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Spikes received a mention in mid-2009 by Notch in a blog post. These were originally planned for Java Edition Beta 1.7, working by extending and retracting spikes (and making them more like "spike pistons" than anything), but were replaced by sticky pistons. On May 28, 2012, Dinnerbone stated that he'd like to add spike blocks, but is unsure of how to implement them. see 1.17 (Caves & Cliffs) Update for the Speleothems - the existing (soon) spike blocks.