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I was journeying to the Nether when I noticed the most curious site outside my portal enclosure:

The mob started with about six, and has over doubled in numbers over the last half an hour or so. Every zombie pigman in sight has congregated in this one spot, and more continue to come. They just huddle together, jumping constantly. Occasionally one will stray from the mob, observe me or a mushroom or something, then return once more. Neither I nor anyone on the server has aggravated them.

I've checked the wiki, which confirms that they do tend to group together, but says nothing about spontaneous dance parties. What causes this behavior, and has anyone seen something similar? Is this a known pastime for zombie pigmen, or simply a pathing glitch in the nethers of SMP?

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Because they have become sentient? – fredley Sep 22 '11 at 8:22
Thankfully freedom of assembly has not yet been extended to them, and we can disband them by force before they decide to revolt.. – dlras2 Sep 22 '11 at 8:23
@DanRasmussen your oppressive attitudes form the root of the zombie pigman proletariat masses' discontent. This aggression shall not stand! ¡VIVA LA PIGOLUCION! – Alex Sep 22 '11 at 10:28
Been playing dead island and so now all I can think of is "Molotov". – Kurley Sep 22 '11 at 12:47

Zombie Pigmen tend to travel in groups. That's why they are so hard to kill.

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True, but this group is much larger than those they supposedly gather in, and the flocking behavior is something I haven't seen before. – dlras2 Sep 23 '11 at 21:39
Then they are forming an army! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!!! AAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! Just Kidding. :P – TheEpicUnknown Sep 24 '11 at 15:31

This is entirely speculation, but I believe that there are two possibilities. One thing that might have happened is that they spawned in about three groups of four each, then banded together to create a large group. According to the wiki: Zombie Pigmen spawn in groups of 4, no more, no less. However, groups can merge and form an even bigger group. Also, are you sure that nobody has provoked them so far? It's not that hard to smack one :).

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I assume the wiki is wrong or at least omitting some details as I have met numerous lone pigmen and fought them. I did not see nor hear any others in the area. – rom016 Mar 21 at 12:50

Maybe your poor friend is there and all the pigmen are trying to kill him :o

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He said no one had aggravated them though... – John the Green Sep 24 '11 at 17:00

I'm not at all sure this is what is happening in your case, but I have seen in others' videos that if Zombie Pigmen are hostile and chasing a particular player, and that player dies, they will remain at that spot (i.e. still chasing the vanished player) until the player disconnects or respawns.

I don't think that is what is occurring in this video because they're not running straight towards the spot and crowding each other, but wandering around at it, but I thought I'd mention it as it fits a similar description.

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Well, in the Overworld, animals that form a big group tend to stick together, so it would be the same for Zombie Pigmen. If two big groups collided, they would stick together, which is what must have happened to you. I don't know why they're dancing.

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