You can create an infinite well using two buckets of water and a hole that is one block deep and two blocks by two blocks wide. I'm wondering if it's possible to do a similar thing with lava, now that obsidian is so valuable for making portals. I have an idea for making it easier for creating portals, but it's dependent on having an effectively infinite source of lava very close to where I want to create the portal. So is this possible? If so, how?

  • Possibly related: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/8295/… Oct 31 '10 at 20:55
  • @ Raven Dreamer Yeah, I saw that, but since that's multiplayer, it isn't relevant. I probably should have mentioned this was alpha single player.
    – MBraedley
    Oct 31 '10 at 22:04
  • 1
    FYI: You might need to change the accepted answer again - the behavior espoused by Fredley has been confirmed to be a bug. Nov 2 '11 at 21:39
  • 1
    Will there ever be an acceptable answer? I, for one, would like to see this bug become a feature.
    – MBraedley
    Nov 3 '11 at 2:16
  • One can hope! :) Nov 3 '11 at 2:53

Note: This answer exploits an old bug which has been patched in the current version of Minecraft.

No, lava can't replicate, but you can create unlimited obsidian from one lava block using a glitch involving lava flow onto redstone wire:

  • Whoa, that's a neat tileset. Any idea what it is? Sep 2 '11 at 16:04
  • 3
    Gerudoku. Sep 3 '11 at 22:27
  • Thanks, mate. I really like the water textures. Might have to steal that and hack it into my currently used texture pack. Sep 3 '11 at 22:30
  • 2
    This answer exploits a bug which has since been fixed. This trick to generate Obsidian no longer works in MineCraft.
    – IQAndreas
    Jul 15 '13 at 6:14
  • The lava+redstone trick still works to create infinite obsidian. You need to get lava to flow downward on redstone which is next to flowing water. Here's an imgur album showing step by step how to build my version of the farm. When you've harvested the obsidian all you need to do is replace the redstone and you can open the pistons again and make more obsidian. Just make sure you don't open the pistons when there is no redstone!!
    – Johonn
    Apr 29 '14 at 16:49

Not Any More

In Minecraft Beta 1.9 pre-5, you could make infinite quantities of lava by placing 4 lava sources around a central block as so:

As pointed out by Ben Blank, this behavior was scheduled to be reverted, and no longer works.

  • 1
    Jeb has announced plans to revert changes to water physics to pre4 behavior. Water and lava share almost all their code, so it's possible this will get reverted as well. (Though I really hope not!)
    – Ben Blank
    Oct 30 '11 at 15:58
  • 4
    Here's a Tweet announcing that this is a bug and is already fixed.Link Nov 2 '11 at 17:46
  • @RavenDreamer :-(
    – fredley
    Nov 2 '11 at 21:08
  • 2
    Fixed in 1.0.0 :(
    – Poma
    Jan 4 '12 at 6:31
  • 1
    The video in this answer was taken down. Is there any substitute for it?
    – MBraedley
    Mar 1 '15 at 13:46

Both top answers rely on bugs that existed in previous versions of MineCraft, but have since then been fixed.

In the current version (MineCraft 1.7.4), there is no way to get infinite lava source blocks or lava buckets.

However, you can get infinite obsidian by exploiting the fact that portals between the nether and the overworld are re-created (offering "free" obsidian) if no existing portals are in range. This mechanic is described about half way through this video, and still works in 1.7.4:


There is no way to replicate lava, like water, in actual Minecraft.

However, I found a way to get lava infinetly. In the Nether, the netherrack walls contain lava patches. I also noticed that netherrack walls regenerate if you go too far away from the mined channels. So, lava might also re-generate in them.

  • HI, John! Kudos for the suggestion. Have you confirmed that it works?
    – jpaugh
    Sep 20 '18 at 1:16
  • @jpaugh Well, I think it was probably a client-sided glitch, from what I found out in the meantime.
    – John
    Oct 18 '18 at 20:20
  • Okay, thanks! I don't think I'll miss it, though. I've gotten tired of dying in lava since I asked, and have resorted to walking across obsidian, instead of bridges.
    – jpaugh
    Oct 18 '18 at 23:04

I'm playing the newest update in multiplayer and I've noticed that while farming cobblestone, sometimes a lava flow block turns into a source block when the surrounding flow blocks turn into cobblestone.

My hypothesis is that this has something to due with the lag (I play on a very busy server). I play on a Skyblock server so being able to duplicate lava source blocks (even if the result is uncommon and unpredictable) is very useful because of the limited resource availability.

A top view diagram of my cobblestone farm:

Xx   xX       
Xx   xX   


  • x - 1 stone block
  • X - 2 stone blocks (stacked);
  • @ - Water placed on a stone block (after farm is filled with flowing lava);
  • # - Lava source placed on a stone block
  • I forgot to mention something. The lava source block turns up in the O space just below the Lava space. If you try it out, that space normally has a cobblestone block on top of nothing (air) after you add the water, but every-so-often the empty space under the cobblestone block will instead be a lava source block. Apr 26 '13 at 5:09
  • Can that lava source block that is produced be picked up with a bucket, or is it just some sort of "ghost block". If it is a lag issue, it should "correct itself" after logging back in, meaning you don't end up with any "free lava" anyway.
    – IQAndreas
    Jul 14 '13 at 7:51
  • Also, do you have any video that shows this mechanic in action? Both to prove that it really works, but also the answer provided might be clearer with a video instead.
    – IQAndreas
    Jul 14 '13 at 7:52
  • @IQAndreas I experienced this too playing SMP Skyblock. The lava was real, persisted across many days of logins, and could be collected with a bucket. (It's not a lag bug—that's just someone wildly guessing.) That was 1.5.2 though. Jul 14 '13 at 14:27

It's not actually possible to recreate lava with other lava. There is no real reason to worry about getting lava sources if you have a lot of iron and a nether portal, although getting it is a hard job and I recommend to get potions before you start collecting lava in the nether.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.