Attention. We are stuck in an anomaly....can't get out......it's like space is warped......which ever way we go...can't move...equipment has gone off the rails....can see the outline of a town on the horizon...our coordinates...51...10..3..1..2....Is anybody out there...?
...find a way out, help! We're running low on...General Tachenko
The Space Anomaly, also known as Space Bubble, is an anomaly that appeared in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat. It did not appear in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl - the massive emission that ended Clear Sky may have temporarily defused them.
The Space Anomaly is truly the ultimate result of the Zone's instability as now it alters the very fabric of reality and distorts time and space, seemingly creating miniature wormholes which acts as a portal that teleports anything that touches it to another spot or creating a loop in reality that traps anyone unlucky enough to be inside it.
The former seems to be proven upon talking to a stalker at the Cordon by the rail bridge. Asking him about the 'black hole' will direct you to the Space Anomaly there, along with his details about it. Apparently he and his friends have been throwing trash into it, and he recalls seeing the trash in an old tunnel, meaning the Space Anomaly teleports anything thrown into it. In the latter case, the Space Anomaly forms a bubble of sorts; everyone inside it occupy the affected area, but within a separate dimension. When they reach the boundary of that area, they are instantly returned to their starting point. There is only one point of exit and its location is not readily apparent, thus unfortunate ones can be trapped for eternity unless they happen to find the exit by chance. This means that the Space Anomaly has some kind of will of its own.
The Space Anomaly appears to have quite a powerful gravitational field in the start of its lifespan, as one at the Cordon atop the railbridge seems to have greatly displaced the rails, as they're badly bent out of shape facing the anomaly.
Additionally, while the Space Anomaly does not randomly spawn artifacts like most anomalies, Forester, a long-time inhabitant of the Zone, claims that he found a Compass artifact while trapped inside a Space Anomaly that allows him to navigate his way out, hinting that those rare artifacts may only spawn from inside the time loop of the anomaly. This is further implied by the fact that Noah in Call of Pripyat who uses the Space Anomaly at the burnt farmstead in Zaton to travel to the southern plateau posses two of them despite of their rarity.
The Space Anomaly can be destabilized by a Svarog detector, which emits a frequency that somehow interferes with it once the wielder is close enough, eventually causing the anomaly to explode and disappears, freeing anyone and anything trapped within it in the process.
After a subsequent number of emissions, certain Space Anomalies were spotted: one at the Cordon atop the embankment; one in Red Forest atop a derelict T-64 tank; another in Yantar and numerous clusters in Limansk.
In the Army Warehouses, a number of people were trapped in Space Anomalies, and their frantic radio transmissions can still be heard by the Freedom faction and the player as he travels through the Army Warehouses; some are futile cries for help from doomed stalkers and military soldiers trapped in the anomalies, some apparently automated distress signals with the fate of the ones transmitting them unknown and some simply static with very weird and frightening noises.
The Space Anomaly at the Cordon leads to a bridge outlet near a collapsed tunnel at the end of the train tracks due east. The tunnel itself is collapsed with only a few meters useable, filled with various loot, ammunition and breakables, along with a hollowed pipe which is the location of a possible stash. Upon leaving, it appears as though the player is 'trapped' in that spot as after a few attempts at leaving, the player will return to the tunnel. The anomaly 'lets go' of the player after a few tries and the anomaly ends. Re-entering the tunnel there can only be done via the anomaly.
The Space Anomaly atop the T-64 tank is part of the main questline, which leads directly to where the Forester's base is. Its quite simple to get to by simply jumping on the tank and moving into it. What makes this area dangerous is the number of mutants, various other anomalies and high radiation levels in the vicinity.
The Space Anomalies in Limansk all lead to exactly the same spot, just near the river by the front end of a bus cabin on the roadway (one of the Space Anomalies can be seen at the bus where it has removed and repositioned the cabin piece) The tight grouping of this cluster of Space Anomalies can be irritating because passing through the field itself yields some high grade ammunition for various rare weapons. This is the location of the largest number (more than 10 in total) Space Anomalies in the game.
Call of Pripyat
Space Anomalies make a reappearance in Call of Pripyat, though only two of them are seen in the game.
The first Space Anomaly is located in Burnt Farmstead on the verge of a cliff, which leads to the Plateau where Stingray 3 crashed. The way to this anomaly is very dangerous as it leads through many Burner anomalies, so great caution is advised, but Noah will guide the player through them during Getting to the Plateau mission.
The other Space Anomaly is located in the Cooling Tower area in Yanov. When approached, one can hear a transmission, however nothing unusual is visible. This Space Anomaly will only become visible by taking out the Svarog detector, and when the player gets close to the anomaly with the Svarog detector in hand, the anomaly vanishes, and emits harmless sparks for a moment and then drops General Tachenko's and his men's bodies, as well as their weapons and a Medkit. If searched, all the bodies have nothing on them. Only on General Tachenko's body, an item can be found - General Tachenko's PDA.
It should be noted that a 'riddle' one needs to solve to get to the Oasis also acts in a manner similar to a Space Anomaly. It is not known if such a riddle is actually a Space Bubble while being trapped inside or if it is just a one-time puzzle without a connection to any known anomaly.
Known victims of Space anomalies
- Navel – trapped and killed inside a Space Anomaly in the Cordon by dehydration.
- Leshiy's mercenary team – trapped inside a Space Anomaly after an emission; rescued thanks to Scar's intervention.
- Forester – trapped inside a Space Anomaly, but managed to navigate his way out using a Compass artifact that he found inside the anomaly.
- Other victims were trapped within Space Anomalies in the Army Warehouses area; their frantic and sometimes frightening messages are sometimes heard when traveling through the area.
Call of Pripyat
- General Tachenko and his personal escort – trapped inside a Space Anomaly; out of the 5 soldiers, Major Chepurny seemingly found his way into another space anomaly only to die there later on, two of Tachenko's lieutenants were killed by Colonel Kosmach after going insane 6 days later into the ordeal, and he committed suicide shortly after that. Tachenko, the last one left, recorded his last monologue onto his PDA and committed suicide afterwards.
- The coordinates that Leshiy gave in his transmission for help are not complete, as they only cover the latitude, and no longitude is specified. Depending on how one feeds the coordinates into a coordinate reader, it gives 3 different locations. One is in London (United Kingdom,) one in Derkul (Kazakhstan,) and one close to Sheffield Park (United Kingdom.) The first 2 do not match the description, as Leshiy says he sees "the outline of a town on the horizon" but both of the former locations are already in a town or city. The latter is on a road with houses and a train yard to the south, making it the most likely location that Leshiy's group was teleported to by the anomaly. It's also possible that the location is merely random numbers, and were not meant to add up to a real life location.