What's up with No Man's Sky's mysterious fireworks?

Above, you can see a gif of a minor phenomenon I saw while playing No Man's Sky earlier today. As I cruised over a planet's surface, I heard two whooshing sounds, and out of the gloom rose what appeared to be two fireworks, or flares, rising from a monolith below. I landed, got out, and looked around for a while, but didn't see anything out of the ordinary. The question now is: what the hell?

I'm not the only one to have seen them. Youtuber Антон Петрушко also spotted the same thing, though his video, embedded below, shows only a single flare. It was on a monolith he'd already visited, and after investigating on foot, he made several more passes, seeing a new flare each time.

Another player, IBuyFromKmart on YouTube, posted a video as well showing a single flare while walking around on foot. It also came from a monolith.

Redditor kakaooo987 also reported seeing fireworks today, though was met with a little skepticism (r/thathappened) due to having no video or screenshots. No one seems to have any answers for him.

As in-game sights go, I'd have to put this at the top of my list in terms of intrigue, provided it is some sort of meaningful signal and not just a little added bit of visual fluff. I'm not sure how many monoliths I've visited in the 30 hours I've played so far on PC, several dozen at least, and I know I've flown over many more, so it does seem to be a pretty rare occurrence.

Have any of you seen fireworks shooting up from monoliths, and if so, have you noticed anything unusual when landing to check it out? Let us know in the comments, and if we find out anything more, we'll update you.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.