Big hole in the ground Another hole in the ground

This has happened in a couple of different places on my server. Does anyone have any idea what causes it to happen?

Some facts about the phenomenon:

  • other players on the server can't see them, only I can
  • other players can walk out onto the ground that's supposed to be there
  • animals can also walk out onto the missing ground, but their movement becomes sporadic
  • several holes can appear very close to one another
  • after leaving for some time, and then returning, the hole may be gone
  • mobs can sometimes be seen walking along the bottom of the recess
  • there appears to be a room (possibly a dungeon) suspended in the middle of the second one
  • these are incredibly creepy

I haven't been brave enough to venture out onto one yet, but will try and post results.

Edit: It turns out when you fully jump into one, you fall the length of a block, and then you're pushed back up again. This happens repeatedly, and very quickly, so that you get stuck midair and have to /tp to get out.

Also, the hole in the second picture came back, but there is no longer a big room at the bottom.

  • I've gotten these a lot. Usually you're just seeing through, you can walk across the surface. Sometimes this glitch looks REALLY REALLY cool. Several times I've had it glitch, making the side of a mountain invisible and exposing the tiny ant farm of your illuminated caverns below.
    – Cory J
    Jan 16, 2011 at 18:28
  • 5
    Possible duplicate of How can I get rid of this black hole in my minecraft world?
    – pppery
    Aug 6, 2019 at 21:33
  • 1
    @pppery Are you sure it's the same phenomenon? They have different appearances: the suggested duplicate seems to completely miss all data, whereas the latter of these holes (as mentioned by the OP) still has some data (a "room") loaded.
    – Joachim
    Aug 7, 2019 at 7:51
  • I asked this back in 2011, so technically their question would be a duplicate of mine ;)
    – Keaanu
    Aug 7, 2019 at 23:04
  • @Joachim In both cases the phenomenon is the client not getting the chunk data from the server. The "room" phenomenon is caused when the server sends partial chunk data because of many blocks changing in that part of the chunk. Mar 31, 2022 at 11:02

5 Answers 5


Given the square nature of the missing pieces, I think it's some kind of Chunk error ("chunk" being the term for any given sector in the minecraft world).

Specifically, from the notes about patch 1.2_01 on Notch's blog, emphasis mine:

  • Added a temporary fix to get rid of chunk visibility errors

The last one is interesting.. The problem with chunk visibility errors was that for some reason the “dirty” flag on chunks and the list of “dirty chunks” got out of synch. There wasn’t time to try to do a proper fix today, so I just made the client check a couple of dirty chunks per frame to make sure they’re in the list.

So until we fix it proper, you might get invisible chunks, but they will fix themselves after a second or two, usually way before you even get close to them.

  • 2
    Interesting that he says they'll be fixed within seconds. I can walk around mine, take screenshots, fire arrows into them, leave and come back, and they're often still there.
    – Keaanu
    Jan 17, 2011 at 2:28
  • Those particular chunks may be corrupted. If you don't have important structures contained within them, I would delete them and have the game re-gen them. I would use a map editor to do the deletion.
    – MBraedley
    Jan 17, 2011 at 2:34
  • 3
    Sadly, one contains half of my house :(
    – Keaanu
    Jan 17, 2011 at 14:30
  • 7
    All you need to do is log out of the server, then log back in. It will reload for you when you download the server.
    – Nick H
    Jan 26, 2011 at 20:43

A chunk is a block of 16x16x128 (X,Y,Z) blocks. Sometimes they disappear, but if you quit and rejoin, or go a few chucks away and come back it may fix itself.


That bug is reported, although for me relogging isn't sufficient. My workaround:

  • Put your inventory in a box
  • (optional: if you're far away from spawn, ask someone else to stay here or /tp a sock puppet to your location)
  • disconnect
  • (have the server admin) delete your player file (world/players/username.dat IIRC)
  • reconnect as a "new" player at spawn
  • go to your box (or /tp to previously mentioned nice person/puppet)
  • the missing chunk's back

Of course, other chunks may get missing later on again, so use your openID to support the bug report, too!


I still(!) encounter these often, so here's another method I use to get rid of them:

If you travel to the Nether, when you come back, it will reload the chunk, fixing the error.


Also, if you have this error often, but a relog fixes it, try pressing F3 + A to reset the chunks.

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