I'm working on my first Etho mob grinder using his revised underground system:

My location and world type couldn't be better - the top is on a tiny island off the shore of a plains biome. This means theoretically there should be very few other places for the mobs to spawn.

However I've dug down 24 blocks and come across a huge deep underground chasm right where half of my mob grinder should go. I can't see the bottom and can only see one end. enter image description here

So I want to ensure the chasm won't act as a spawning ground for mobs as this will impact the efficiency of my mob grinder.

What is the easiest way to achieve this? Here's a few thoughts I had:

  1. I could go down to the bottom of the chasm and cover it with torches. This would stop mobs from spawning on the ground, but I think there might be lots of ledges etc. which would be hard to light. I'm also not sure if spiders spawn on walls.

  2. I could fill the chasm with water. Theoretically it's under the sea but even if I tunnel up to the sea floor (through 15-20 blocks) would I have to make multiple shafts or even clear the entire top to properly flood the chasm?

  3. I could try to fill it with hard fill but this would take thousands of blocks.

  4. There is easily accessible lava near by - I could use a bucket system to fill the chasm with hot magma

I'm only in Survival mode so while I can die I'd like to avoid it if possible.

Thank you in advance.

4 Answers 4


For spawning purposes, the absolute best thing to do would be to fill the ravine with solid blocks. If I recall correctly, this makes the spawning algorithm give up on the space sooner so that you'll get slightly higher spawn rates elsewhere. However, that's probably not practical.

I would recommend simply lighting it up with torches, starting from the top down. Yes, there will be ledges on the side; such ledges are generally flat and lengthy, so you can deepen them by digging into the wall a little bit to have a continuous normal walking path, and light that up. As you light up the ledge you will start to get a better view of ledges on the other side. As a bonus you might find passages to other caves you'll want to light up.

The reason to go top down is so that you don't have monsters falling on your head. The particularly problematic ones are creepers, which in recent versions may instantly explode if they drop from a height next to you. If this particular ravine does not have many ledges, or there are many spawning spaces outside of the ravine, it may be safe enough to light up the floor first; this will get rid of most of the spawn area and so you'll get fewer skeletons shooting you while you deal with the ledges.

I would not recommend using lava or water as fill, because they will make things inconvenient if you later decide to build some underground structure that just happens to intersect the ravine's location.

No monsters, not even spiders, spawn on walls, so you don't have to light up sheer walls (or any part that is not a floor or a ledge).

  • The chasm is 60 blocks long, about 8 blocks wide, and 20 blocks deep. So filling it up would be a mission. I've gone for the lighting option. But might put a stream down the middle for aesthetics. Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 20:11

Lava seems like the best option to me. You can just place a lot of it on the walls of the ravine, about five blocks apart. That should stop most of the mobs from spawning.


Light it up with glowstone and torches.


I'd recommend you cover the bottom with half - slabs since these are counted as transparent blocks, you can also use glass i think and mobs can't spawn on them. Then light up the ledges

  • only if the slab is on the lower half of the block though Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 19:01
  • from the last time i checked, mobs can't spawn on transparent blocks Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 19:09

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