Minecraft: Here’s Why Your Dolphins Are Dying (& How To Keep Them Alive)

No Dolphins Were Harmed During The Making of This Article

Ever wanted to spruce up your build with cool and rare animals only to find yourself in a pickle when the animal dies while you’re trying to transport them? You and me both but this problem is specific to marine animals. Not all animals work the same in Minecraft, so how about dolphins? Why are your dolphins dying, and how do you keep them alive?

  • Article Breakdown:
  • There are two reasons why your dolphins might be dying in Minecraft.
  • One is that they’re located on dry land for far too long, which will cause them to begin suffocating, and the other is that they’re in water far too long without having room to jump out and get air.
  • Just like in real life, dolphins in Minecraft can’t survive without air either.

What happens to dolphins on land?

As marine mammal does in real life, Dolphins will begin suffocating on land but not immediately. Dolphins start suffocating on land after about 2 minutes, so your base or other body of water better be nearby when you’re trying to transport them. There are multiple ways to avoid this if you’re base is far; I’ll give you an example of three.

One is that you could make a little water pond every couple of blocks until you’ve reached your base. These ponds will help you get to your base faster since they’ll navigate you and keep the dolphins from dying. There’s no answer as to how long the dolphin has to be in the water to get those full 2 minutes out of the water back, so perhaps it would be wise to test it out in a creative world first.

The second, and by far the easiest, tip to keep your dolphins alive on land for more extended periods is by transporting them while it’s raining. The game acts as if dolphins are still underwater when it’s raining, so they won’t start suffocating after the 2-minute mark.


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My dolphins keep dying in their home: how to fix it?

There are two reasons why your dolphins might be drowning in water. The first is that the dolphin is prevented from coming up to get air. This way, if the dolphin stays underwater for about 4 minutes, it’ll begin drowning, so make sure your little pond is big enough for the dolphin to swim in and that there’s plenty of room for them to jump out of the water to get air.

Another reason might be that they’re close to dropped items. This is a Java Edition-only feature, and the rule is as follows: dolphins are lured by dropped items inside near water blocks. They will start chasing the item, play with it, and kick it around if they can. If they can’t find their way to the dropped item, there’s a chance they’ll stay in the water to the point where they begin drowning. Make sure there are no dropped items in the water around them and their pond that they can’t access.

How long can dolphins be without air?

If you came for the answer to this question without having to read through all of the things before, they can be without air for around 2 or 4 minutes. Dolphins need access to air and water to survive, making them a unique mob. Without one or the other, they’ll start taking suffocation or drowning damage and die eventually.

The exception to the rule would be that if a dolphin finds itself in a water-logged bottom slab or a chest with an air block above them, it will not suffocate or drown.

Drowning damage

Dolphins have ten health, and once they begin drowning, they’ll, just like the player, start taking two damage every second until the health bar depletes fully and they die. It’s not a guarantee that the dolphin starts with a full health bar, so it’ll take less for the dolphin to drown. With a full health bar, it’ll take 5 seconds for the dolphin to drown.

Suffocation damage

By default, suffocation will occur when a player’s or mob’s eye line is within certain blocks, but we already know how dolphins suffocate. They’ll take one damage every half a second until their health bar fully depletes, and they die. As is with drowning, it’s not a guarantee that the dolphin starts with a full health bar. With a full health bar, however, it’ll take 5 seconds for the dolphin to suffocate.


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What’s the use of dolphins?

I am Speed

It’s worth noting that even though dolphins can prove to be extremely useful in-game, they are not entirely passive mobs. Instead, they’re neutral mobs. The difference between the two is that passive mobs won’t attack in any instance, while neutral mobs will if certain conditions are met. Endermen and spiders are other examples of neutral mobs.

Dolphins will only attack a player if you attack them back. They usually spawn in pods of 3-5 in all ocean biomes if the ocean isn’t frozen or cold. One accidental attack and a mob of dolphins will come after you in return if they’re close by. If you manage to kill a dolphin with one blow, the others won’t attack.

You can feed dolphins, and I would advise you to do so because this improves their trust and future interactions with you. If you happen to feed the dolphin raw cod or salmon, they will swim to the nearest shipwreck, ocean ruin, or buried treasure. They aren’t locating the structures themselves but rather the chest within those structures.

Make sure you follow the dolphin to the structure and pick up anything the chest might contain before breaking it. Once you break it, the dolphin will begin locating another chest. One of the reasons why ocean monuments are not on the list is because dolphins are afraid of guardians and elder guardians. Besides, ocean monuments are structures with no chests, so this would be the primary reason.

Dolphin’s grace

Apart from their chest-finding ability, dolphins can give players dolphin’s grace which is a status effect that increases your swimming speed when a dolphin is nearby. Dolphin’s grace allows you to travel 9.8 blocks per second, making it faster than traveling with a boat. The effect lasts 5 seconds and is applied when the player swims within nine blocks of a dolphin. The effect will be replenished if you stay within 15 blocks of the dolphin.

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