Minecraft Logic: Obsidian

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avatar CreeperLadMC
Level 52 : Grandmaster Slime Tamer
41
As you all probably know, obsidian is the toughest substance one can get their hands on in survival mode, with up to 6,000 points in blast resistance and practically immune to explosions. Building a base out of obsidian is probably one of the best strategies to surviving well in Minecraft, but in real life a house composed primarily of obsidian is what one DEFINITELY doesn't want in real life. Obsidian, as you can see, is a whole lot different in reality from that of in the game:

1) Unlike that of in Minecraft, obsidian is actually not a type of stone, but instead is a type of mineral-like substance with similar properties to that of glass.

2) Even though, alike that of inside the game, obsidian usually takes on a dark purple, but obsidian in real life is generally dark brown or even black in color due to impurities found within it such as iron and magnesium. Pure obsidian is actually colorless, though finding samples of it is incredibly hard.

3) Obsidian in reality is not only much weaker than stone, but is actually even weaker than GLASS. In fact, obsidian in real life is actually so fragile that it can be shattered just by giving it a hard whack - you definitely don't need a pickax for smashing the stuff. Believe me, your house of obsidian isn't gonna last very long.

4) I suppose you also know how obsidian is generated in MC, right? When being poured water on, lava is converted into stone, and lava flowing into water usually results in cobblestone whereas a lava source contacting water results in obsidian. Instead, in reality, lava is converted into different stones and substances based on the speed of its cooling.

Even though obsidian is unbearably fragile in reality, ancient Egyptians actually used the substance to make tools and knives due to how easily it can be sharpened. So the purple stuff may not actually be so utterly useless after all...

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1
08/19/2016 3:55 pm
Level 69 : High Grandmaster Egyptian
Sumpumpolis
Nice blog! I'm glad you mentioned it's use to ancient cultures. The Maya had several sources of green obsidian, which they prized as the most beautiful variety.
1
08/19/2016 8:48 am
Level 37 : Artisan Explorer
TastyYoghurt
Obsidian is a type of stone. There's a bit of a disagreement among geologists what to call it - some books call it a mineraloid and some call it a rock, but either of those things could be described as "a stone".

It's not true that irl obsidian is much weaker than stone. It's true that it's about as tough as glass, but glass is a fairly tough material. We think of glass as very fragile, because we usually deal with it in the form of very thin, easy to break sheets, but glass is actually harder to break than a fair number of rocks. If you made a very big, very thin sheet of limestone it would shatter even more easily than a sheet of glass that covers your window. In terms of toughness, obsidian is somewhere in the middle - harder to break than limestone, sandstone, marble, but not as tough as granit, basalt and similar things. In terms of hardness, obsidian and glass are as hard as most types of steel, although they are much more fragile. (Steel is a very tough material.) You could definitely build a house of obsidian, if it only had to be a couple of storeys high.

It's true that you won't get obsidian if you just pour water on the lava in the real life, but there's a definitely some kernel of truth there. Obsidian is formed when quartz-rich lava cools down very rapidly, and that's what pouring water on it is meant to represent. Of course in reality water would simply instantly evaporate, or you could get something like basalt.
1
08/19/2016 3:37 pm
Level 69 : High Grandmaster Egyptian
Sumpumpolis
In terms of hardness measured by how easy harder materials scratch softer materials (the MOHS scale) , obsidian is certainly harder than some of the other stones you mentioned. But it shatters extremely easily. I study stone tools as an archaeologist, and a thick chunk of obsidian can have little bits chip off if you set it down on a countertop. It's reaaallly fragile. Because it doesn't fracture conchoidally, a chunk of limestone or sandstone won't be as easy to break a piece off of as a chunk of obsidian. I use limestone hammerstones on obsidian when making tools, and the obsidian is what gives way first.
1
08/19/2016 6:58 pm
Level 37 : Artisan Explorer
TastyYoghurt
Yeah, that might be true. I picked a blob of obsidian I had lying around, tried to chip it, and it turned out more fragile than I remembered it.
1
08/19/2016 9:25 pm
Level 52 : Grandmaster Slime Tamer
CreeperLadMC
Why would you have a chunk of obsidian just lying around? The stuff isn't common...XD Just curious
1
08/19/2016 9:39 pm
Level 37 : Artisan Explorer
TastyYoghurt
I have all kinds of interesting rocks. Lapis, pyrite, chalcedony and other cool stuff. Obsidian I just picked up on the side of the road one day. It's pretty common if you live in the right area.
1
08/19/2016 7:28 am
Level 40 : Master Nerd
Endure_Slayer
Wow, I never knew any of these o.O
1
08/19/2016 5:57 am
Level 7 : Apprentice Pony
xxxfinnixxx
That was actually quite interesting! :D
1
08/19/2016 6:55 am
Level 52 : Grandmaster Slime Tamer
CreeperLadMC
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it...
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