Maths – the one subject everyone hates taking at school. The one where the question “but where will we use this in real life?” gets asked all the time. While Minecraft isn’t real life (at least not yet), you can do some pretty awesome things by combining it with advanced mathematics.

Minecrafter three_two has generated a level 5 Menger sponge in Minecraft, and then let Minecraft populate it with natural terrain. When I first saw this, I had to look up what  Menger Sponge is. According to wikipedia, it’s a “fractal curve”. If you’re still lost (as I was), then imagine the following: (again courtesy of Wikipedia)

  1. Begin with a cube (first image).
  2. Divide every face of the cube into 9 squares, like a Rubik’s Cube. This will sub-divide the cube into 27 smaller cubes.
  3. Remove the smaller cube in the middle of each face, and remove the smaller cube in the very center of the larger cube, leaving 20 smaller cubes (second image). This is a level-1 Menger sponge (resembling a Void Cube).
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each of the remaining smaller cubes, and continue to iterate ad infinitum.

Basically, a Menger Sponge is a cube with lots of holes in it. (as you can see below)

File:Menger sponge (Level 0-3).jpg

An illustration of the iterative construction of a Menger sponge up to M3, the third iteration. Credit/Wikipedia

Getting back to Minecraft, three_two has created what is effectively a crazy survival map in a giant cube full of holes.

Suggested: New World Record Set for Minecraft Speedrunning!

The technical details of the map are as follows:

Level 5 Menger sponge populated with Minecraft decorations, ores, mineshafts and even a stronghold! 4 biomes: desert, plains, forest and swamp. A few things to note:

  • Due to the structure of a Menger sponge, you may experience fps decrease. The amount of surface area the sponge creates basically negates any attempt Minecraft makes at culling and rendering optimization. If you’re having problems, just turn your view distance down, ya dingus.
  • Ore distribution has been vertically stretched to double what it is in vanilla. For example if diamond ore normaly spawns from y=0-16, in the sponge it’s y=0-32.
  • The sponge does not meet any of the spawn conditions of lava lakes, water lakes and dungeons so, there are none. Single water and lava sources can be found.
  • As you might have noticed in the image, no villages.
  • Beyond the sponge no land will generate, just an ocean of air.

I haven’t had a chance to play on this map yet, but I intend to soon. For now however, you can download it and try it out for yourself!

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