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How can you create these formations? I've seen them in some pics but they seem pretty hard and I have no idea how you can even manipulate lava. I'm new to Minecraft but I've been hooked! Thanks.

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Just a FYI since you have to reach your floating island somehow: instead of a bridge you can use a water elevator –  Zommuter Mar 11 '11 at 5:12
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up vote 12 down vote accepted

Floating islands are generally natural formations that are made on the map, however you are free to create them yourself.

Basically, any block outside of Sand and Gravel do not actually obey gravity, and simply stay in place when the block below them is destroyed (or when placed adjacent to another block with nothing underneath it). Using this simple concept, you can create your own floating platforms by first building using a grounded scaffold, and then destroying the scaffold.

If you "sneak" (check your configuration for the key) then you will not fall off the edge of any block, so you can place several adjacent blocks while on top of your platform by looking over the edge of the platform and placing a block. This will allow you to create vast floating platforms.

As for lava you need a Bucket crafted and a lava source block, that is, a block of lava that isn't "flowing". You can than harvest the lava source block while holding the bucket and right clicking on the lava source block. You can then place this like any other block (and lava will start to flow from the source block).

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Instead of building a new structure you could find a nice mountain and remove the bottom. –  Zoredache Mar 9 '11 at 21:49
    
Thanks! And I think the suggestion to make the scaffolding out of wood is nice, then i can just burn it !! :D And the sneak trick is awesome!! Never understood its purpose before. –  Bombillazo Mar 10 '11 at 15:31
    
I routinely use sneak when mining. It's especially important if you're deep down. By sneaking while mining you'll never have the experience of falling in a hole because you just moved into the space of the block you chopped and it was hollow underneath. Normal cave falls aren't going to cause much injury but if you're deep it could be lava down there. –  Loren Pechtel Mar 11 '11 at 0:36
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You can manipulate lava via buckets, which work on lava just like they work with water. Right click to collect a lava source block,

For floating islands, ducking is very useful (you won't fall down while you duck, which makes it easier to build horizontally.

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Alas, I have yet to find a good way to build down from a floating island. –  Raven Dreamer Mar 9 '11 at 21:03
    
@Raven Drop down enough sand/gravel to act as a foundation to duck and build upon. –  badp Mar 9 '11 at 21:06
    
that's a way, but not always a good way, and sometimes not even a way at all, such as when building out over lava, etc. –  Raven Dreamer Mar 9 '11 at 22:41
    
there really is no way to build down. Its best to find the nearest wall adjacent to you and build out a scaffold from there. Make it wood for easy burning action. –  Resorath Mar 10 '11 at 9:26
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