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Yes, we’re all bored of these by now, but I did just see a shark nosedive into the ground in No Man’s Sky.

It happened as I was exploring the planet of Dagenham East (all my worlds are named after stops on the London Underground – what better metaphor for a game of endless travel, repetitive tasks, and never really feeling like you’re getting anywhere fast?) It’s a beautiful planet made of purple/red rock with glistening pools of water that thrive with plant life.

I was returning to my ship after a an hour of resource gathering when I saw something flip and jerk on the periphery of my vision. I turned to look, and there it was: a shark/fish thingy, stuck vertically into the ground by its pointy beak.

It was writhing and moving but absolutely stuck to the spot. Meanwhile, one of its fellow fish things was patrolling nearby waters with a rather smug grin on its face. I tried to aid the stricken creature, but unfortunately, No Man’s Sky doesn’t have a resource or an item that can be farmed for dislodging sharks, so I resorted to the following feeble gambits:

  • I tried to dislodge it by walking into it. No luck.
  • I hit it. No luck.
  • I even shot it, gently. No luck.

So I scanned it, named the species Fonz, and departed. If you don’t know why a shark who apparently failed while jumping should be named after one Arthur Fonzarelli, then shame on you.

But as I continue my voyage through the galaxy – charting the worlds of Barking, Becontree and Upminster – the experience remains with me. “Is the Fonz still there?” I wonder. I hope, somehow, it managed to free itself and join its friends in the calm waters of Dagenham East.

Has No Man’s Sky changed my life? Not yet. But has it made me feel sympathy for stuck shark? Absolutely.

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