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Bubble Column

A bubble column is a non-solid block generated by placing magma blocks or soul sand in water (source). Bubble columns push or pull entities and items in certain directions.



Bubble columns cannot be obtained as an item,‌[Java Edition only] and can be placed only by a block-placement command such as /setblock.

In Bedrock Edition, it may be obtained as an item via inventory editing, add-ons, or bugs.

Natural generation

Java Edition bubble column. (Click to see the animation)

When generating the world, caves, aquifers and underwater ruins generate below the water surface. All bubble columns generate bubble column blocks until the column reaches the surface of the water or a solid block above the magma block.


When a magma block is placed underwater, a whirlpool bubble column is generated.

When soul sand is placed under source water blocks, an upward bubble column is generated.


Players and other air-breathing mobs can enter a bubble column to replenish their air supply, at the same speed that they would when they leave the water entirely. Water-breathing mobs avoid bubble columns because they suffocate if trapped in one. A bubble column is destroyed when moved by a piston. Bubble columns propagate only through water source blocks, stopping at any flowing water or waterlogged block. The height of a bubble column is limited only by the water's surface or by any obstructing blocks underwater.

Bubble columns cannot be created in downward flowing water.[1] Placing a kelp plant in downward-flowing water converts it into a source block.


A whirlpool, or downward bubble column, is the most common type that generates in the Overworld, often originating from magma at the bottom of underwater canyons. A whirlpool can be identified by the presence of air bubbles wandering downward. They drag entities downward. A boat ridden over a whirlpool shakes and eventually sinks if kept above the whirlpool for too long.


Upward bubble columns can be identified by the presence of vertically rising air bubbles. An upward bubble column accelerates entities upward. The longer an object rises through the bubble column, the faster it travels. At high enough speeds, players and entities can be launched out of water by several blocks. Sitting on the surface above a rising bubble column causes entities to bounce upward repeatedly by about 1 block.


In Java Edition, Entities move at a speed of approximately 11 blocks (meters) per second when ascending a bubble column or 4.9 blocks per second when descending a bubble column.

In Bedrock Edition, Entities move at a speed of approximately 8 blocks (meters) per second when ascending a bubble column or 6 blocks per second when descending a bubble column.


Java Edition:

SoundSubtitlesSourceDescriptionResource locationTranslation keyVolumePitchAttenuation
Bubbles popNoneUnused sound event[sound 1]block.bubble_column.bubble_popsubtitles.block.bubble_column.bubble_pop0.11.016
Bubbles flowBlocksRandomly from an upward bubble columnblock.bubble_column.upwards_ambientsubtitles.block.bubble_column.upwards_ambient0.12-0.240.9-1.0516
Bubbles wooshPlayersWhen a player enters an upward bubble columnblock.bubble_column.upwards_insidesubtitles.block.bubble_column.upwards_inside0.71.016
Bubbles whirlBlocksRandomly from a downward bubble columnblock.bubble_column.whirlpool_ambientsubtitles.block.bubble_column.whirlpool_ambient0.12-0.250.9-1.0516
Bubbles zoomPlayersWhen a player enters a downward bubble columnblock.bubble_column.whirlpool_insidesubtitles.block.bubble_column.whirlpool_inside0.71.016

Bedrock Edition:

Data values


Java Edition:

NameIdentifierFormTranslation key
Bubble Columnbubble_columnBlockblock.minecraft.bubble_column

Bedrock Edition:

NameIdentifierNumeric ID FormItem ID[i 1]Translation key
Bubble Columnbubble_column415Block & Ungiveable Item[i 2]Identical[i 3]
  1. ID of block's direct item form, which is used in savegame files and addons.
  2. Unavailable with /give command
  3. The block's direct item form has the same id with the block.

Block states

See also: Block states

Java Edition:

Name Default value Allowed values Description
Determines whether the bubble column is upward or whirlpool.

Bedrock Edition:

NameMetadata Bits Default value Allowed valuesValues for
Metadata Bits
Determines whether the bubble column is upward or whirlpool.


November 18, 2017Bubble columns were shown in a video clip during MINECON Earth 2017.
Java Edition
1.1318w07aBubble Column JE1 BE1.png Added bubble columns.
18w08aBubble columns now generate in underwater ravines.
18w09aBubble columns now generate in underwater ruins.
18w16aBubble columns can no longer be pushed by pistons.
Bedrock Edition
1.5.0beta Column Upwards (non-fancy) BE1.png Bubble Column Whirlpool (non-fancy) BE1.png Added bubble columns.
beta Column JE1 BE1.png Bubble columns can now be toggled to look similar to Java Edition, but only for devices that can handle them.
Legacy Console Edition
TU69 1.76 Patch 38Bubble Column JE1 BE1.png Added bubble columns.

Bubble column "item"

The following content is transcluded from Technical blocks/Bubble Column.
Bedrock Edition
?Bubble columns exist as an item.


Bedrock Edition
?Bubble Column (inventory) BE.gif Bubble columns use this texture.


Bedrock Edition
  • ? - ?:


Issues relating to "Bubble Column" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.


Java Edition

Bedrock Edition