Hidden inside the massive world of Elite: Dangerous are curious items that nobody knows what to do with—and these items are inspiring an investigative frenzy.

As you might already know, space sim Elite: Dangerous recreates the entire galaxy, and players are free to explore it all. Within this galaxy, there are things you might expect, like planets and stars. There are also very rare items known as “unknown artefacts,” which players have started to find recently according to PC Gamer. This is what the items look like, courtesy of Uncle Bert:

This is what they sound like (thanks for uploading, digiscream)

Though the item makes an ominous sound, your ship can’t identify what it is:

Spooky, eh? Players do have theories, though. They’ve tried messing around with the audio file of the artefact, in the hopes that speeding it up or slowing it down produces some sort of clue. No dice. There’s also the theory that the item is giving out a message via morse code. Other players assume that the item has something to do with one of the alien races in the game. Still, there’s nothing concrete just yet.

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In a thread on the official Elite forums, players are pooling together their knowledge of the item so far. Not everyone has found an item like this yet—they’re all very well hidden, which lends the item a sort of mythical status. As a result, players are offering out rewards that go up to many millions of in-game currency for the item. Other players are getting creative to obtain the artefact, and are using a bug that allows them to replicate items that others are holding. But most players seem to be out there, searching through a vast digital galaxy for an item they may never find and have only heard rumors about.

Making matters interesting is that obtaining the item once you’ve actually found it isn’t easy, either. The YouTube description of the digiscream video notes that the item “[ate someone’s] ship from the inside” as they carried it. Another player claims that the item degraded and destroyed their ship. Here’s a player that claims they accidentally came across the item:

I was patrolling within the Nav Signal of Leesti, trying to make some cash, as usual. After a few waves of unwanted ships I saw a Hauler with Master rank, because I didn’t get a lot of bounty I thought I shoot him down even though it doesn’t give me a lot of credits. I was a few meters behind him and he dropped his cargo at estimated 20% hull strength. Normally I don’t care about containers, on the contrary, I only have a max capacity of 2. Why should I pick one of them up? It’s just annoying to see them on the radar, and it’s confusing, so yeah I just fly right into them to destroy them.

I did the same a few minutes ago and I made a very, very frightened face when I noticed too late that amongst those containers was one of those artifacts. Call me a lunatic, but I SWEAR to god it was one of them even though I only saw it for a fraction of a second. I crashed into it, and therefore destroyed it, and you can’t believe how much I hate myself right now.

You can believe it or not, but I certainly know what I’ve seen. And destroyed.Damn! >.<

I’m not sharing this story because I believe it’s true. It might be bullshit for all we know. But the fact that this mysterious item is probably inspiring all sorts tall tales from people is a testament to how much it’s currently capturing the minds of some Elite players.

It’s stuff like this that makes me love video games.