First Appearance Classic 0.0.14a
Type of Block Solid block
Tool Used Shovelgraphic
Data Values Hex: 0D
Technical Name minecraft:gravel
Blast Resistance 3
Obeys Physics

Gravel is a type of Block typically found in naturally-occurring pits, underwater, on beaches, in NPC Villages, or in The Nether. Like Sand, Gravel will fall to the lowest y-coordinate below it if there is no solid block underneath it. Therefore, it is possible to suffocate with careless use of Gravel by being surrounded by it. If the lowest block in a column of Gravel is occupied by a partial block, like a Torch, the Gravel Block will disintegrate into a Gravel resource instead. It is the second most abundant of the physics-obeying blocks, Sand being the first.


Gravel is a medium grey block with dark grey marks on it. Its previous texture had a pink/purple tint, but this was changed.


Gravel's abundance and gravity-obeying property makes it useful for a variety of tasks, along with its gravity-obeying partner, Sand. For exploration, it can be used to quickly build pillars to reach heights that are easy to dismantle after. They can also be used to quickly fill in Water or Lava lakes by dropping them on the edges or against overhead blocks, so that they fall and occupy the fluids. Filling caves in with Gravel is a quick way to prevent mobs from spawning. Mobs can be suffocated with Gravel, too. This is an efficient way to raid a dungeon. If mined, Gravel has a slight chance of dropping Flints. If using a Tool with the Fortune Enchantment, however, there is anywhere from a 25% chance to a 100% chance a player will find Flints, depending on the Fortune enchantment level.

Gravel is also commonly used for traps where pistons move down, allowing the gravel to move down as well, so something else such as water or lava will flow in where the gravel was, effectively making a bridge across a moat. This saves a player from having to use Slimeballs for Sticky Pistons. Another trap that Gravel is useful for is setting a suffocation trap. This is where pistons would be triggered and retract sideways, allowing the gravel to fall on top of whoever was below.Another trap that uses a blockupdate glitch in which the player will run on top of floating gravel or sand and then something will update the one of the gravel or sand blocks and causes a chain reaction,and the player will fall or be killed by lava at the bottom.


  • In the Nether, it is possible to find massive cliffs made of naturally-floating Gravel. Just like with Sand, if any are destroyed, replaced, removed, or if a Ghast's fireball hits them, all of the adjacent floating blocks will collapse.
  • Back in beta versions, there were errors of Gravel appearing everywhere (even in The Void, though it is extremely, extremely rare.) These masses were called "Gravel beaches," which can still be seen in the Overworld.
  • In caves (mainly ravines), there is another glitch called "floating Gravel" in which Gravel is floating in midair without any block under it. A simple hit can cause the gravel patches to fall. This can happen in Mineshafts and villages if a path goes over a hole.
2012-05-12 15.07.55

The floating Gravel glitch.

  • Gravel is used as a pathway in NPC Villages. Due to its gravity obeying nature, it can collapse into caves, leaving villagers trapped underground. This will be fixed in version 1.8: Cobblestone will generate underneath the Gravel pathways, preventing it from collapsing.
  • As a version exclusive, gravel that is capable of collapsing releases particles in Pocket Edition.
    • In update 1.12, gravel capable of collapsing will produce particles in the java edition.
  • The texture of gravel has changed, the pixel arrangement had differed.