Mystery Surrounds the Monolith Phenomenon Appearing Around the World

The Utah Monolith.
A mysterious 12-foot-high metal monolith was found in Utah's Red Rock Country by United States Fish and Wildlife Service employees. (Image: Screenshot via YouTube)

The “Monolith Mystery” was started last month when the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) discovered a massive metal monolith in the middle of Utah’s Red Rock Country. It appeared as three large sheets riveted together, with the inside left hollow. The structure was embedded into the bedrock using heavy-duty tools.

The 12-foot-high metal monolith disappeared, leaving behind mysteries. The official announcement regarding this disappearance came from the Federal Bureau of Land Management’s Utah office. Local officials told The Guardian that the structure had been removed “by an unknown party” on Nov. 27, with rocks left behind to mark the place where it had stood.

Appearing and disappearing

Soon after the disappearance of the monolith in Utah, on Nov. 26, a 9-foot structure that appeared to be identical to the one in Utah was found on Batca Doamnei Hill in Romania, but it disappeared four days later.

The next spot was the top of Pine Mountain in Atascadero, California. On Dec. 3, a 10-foot monolith appeared, raising eyebrows. But soon after the discovery, it was removed by a group of young men from Southern California. The replacement with a wooden cross was live-streamed on social media.

Monolith in Atascadero, California.
Another monolith was found at the top of Pine Mountain in Atascadero, California. (Image: Screenshot via YouTube)

On Dec. 3, tour guide Sylvan Christensen and YouTube personality Andy Lewis published a YouTube video claiming the removal of the Utah monolith citing environmental reasons.

“We removed the Utah Monolith because there are clear precedents for how we share and standardize the use of our public lands, natural wildlife, native plants, freshwater sources, and human impacts upon them,” Christensen told news agencies.

Later on Dec. 6, a 7.5-foot monolith was spotted on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England. As the previous ones were still trending online, the mystery structure was quickly recognized by locals, according to the BBC.

Rise of theories

Netizens were divided on the theory of the origin of the monolith. Ripley’s (Believe It or Not) announced US$10,000 to the first person who comes forward as the legal owner of the monolith or provides accurate information on its origin.

Still, it’s unclear what these monoliths are or where they came from. Stories vary from art projects to nature, aliens, or something even bigger. 

Many suggested that they are related to the Vein of the Earth Art (Land Art) Movement that emerged in the 1960s and ’70s. The movement made artistic interventions in remote, inaccessible landscapes.

'Spiral Jetty', an earthwork sculpture on the shore of the Great Salt Lake.
One theory is that the monoliths are a kind of land art, like the ‘Spiral Jetty,’ an earthwork sculpture on the shore of the Great Salt Lake. (Image: via Wikimedia Commons)

The most popular theory is that these are the artifacts left on earth by an alien race. People sought to decode the patterns to extract what they believed were alien communications. The structure’s similarity to the alien monoliths in Kubrick’s classic sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey sparked these theories. While some other theories point to a simple hoax played by pranksters to kickstart conversations. 

Interestingly, people found Google Earth images of the object dating back to 2016. Officials had refused to disclose the metal obelisk’s location earlier, but netizens managed to pinpoint its position. This indicates that it was reportedly put in place long before it became popular on Nov. 18.

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  • Armin Auctor

    Armin Auctor is an author who has been writing for more than a decade, with his main focus on Lifestyle, personal development, and ethical subjects like the persecution of minorities in China and human rights.