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In this world, I haven't visited the End or the Nether yet, so the /DIM and /DIM-1 folders have both been empty.

At some point today, after building a long rail line, I noticed that there is now a 12kb /region/r.1.1.mca in both folders, even though I haven't been to either dimension! The files are missing in my backup from yesterday, so I know they were just created.

This is a single-player map, so that precludes the possibility of another server user having visited and caused chunks to be generated.

Where did they come from? Why is Minecraft generating chunks for dimensions I haven't visited?

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Probably just generating chunks for the dimensions you haven't visited. Hm, maybe traveling too far caused new nether chunks to generate? –  avestar101 Jul 22 '13 at 16:32
    
@avestar101 I wasn't traveling in the Nether, only in the Overworld. I haven't visited the Nether. –  ERJ Jul 22 '13 at 16:36
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Is this a problem? The answer is probably just "because Minecraft did it," and I'm not sure what else we can help you with. –  SevenSidedDie Jul 22 '13 at 19:01
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This question needs to be titled "Why are there files in my End and Nether regions?" –  Coronus Jul 23 '13 at 17:42
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Have you ever used the option "Open to LAN"? I believe when MineCraft runs as a server, it opens and keeps the "spawn chunks" of each region loaded (but with limitations) to make travelling between dimensions faster. Perhaps those regions were created when the chunks were being "preloaded"? –  IQAndreas Jul 23 '13 at 18:17

1 Answer 1

According to Notch, both Nether and The End portals spawn naturally as well. If you happen to "meet" one of these portals, it will automatically generate a single chunk in the corresponding world to be able to place the matching portal in that world.

I'm not entirely sure, even though it seems this way, that if you see one of the two, it does this for both. Notch has never released anything about this.

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Got a citation for this (which is not comments about planned development that never happened)? I've never heard of natural Nether portals being programmed in; End portals do of course naturally form in an incomplete state. The shape of a Nether portal could be formed and lit by natural lava flows etc., but it would be extraordinary unlikely. –  Kevin Reid Aug 14 '13 at 17:10
    
Nether portals do not spawn naturally, and they don't generate the other side until you go through. –  SevenSidedDie Aug 14 '13 at 19:22
    
At this moment, I'm not finding the citation, however if you look on google ([google]) you will see –  Master-Guy Aug 15 '13 at 6:17
    
Edit was too late...At this moment, I'm not finding the citation, however if you look on [Google][1] you will see that there are a lot of people encountering this with pre-1.6 singleplayer maps. According to several sources, there was a glitch caused by dieing that generated nether portals. According to other sources, the glitch also glitches and spawns naturally occuring nether portals. Next time you downvote an answer, tell us why. This helps improving replies. Downvoting because you can is a bad reason.. [1]: lmgtfy.com/?q=minecraft+naturally+occuring+nether+portals –  Master-Guy Aug 15 '13 at 6:32

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