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Minecraft Vanilla, "Large Biomes" is off.

After filling the maximum zoom-out map of terrains surrounding the spawn, I took to the sea. I found some jungle connected to a taiga and a desert, then went further west. After two days by boat I found a tiny archipelago which I made into a pleasant place for resting. Another day of travel, and a rather small mushroom biome. A fresh map brought to maximum zoom-out, cruising it day and night, and then, when I filled it, I felt like I should start looking for a snark:

He had bought a large map representing the sea,
Without the least vestige of land:
And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be
A map they could all understand.

"What's the good of Mercator's North Poles and Equators,
Tropics, Zones, and Meridian Lines?"
So the Bellman would cry: and the crew would reply
"They are merely conventional signs!

"Other maps are such shapes, with their islands and capes!
But we've got our brave Captain to thank
(So the crew would protest) "that he's bought us the best—
A perfect and absolute blank!"

Well, not entirely. There are isles. Tiny ones. Maybe six, in area that takes two days by boat to cross, and quite much longer to cover.

I tried to travel quite a bit beyond the western edge of the map. Still no continent.

Can I expect to find some America if I travel further west, or does Minecraft sometimes spawn a biome that runs on indefinitely?

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closed as unclear what you're asking by Zommuter, kotekzot, Krazer, fredley, Jeffrey Lin Jul 15 '13 at 12:05

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Oceans are large, not to say HUGE.

In theory there is an extremely low chance that your ocean goes on forever, but in reality there will be some kind of continent. It might take you an ingame week of travelling or more, but you will find land when always going in the same direction.

Oceans are so large because the world defaults to being one huge ocean, and after that other biomes are placed in, forming continents when they touch each other.

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Just as a note: it is possible for ocean biomes to go on forever, if they end up reaching the 'edge of the generated world', where ocean generates until the edge of the possibly generated area... but, as you said, this is very unlikely. – Fire Shim Jul 15 '13 at 9:58
@mrfishie It's very unlikely if there were an infinite amount of possible worlds. But since minecraft is based on a seed and there are a limited amount of possible seeds (around 281 trillion possibilities) the chance of it really being possible is even smaller, since it has to happen in one of this 281 trillion seeds. And I'm pretty certain that the chance for it to effectively happen is smaller then 1/300 trillion. So if someone ever takes the time to come up with the correct numbers, let me know :) – Arperum Jul 15 '13 at 10:24
Is there a source to ocean being the default biome, over which all other biomes are placed? My understanding of the algorithm was a bit different, though I do not have proof either :) – Orc JMR Jul 15 '13 at 10:29
@OrcJMR IIRC I read about that a the terrafirmacraft website where the mod author tried to change it to default to plains, but that was not good for some reason. I haven't looked at the code but something HAS to be the default. Ocean seems plausible to me. – Arperum Jul 15 '13 at 10:33
@Arperum Oh, okay. In my understanding there was a random field function that guaranteed some biome to be returned for any point of space - hence no default outside of the function. But as I recall now, the map generator since Anvil format is able to gracefully recover and generate a smooth world even given a world from a previous version, so it has to be something more complex than a field function. – Orc JMR Jul 15 '13 at 10:38

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