Last weekend, Fortnite's long-teased rocket launch went slightly awry, ripping a giant crack in space and time across the sky above the map. Since then, smaller rifts have started to appear throughout the world, slowly expanding and gobbling up key landmarks as they grow. And now one of those landmarks has been discovered spat out in a desert in the real world.
Yesterday, Greasy Grove's giant Durrr Burger restaurant signage was the latest victim of the rift epidemic, and soon the friendly burger face with the lolling tongue was nowhere to be seen.
Until, that is, photographer Sela Shiloni stumbled across it quietly minding its own business in the middle of the desert in Palmdale, California, while location scouting. Nearby, sat a police car and a sign noting, "This site is unstable. Beware of possible effects."
What.... is this... Iâ€™m in the middle of the desert why is this here??? pic.twitter.com/oTMiGc0Wno— Sela Shiloni (@selashiloni) July 6, 2018
And here's a video of the scene, after someone accused Shilona of faking the whole thing with PhotoShop, because this is the internet so of course someone did.
Hereâ€™s a video for you. Itâ€™s definitely not photoshopped pic.twitter.com/8F2adJ29V5— Sela Shiloni (@selashiloni) July 6, 2018
Given the timing and the quality of the model, it seems almost certain that Durrr Burger's sudden real-world appearance is Epic's doing, expanding the game's consistently excellent world-building and storytelling in the run-up to the launch of Season 5.
Since the meteor struck the earth at the start of Season 4, Fortnite's Battle Royale map has been in constant flux, with government vehicles steadily working their way around the island, filling in craters and safely gathering up the Gravity Crystals that also fell from space. Part of that clean-up involved dismantling the giant meteor at Dusty Divot, which in turn released the mysterious Visitor, seemingly responsible for the recent rocket sabotage - and ensuing rift chaos.
The question, of course, is where all this rift business is heading - and some believe that Season 5 is poised to adopt a time-travel theme. Not only are modern day chunks of the map disappearing, but dataminers have found evidence of new, historically-flavoured props in-game - including a Penny Farthing bike, and a Wild-West-style campfire stove and poker table.
Fans have speculated that the apparent space-time rifts won't just remove parts of the map, they'll start spitting things out from the past too - a theory which was almost certainly confirmed earlier tonight when what appears to be an Ancient Greek anchor materialised at a rift point between Greasy Grove and Snobby Shores.
NEWS: An anchor has appeared at the new rift: https://t.co/8ed8OgWvg7— Fortnite News (@FortniteBR) July 6, 2018
Adding further fuel to the time-travel fire, Epic today revealed, as part of its latest roadmap, that new Wild-West-themed heroes are scheduled to come to Save the World mode soon.
As Fortnite's Season 5 July 12th launch approaches, we'll no doubt see more dramatic arrivals and departures across the Battle Royale map. Whether any more of these will be spat out into the real world for unsuspecting passersby to discover remains to be seen.