I'm in a bit of a pickle.

It seems someone playing on my friend's SMP server decided that it would be a good idea for him to do some testing with TNT.

Endless Sea of TNT

Now, he's conscientiously set this atrocity up a reasonable distance from the rest of the construction on the server, so I don't think that it will effect any damage in the other projects, but someone still has to get rid of it. Guess Who.

This is what I've come up with, as a means of surviving the cataclysm:

Obsidian Shelter

However, this shelter is of course, based on the assumption that since Obsidian cannot be destroyed by explosions, it will act as a barrier to their consequences. If I were to hide inside this shelter, would I emerge unscathed after detonating the TNT?

  • 7
    From my own experiments with large areas of TNT on multiplayer servers (my own! not griefing!) setting of that much much TNT is likely to cause a lot of lag, possiby even crash the server. So you may want to back up the save game file before trying, and have as few players as possible on the server at the time of detonation.
    – Martin
    Commented Apr 24, 2011 at 22:53
  • 63
    I only hope you shoo'ed the sheep to safety before testing this.
    – Rapida
    Commented Apr 25, 2011 at 2:34
  • 26
    I only hope you record this and post it to youtube while testing it. Commented Apr 28, 2011 at 3:46
  • 2
    @GnomeSlice Surely you have a backup… and the free time to indulge the idle curiosity of random people on the internet!? (j/k) Commented Apr 28, 2011 at 5:02
  • 8
    I sure hope you built a floor for that shelter.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Dec 20, 2013 at 16:27

8 Answers 8


Anecdotally, from the explosion patterns on another question, I never saw a block that was further from the center being destroyed while another, closer block wasn't. All my target blocks (redstone) had 0 resistance, so anything touching them should have popped them (though they do have a sort of resistance when they get destroyed).

The mechanics as described on the Explosion page over on the Minecraft Wiki state that they are modeled as rays originating from the explosion center travelling out until they are fully attenuated. If they all meet an impenetrable wall (obsidian), they can all be absorbed and nothing gets through.

  • Not sure about TNT but charged creeper explosions do pass through obsidian. My mob head farm is a tall open-top obsidian cage where I blow up charged creepers in company of other mobs. The rather neat dungeon around is now full of holes after several uses of the farm.
    – SF.
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 12:29



Based on this, it appears that yes, obsidian 'blocks' the effects of explosions. My health meter flashed, and my character said Oof! a bunch of times, but no damage was taken.

  • 2
    I stand corrected. I guess the difference is that the obsidian doesn't get destroyed in the explosions (generally my informal experiences come from cobblestone or dirt walls). Nice evidence. :)
    – Kevin Yap
    Commented Apr 25, 2011 at 2:29
  • 13
    This has got to be the screenshot of the week. Commented Apr 25, 2011 at 17:00
  • 1
    I'd guess the flashing/'oof'ing was a byproduct of some sort of client-side prediction guessing that you were taking damage, but getting nullified by the server saying "no that player isn't getting hurt". Really awesome demo/test though!
    – Doktor J
    Commented May 13, 2011 at 16:49
  • 2
    Were you wearing armor?
    – Zommuter
    Commented Jul 29, 2013 at 6:35
  • 15
    I sure hope that sheep survived...
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Mar 19, 2014 at 14:03

Depending on how you define "passing through", because explosion has different effects on blocks and entities.

According to the Minecraft wiki article on explosion, entities (including you the player) will always get at least 1 point (half-heart) damage if they are within blast radius (TNT: 8, creepers: 6, fireballs: 2), regardless of explosion exposure (calculated with sophisticate algorithm, or simply how much you're covered by obsidian). And the damage can be absorbed by armor subsequently.

The above statement is reproducible for me with a 1.5_01 client. However, the main part of that article was written by me based on disassembled code, so I can't provide more verifiable sources than this.

  • 4
    Who doesn't love disassembled code? +1 :)
    – GnomeSlice
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 15:09

I don't know if this would work on large areas like yours, but according to the minecraft wiki, water will block terrain damage (but not player/mob damage).

  • 1
    Yeah, to do EOD in Minecraft all you need is a bucket of water. Douse an area, set a few off, and repeat. They won't chain if submerged, the only hazard is that if you activate multiple and the explosion from one knocks another out of the water, then problems can arise.
    – Nick T
    Commented Apr 25, 2011 at 16:30
  • 2
    A good tip, but this doesn't really answer the question about Obsidian. =]
    – GnomeSlice
    Commented Jul 9, 2011 at 22:55

I did a similar experiment with obsidian. I placed tnt all around an obsidian box. Then I put four chests in the obsidian box. After covering all the walls with obsidian and then setting off the tnt, 3 of the four chests that were in the obsidian were destroyed. My conclusion: even though explosions don't destroy obsidian, they still go through the obsidian block and can damage blocks inside the box.

  • Interesting setup - though the mechanism may have changed significantly since the question was originally asked
    – Zommuter
    Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 20:02
  • @Zommuter It hasn't. Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 22:09
  • @SevenSidedDie So GnomeSlice was just lucky to take no damage at all?
    – Zommuter
    Commented Jul 28, 2013 at 8:36
  • 3
    @Zommuter Explosion damage for entities and blocks are calculated differently, so the discrepancy is probably there. Each "oof" GnomeSlice experienced was potential damage that could break a chest, but armour probably blocked it. Commented Jul 28, 2013 at 17:50

Do Blasts Pass Through Obsidian?

Yes, it does.

You can test it, yourself.

Place 3x3 on bottom, and place TNT in middle. Than put obsidian all around. Put button, or lever on any block (cos they are all around TNT in middle), stand really near (without any armor) and flip the switch. You will take half of heart damage.

So, yes blast does pass through obsidian..


Yes they do, im not sure about "Blocks". not sure if blocks get broken thru obsidian but im 100% sure Damage DOES pass through obsidian "barriers"


If you were to put that much TNT i would probably move the obsidian wall a little bit back more then the obsidian might have a chance of not breaking but if you were to build a bigger obsidian wall then it would probably not break only a few blocks might break

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .