Introduction to Bone Blocks in Minecraft
Bone blocks are decorative blocks that were added to Minecraft in the 1.10 Frostburn update. They are crafted using 9 bone meal and can be used for building and decoration purposes. Bone blocks make a nice smooth texture alternative to other blocks like quartz, wool, and iron. They can also be used to craft bone meal, which is useful for farming.
Bone blocks naturally generate as part of fossils found underground in desert and swamp biomes. They can also be found above ground in soul sand valley biomes in the Nether. When mined with a pickaxe, they drop 9 bone meal. Bone blocks are mainly used decoratively, but also have some functional uses as compact bone meal storage.
Crafting Bone Blocks
Bone blocks are crafted by placing 9 bone meal in a 3x3 grid in a crafting table. This will produce 1 bone block. To obtain bone meal, you need to kill skeletons which will drop bones. Take these bones and craft them into bone meal in the crafting table (1 bone makes 3 bone meal). Bone meal can also sometimes be found in chests located in dungeons and desert temples.
The crafting recipe to make bone blocks is:
Note that 9 pieces of bone meal are required to produce 1 bone block. With this recipe, it's easy to stockpile bone meal from skeleton farming and craft it into decorative bone blocks for building.
One of the best ways to obtain large quantities of bones in Minecraft is to build a skeleton grinder or mob farm. Skeleton spawners found in dungeons provide a constant supply of skeletons that can be killed and farmed for their bones (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKUPtRd84Es). By funneling skeletons to a central killing point and using water streams to push the drops to a collection area, you can gather bones automatically.
For early game bone collecting, focus on hunting skeletons in caves and on the surface at night. Equip a sword or bow and venture out under moonlight to find and slay skeletons, collecting any bones and arrows they drop. Be cautious of surprise creeper attacks. With some persistence and skill, you can gather quite a stockpile. Make sure to deposit bones in chests and protect your inventory in case of untimely demise.
Uses for Bone Blocks
Bone blocks have several useful applications in Minecraft. One of the most common uses is for decoration in fossil-themed builds. The off-white color and texture of bone blocks allows them to realistically resemble dinosaur bones or other fossils in a museum or excavation display (source). Bone blocks can be used as accents, walls, floors, or to construct the bones of dinosaur skeletons.
In addition to decoration, bone blocks can be crafted back into bone meal. Nine bone blocks can be crafted into 81 bone meal, which is useful as fertilizer for farming trees, crops, and especially nether wart. Thus bone blocks serve as efficient storage and can provide large amounts of bone meal when needed (source).
Finally, bone blocks produce unique xylophone tones when used with note blocks. Note blocks placed on top of bone blocks generate this exclusive instrumental sound, adding creative musical options for builders.
Finding Natural Bone Blocks
There are a few ways to find bone blocks naturally generating in Minecraft worlds:
Deserts and swamps sometimes contain fossils made up of bone blocks. These fossils generate underground and can be mined for bone blocks (citation: https://minecraft.fandom.com/wiki/Bone_Block). Fossils are more common in deserts than swamps.
Standalone bone blocks can also occasionally be found underground, especially at lower levels near bedrock. These naturally spawned blocks are a rare sight (citation: https://wiki.sportskeeda.com/minecraft/bone-block).
When mining natural bone blocks, use a pickaxe enchanted with Silk Touch. This will allow you to retrieve the full bone block rather than having it break into bone meal (citation: https://www.digminecraft.com/block_recipes/make_bone_block.php). Silk touch is key for obtaining bone blocks found underground.