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Twice I've attacked a creeper with my sword, which has sharpness and knockback enchantments, and twice whilst still far away from me it's exploded.

Is this coincidence or does the knock back set the creeper off/not reset the distance from Steve?

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I'm fairly certain it's just a coincidence, but I'm not sure. – Wipqozn Jan 11 '12 at 14:21
If someone has anecdotal experience either way, that's be great. – Pureferret Jan 11 '12 at 14:33
I've had this happen before without knockback enchantment. – SaintWacko Jan 11 '12 at 18:01
up vote 28 down vote accepted

I've just tested with a creeper spawner and a sword with knockback. Knockback is not the cause of the explosion.

What I think is happening to you is that the creeper is reaching the creeper event horizon - beyond which it definitely will explode, then you're hitting it. It's ending up miles away - much further away than it would be normally - then exploding.

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+1 for creeper event horizon. – Zsub Jan 11 '12 at 14:53
Really interesting. Thanks! – Pureferret Jan 11 '12 at 15:22
Never heard of this event horizon — got a source? – Kevin Reid Feb 6 '12 at 20:58
There are actually two creeper event horizons - one is for starting fuse and another for cancelling. This is to make escaping a creeper explosion harder. I hope this radius is customizable with NBT anyway... – QbsidianH20 Feb 1 '15 at 5:50

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