It’s been well over a week since the first monolith appeared, and we’re still none the wiser as to who’s behind the strange objects. Is it a viral marketing stunt? An art performance? Aliens?
While the world waits for answers, here’s a timeline of the all the appearances, disappearances, and everything else we know about the mysterious monoliths that have set social media ablaze.
The Utah Monolith
The original monolith was spotted on November 18 by a helicopter counting bighorn sheep in the south-eastern Utah desert. The crew reported finding the 12-foot metal object ‘installed in the ground in a remote area of red rock’ with no message or sign to indicate who left it there.
Authorities didn’t reveal the precise location of the monolith, but it didn’t take long for social media sleuths to figure it out, with locals soon reporting masses of visitors parking up in the desert to search for the mystery object.
In a statement on November 24, Utah’s Bureau of Land Management warned that, ‘Using, occupying, or developing the public lands or their resources without a required authorization is illegal, no matter what planet you are from.’
An early twist in the tale followed, after Business Insider reporters used Google Earth imagery to work out that the monolith had actually been in the desert for at least four years, although they couldn’t work out how it got there either.
Just over a week after the monolith was first reported, it disappeared, although the mystery of where it went was quickly solved when a group of YouTubers came forward to claim responsibility, saying they had taken it down to prevent the landscape being damaged by visitors searching for the object.
The Romania Monolith
The very same day the Utah monolith vanished, a second mysterious object appeared in an equally random part of the world. Local news outlets in Romania reported sightings of an object almost identical in size and shape to the Utah monolith, this time on a hill close to the town of Piatra Neamt.
Whereas the first monolith had a smooth surface, videos and images of the new discovery showed the second monolith was covered in circles, leading to yet more speculation about the object’s origins.
The mayor of Piatra Neamt joked:
My guess is that some naughty and terrifying alien teenagers have left home with their parents’ UFOs and started planting metal monoliths around the world. First in Utah and then in Piatra Neamț. I am honoured that they chose our city.
Less is known about this second monolith, and it disappeared just as quickly as it appeared, with a local reporter confirming on December 1 that the object had gone, leaving just a small hole in the ground behind. Some have suggested that this one was made by a copycat, while others began to speculate that it was part of a viral marketing scheme for a new sci-fi film.
The California Monolith
Yet again, as one monolith vanishes, another emerges. This time, on top of a mountain in California. Discovered on December 3, the third monolith is visually similar to both its predecessors, with a local news outlet reporting the it was made out of stainless steel and was not attached to the ground.
This one had an even shorter life, disappearing just 24 hours after it was first found, although at least we know what happened to it. Atascadero News reports that a group of vandals travelled from Orange County and livestreamed themselves pushing over the monolith, leaving in its place a wooden cross. During the livestream the group was heard saying ‘Christ is King’, ‘America First’ and ‘we don’t want illegal aliens from Mexico, or outer space.’
Again, no one has confirmed when exactly this third monolith appeared, but unlike the one in Utah, it appears to have only been put in place within the past couple of days.
Will a fourth monolith pop up in the coming days? And will we ever find out the real story behind them? We’ll have to wait and see.
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