Mysterious metal structures keep appearing and disappearing around the world and no one can figure out why

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In case you haven’t gotten wrapped up in the latest strange news to come from 2020, a series of steel monoliths have suddenly appeared (and then disappeared) from locations around the world over the past couple of weeks.

A third mysterious monolith appeared out of nowhere last week in California. However, within a very short time, it was also gone. Then, another appeared on a beach in the United Kingdom over the weekend.

The First Monolith, In Utah

The original structure, which looks like a metal rectangle that stands on end, was first spotted in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park on Nov. 18 as state public safety officials were flying over the area in a helicopter looking for sheep. Instead, they saw the shiny monolith standing in solitude in the park.

Although it was only recently discovered, the monolith appears to have been in that spot since 2016.

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Operations pilot Brett Hutchings old local TV station KSL-TV that he landed the helicopter so his team could study the object up close. He described the structure as between 10-12 feet high, apparently manmade and deliberately placed in the location. It bore a striking resemblance to a monolith featured in the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey,” he noted.

“We were kind of joking around that if one of us suddenly disappears, then the rest of us make a run for it,” Hutchings said.

And, almost as if on cue, the mysterious structure vanished.

On Nov. 28, the Bureau of Land Management in Utah posted an update about the sudden disappearance of the monolith.

The New York Times reported that a photographer witnessed four men dismantling the monolith and removing it from the desert. Ross Bernards posted the experience to his Instagram page as well.

Andy Lewis, also known as Mr. Slackline, is a BASE (Buildings, Antennas, Spans, Earth) jumping guide who has claimed credit, saying he and his cohorts removed it to protect the area, both from the (presumably) manmade structure and the incursion of visitors trying to find it.

He posted a YouTube video of the removal to his MrSlackline page.

Second Monolith Appears In Romania

As if that update wasn’t strange enough, another monolith suddenly appeared in Romania. Local reports about the second monolith appeared on Nov. 27, the same day the first one vanished, so their existences overlapped — slightly.

News quickly spread across social media with news agencies showing photos and video of the latest mysterious monolith sighting. This one is from Reuters Science News.

The second monolith differed slightly from the first, according to reports from a local newspaper. It had a triangular shape and is flatter than the original. Apparently, it also had a badly-welded join. It was located in the city of Piatra Neamt, near the site of an ancient fortress called Petrodava.

The city’s mayor, Andrei Carabelea, posted about the mysterious find on Facebook and didn’t seem overly concerned about the strange object. In fact, he poked a little fun at reports of online alien conspiracy theorists and even scolded the parties responsible for not getting a building permit.

“Piatra Neamț hosts a mysterious object,” the mayor said in the post. “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 honored that they chose our city. I would have appreciated their bold gesture more if they had followed the rules and followed the legal steps to obtain a building permit.”

Then, on Dec. 1, the Romanian monolith also disappeared. It was removed on or just after Saint Andrews Day, which is associated with supernatural activity by wolves and werewolves.

A Third Monolith Materializes—And Is Quickly Destroyed

But, wait, the story gets even crazier. On Dec. 2, a third monolith popped up in California. This tweet, from @ConnorCAllen, explains its location.

The latest monument, on top of Atascadero’s Pine Mountain, stood 10 feet tall and 18 inches wide, according to The Atascadero News.

Curious hikers made their way up to see the newest monolith, which does not appear to be attached to the ground and could be a falling risk. Officials cautioned visitors to avoid getting too close or they could risk injury.

By Dec. 3, the California monolith was gone. Only this time, a group of young right-wing men chanting “Christ is King” took credit for the removal via a video posted to DLive. They had apparently traveled five hours from San Luis Obispo County to do the deed. They replaced the structure with a wooden cross and had an audience of hundreds watching.

A Fourth Monolith Appears on a U.K. Beach

The monolith madness continued. On the morning of Dec. 6, Lee Peckham, a resident of England’s Isle of Wight, stumbled upon a new monolith while walking on Compton Beach and snapped a photo of it.

The U.K.’s National Trust owns the land this monolith is on (for now — if it’s like the others, it will disappear or be carted away as well), but the National Trust told the BBC that even though the monolith was erected without permission, the trust had no plans to remove it.

Locals have been walking down to the beach to see it. “I’m not sure if it’s aliens, a Coldplay PR stunt or a local mirror dealer drumming up trade, but it got us all down the beach anyway,” Isle of Wight resident DJ Rob da Bank told the BBC.

What Is The Meaning Behind The Mystery?

The first three monoliths are gone, but questions remain. Is it a prank? Is it some sort of art installation? Could it be aliens (a strange bright light was reportedly seen in Norway)? A massive marketing project for the launch of a new product or service? Who knows. Guessing seems to be half the fun in the latest diversion of 2020.

Some people on social media are having a bit of fun with their theories, though.

Twitter user @farhajmayan revealed some big news on his account about the source of the mysterious monolith.

Other Twitter users, including @klara_sjo, have linked the emerging monolith myth with a classic legend.

Even McDonald’s got in on the monolith game by noting a striking similarity to something the fast-food chain relies on every day and millions of people have seen when hitting the drive-thru lane.

What do you think the mysterious monoliths are all about? Do you think we’ll see another?

Curiosity, News, Science & Nature

About the Author
Marie Rossiter
Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World. Visit Scripps News to see more of Marie's work.

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