

From Minecraft Wiki
Soul Sand
First Appearance Java Edition: Alpha v1.2.0
Pocket Edition: 0.12.1 build 1
Type of Block Solid block
Stackable Yes 64

Soul Sand is a brown, dirt-type block naturally only in the Nether. It usually slows down the movement of mobs and Players walking on it. It is also used for growing Nether Wart and for constructing a Wither. It appears to have ominous pixelated faces on it.


Soul sand is found naturally only in the Nether, usually near large bodies of lava in deposits similar to gravel deposits. It looks similar to a dirt block, but it has some unique features. It slows the movement of any player or mob that is on its surface, and players will sink slightly into the block while they are walking on it. Soul sand has a height of 1516 of a block, which means that a player cannot walk onto a slab while they are on soul sand without jumping first. This also means that a player can not get off of soul sand while they are holding down the sneak key unless a player jumps.


Soul sand is used for planting Nether wart, since it will only grow on soul sand. A nether wart farm is very useful to a player since nether wart is needed to brew potions. Nether wart will grow in all dimensions and has no light requirements.

Soul sand can also be used as a trap to slow down hostile mobs or enemy players which gives a player enough time to pull out a weapon.

Soul sand can also be used to summon the Wither by making a T shape out of soul sand and putting 3 wither skeleton skulls on top.

If soul sand is placed in water, it will created a bubble column for mobs and players to float upwards. If an endermite, baby turtle, or silverfish walks on soul sand, it will slowly take suffocation damage and die due to their hitbox being so small.

Soul sand can be placed under Note Blocks to produce cowbell sounds.

Fires lit on soul sand are blue, and burn indefinitely.

Creating the Wither

  • Note that this is not in the crafting table. It has to be built in the same fashion as an iron golem or snow golem, just make sure that a wither skeleton skull is the last block placed.
Wither Skeleton Head Wither Skeleton Head Wither Skeleton Head
Soul Sand/ Soul Soil Soul Sand/ Soul Soil Soul Sand/ Soul Soil
None Soul Sand/ Soul Soil None


Soul soil or Soul sand, a stick, and a piece of coal or charcoal can be used to craft soul torches.

Three Sticks, Soul soil or Soul sand, and three logs can create a Soul Campfire.

Soul Torches x4
None Coal/ Charcoal None
None Stick None
None Soul Soil/ Soul Sand None
Soul Campfire
None Stick None
Stick Soul Soil/ Soul Sand Stick
Log Log Log


  • When it was first released, sneaking onto a soul sand block would not prevent a player from falling off the block. This bug was fixed in the 1.2.1 Alpha patch.
  • Putting ice, packed ice, or a slime block under soul sand will dramatically slow down a player even more than the soul sand alone already would have.
  • Because of the fact that entities sink in soul sand, anything on the edge of it while they are next to lava will be set on fire.
  • The slowest speed achievable while still moving can be done by sneaking and blocking with a shield while walking on soul sand with ice underneath it through cobwebs and still lava while moving backwards and while under the effect of a potion of Slowness II. In addition, if a player is under these conditions and they are moving at a steep angle against an adjacent block, they can move at almost infinitesimal speeds while moving only 0.00001 m at a time.
  • Soul sand can be found in patches inside of Nether fortresses with Nether wart growing on it. This is the only place where nether wart can be found.
  • Once stepped on in the Overworld, the sky will get dark. This is because a player's feet are technically inside of the block, and as such the skylight level is.
  • Silverfish, Endermites, and baby turtles will suffocate if they step on soul sand. This is caused by the fact that they are so small that the sinking effect covers a large part of their body.
  • As of 1.13, when soul sand is placed underwater, it will sharply push items towards the surface.
  • Soul sand, along with iron blocks and snow blocks, are one of the blocks that can be used in creating utility mobs.
  • Soul sand in 1.16 can also be lit with fire and will turn it into Soul Fire.
  • As of Update 1.16, the Nether Update , Soul Sand can be obtained by trading Gold Ingots with Piglins. However, this is a random possibility. 
  • If you wear boots with the Soul Speed enchantment, you will be faster, and also release the souls, which are similar in appearance to the faces in the texture of soul sand, but are instead a bright blue.
  • Soul Sand is 1 pixel lower than a regular block.