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We present our studies on dark counts, observed as transient voltage pulses, in current-biased NbN superconducting single-photon detectors (SSPDs), as well as in ultrathin (~4 nm), submicrometer-width (100 to 500 nm) NbN nanobridges. The duration of these spontaneous voltage pulses varied from 250 ps to 5 ns, depending on the device geometry, with the longest pulses observed in the large kinetic-inductance SSPD structures. Dark counts were measured while the devices were completely isolated (shielded by a metallic enclosure) from the outside world, in a temperature range between 1.5 and 6 K. Evidence shows that in our two-dimensional structures the dark counts are due to the depairing of vortex-antivortex pairs caused by the applied bias current. Our results shed some light on the vortex dynamics in 2D superconductors and, from the applied point of view, on intrinsic performance of nanostructured SSPDs.