Minecraft Wiki
Minecraft Wiki
This article is about Overworld fossils. For the similar structures generated in the Soul Sand Valley, see Nether Fossil.
Fossil Skull 1.pngFossil Skull 2.pngFossil Skull 3.pngFossil Skull 4.png
Fossil Spine 1.pngFossil Spine 2.pngFossil Spine 3.pngFossil Spine 4.png

Desert and its variants
Swamp and its variants

Consists of

A fossil is a rarely-occurring skeletal structure composed of bone blocks, coal ore, or diamond ore[upcoming: JE 1.18].


Fossils randomly generate y-coordinates 40 to 49 underground in the Overworld (deserts, swamps, and their variants). Each chunk has a 164 chance to generate a fossil. They may generate as one of the four variants of skull or one of the four variants of spine.

Fossils first generate the pure-bone block fossil with a structure integrity of 0.9, meaning 10% of blocks are replaced by structure voids, leaving 90% bone blocks. Next, the coal fossil generates with a structure integrity of 0.1, with 90% of the fossil blocks are replaced by voids, leaving 10% coal. The locations of coal blocks do not always correspond with the voids generated in the bone fossil, so the resulting combination of both generations combine to make an incomplete fossil structure composed of bone blocks, coal, and structure voids.

‌In Java Edition 1.18[upcoming], there are two types of fossils, each having a 164 chance to generate per chunk. One fossil generates with coal ore between levels 0 and 320. Another with diamond ore rather than coal ore generates from level -63 to -8.


Main article: /Structure

Naturally-generated fossils are composed of a mix of bone blocks, coal or diamond ores, and structure voids, as detailed above. They are made with the NBT structure block format and have NBT files for each type of fossil located in the folder minecraft.jar/data/minecraft/structures/fossil.

Structure name Description Consists of Image
skull_1 The largest skull. 86 Bone Block Fossil Skull 1.png
skull_1_coal Skull_1 being petrified. 86 Coal Ore
skull_2 The second largest skull. 75 Bone Block Fossil Skull 2.png
skull_2_coal Skull_2 being petrified. 75 Coal Ore
skull_3 The second smallest skull. 58 Bone Block Fossil Skull 3.png
skull_3_coal Skull_3 being petrified. 58 Coal Ore
skull_4 The smallest skull, one-eyed. 32 Bone Block Fossil Skull 4.png
skull_4_coal Skull_4 being petrified. 32 Coal Ore
spine_1 The narrowest spine. 37 Bone Block Fossil Spine 1.png
spine_1_coal Spine_1 being petrified. 37 Coal Ore
spine_2 The second narrowest spine. 61 Bone Block Fossil Spine 2.png
spine_2_coal Spine_2 being petrified. 61 Coal Ore
spine_3 The second widest spine. 97 Bone Block Fossil Spine 3.png
spine_3_coal Spine_3 being petrified. 97 Coal Ore
spine_4 The widest spine. 121 Bone Block Fossil Spine 4.png
spine_4_coal Spine_4 being petrified. 121 Coal Ore


May 13, 2016ProfMobius tweets an image of the new structure blocks in action, generating what appears to be a fossil made of quartz.
Java Edition
1.1016w20aAdded fossils.
September 28, 2019Prerelease footage of the soul sand valley biome at MINECON Live 2019 appears to have used these fossils (as opposed to the distinct nether fossils).
1.1620w22aFossils can no longer overwrite desert pyramids or the end portal room of strongholds.
1.1721w06aFossils can now generate in the air due to a bug.[1]
21w10aFossils that generate below Y=0 now generate with either normal or deepslate diamond ore instead of coal ore.
Fossils can no longer generate in the air.
21w15aBecause world generation has been reverted, fossils generate the way they did before the 1.17 snapshots.
Upcoming Java Edition
1.18Experimental Snapshot 1The fossil generation changes in the 1.17 snapshots have been reintroduced.
experimental snapshot 5Fossils with diamond ore no longer generate above the deepslate level.
Pocket Edition
1.1.3alpha fossils.
Legacy Console Edition
TU43CU33 1.36 Patch 131.0.1Added fossils.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
1.9.19Added fossils.


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


  • Hidden in the structure NBT is data that credits ProfMobius with the creation of the fossils.


Odd generation[]

See also[]


  1. MC-214784 – "Fossils can generate floating in caves" – resolved as "Fixed"