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The following screenshot shows Emacs 26.3 (GNU Emacs 26.3 (build 2, x86_64-pc-linux-gnu, GTK+ Version 3.24.14) of 2020-03-26, modified by Debian) editing a Markdown file:

enter image description here

Note that on some lines of the code block, some of the space characters at the end of lines are rendered as _. If I go to any of these locations and do a describe-char, they are reported as normal spaces:

character: SPC (displayed as SPC) (codepoint 32, #o40, #x20)

Looking at the file with a hex editor, I can confirm that these are normal 0x20 spaces just like all the other ones that don't show any artefacts.

These artefacts are stable across closing and reopening the file in Emacs. However, they are not shown in fundamental-mode, only markdown-mode.

What do they mean, do they mean anything or is it just a bug, and is there anything I can do to get rid of them?

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    Use C-u C-x = to show all the details. If there are any overlays or text properties they will be listed as well. Then you can use their name to figure out what markdown-mode is doing. – db48x Feb 10 at 12:25
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In Markdown, two spaces at the end of the line cause a hard line break. markdown-mode highlights those for you, because otherwise they are indistinguishable from soft line breaks. It seems you have trailing white space in your diagram.

However, this is a bug since it shouldn't apply that face to trailing whitespace inside a code block.

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