I keep a boxed-in Snow Golem in my house. Twice, it has spontaneously vanished. The second time, I was around and I noticed that there was a pile of snowballs, as if it had been killed. However, I am reasonably confident in my house lighting and that there certainly wasn't a mob in the room then.

What exactly can cause snow golems to die?

The only discusssion of spontaneous despawning I could find on Minecraft Wiki clearly does not apply to Snow Golems since they last much longer than one minute.

(Please answer with experimental or code evidence (your own or a link), not just passing on what you've heard. There are a lot of urban legends.)


Might as well provide an answer based on the source code here.

A snow golem is an EntitySnowman, which inherits its logic from EntityGolem. It will never despawn. (That is, calling canDespawn() on an EntitySnowman always returns false.) So, your snow golem is absolutely not despawning on its own.

Why is it disappearing? That I don't know. If it gets touched by fire, water, rain, or attacked by any other mob, it can easily die. If none of those things are happening, then it probably is some kind of suffocation glitch - maybe it wanders into a block and gets stuck somehow.

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  • There are also certain biomes in which the Snow Golem will slowly "melt" and eventually die; the wiki lists Deserts, Jungles, and the Nether. – IQAndreas Aug 17 '13 at 23:33

Snow Golems do not de-spawn if the player leaves the area. They'll always be alive, I think, like the wolves.

But you said your 'pet' golem was boxed, them it can't escape that way, but maybe, from a collision bug or a 'glitch', he maybe escaped from some empty corner. Still, he could be teleported, like pet wolves do, and then found a mob, and pursued it forever. (or died)

Or... He just went suicidal. :P

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Based on the fact that my latest boxed golem has stuck around since I asked this question, my conclusion is that they do not despawn under any ordinary circumstances.

The disappearance must have been a glitch — or perhaps a skeleton got in, killed the golem, and despawned itself.

UPDATE: Just the day after I wrote this answer (hah), it happened again, while I was around (I'm pretty sure there was no skeleton), so I'm unaccepting this answer.

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Snow golems should not disappear on the Xbox after you make them. If they do, some thing must have killed it or the snow golem is some were you can't find it.

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That's probably a suffocation glitch, Snow Golems shouldn't despawn by themselves and they don't follow the player who made them, like dogs. I've found out by being killed and having all my highly enchanted armor and tools, etc disappearing after a couple of minecraft days when i went back to get them...:-P so that might be why you only saw snowballs once, you might have come in right after it had died.

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Snow golems do not despawn, but can be killed by a suffocation glitch. There may be a glitch where snow golems walk into a block, and suffocate that way.

Snow golems can also "disappear" by being killed by a then-despawned enemy. Even though you said it was boxed in, a monster can kill others through a corner. That must be why you saw a pile of snowballs on the ground.

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Snow golems can melt in the desert and Nether, which can kill them. If you have a snow golem in these biomes, that's your answer.

Proof: http://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Snow_Golem#Behavior

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I had a snow golem and it only disappeared once... I spawned another one and it never despawned. It's rare for a snow golem to despawn, but if it disappeared then it might have been killed and the snowballs it dropped may have been removed. It also could have suffocated in a wall somehow. But a snow golem should never despawn.

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  • 2
    How is this answer different than the ones that have already been provided? – IQAndreas Aug 17 '13 at 23:35

Snow Golems do despawn after a period of 10 minecraft days.

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    Do you have any source for this? – Jupotter Mar 7 '12 at 20:24

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