Intermittent 5xx responses from the pulls API call

The API call to return a list of pull requests is returning 5xx status codes seemingly at random. The API status page reads green, so I wanted to see if anyone else is having this issue. I know at least one other GitHub user has hit this problem

https://api.github.com/repos/cleverraven/cataclysm-dda/pulls?state=closed&sort=created&direction=desc&per_page=100

It looks like making authenticated API calls mitigates this issue entirely.

EDIT: A new theory we had is that the Cataclysm-DDA repository is simply too large and has too many pull requests for the API to handle consistently.

I suspect what is happening here has to do with the rather large size of the Cataclysm DDA repo. It has over 33,000 closed pull requests, and going through a list of that size may be too much to handle for the servers tasked with handling unauthenticated GitHub API calls.

After a conversation with GitHub support, I have an answer. Because the repo is so large, unauthenticated requests are hitting a timeout cap because they take too long. The solution was to switch to the GitHub search API, searching for pull requests rather than listing pull requests directly.

I was thinking the same too, but I did not post at the very first place, because I might not be the appropriate one to answer,

the API is still limited particularly when being accessed by unauthenticated, so if that is a mix and the repo is so large, the server will think it’s security vulnerability