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|An object in Minetest|
A falling block or falling node is an object which appears when a block capable of falling (like Sand or Gravel in Minetest Game) starts to fall. We also call blocks capable of falling physical blocks, while with “falling block”, we refer to the moving object which is actually falling.
Triggering a fall
Normally, physical blocks rest on top of solid blocks. As soon the “support” below a physical block is dug (or replaced with any passable block like air or water), the block starts to fall. It is rarely possible that a physical block is free-floating. A Map generator might sometimes generate floating sand. This is not an accident. In this calse, physical blocks don't fall automatically. But they start to fall when they have been punched or receive an update. If a block starts to fall, it also updates its direct neighbors. There are other ways in which physical blocks can receive an update. This means, punching a block of floating sand in a large patch of floating sand will cause a chain reaction and a complete collapse.
After the fall
The falling block stops when it hits a solid block. Now one of two things happens: