Last month, a three-sided monolith was suddenly discovered at the base of a canyon in Utah’s Red Rock Country. How and when did it appear? There are no indications of that. But it was installed firmly in the canyon’s rocky terrain, stated the US state’s wildlife agency.
There are several theories on how it appeared. The Utah Department for Public Safetyspeculated that it’s most likely an art installation by a “new wave” artist or a prank by a “2001: Space Odyssey Fan”.
Why and how it appeared still remains a question. And before anyone could find out, the monolith pulled a disappearing act on 27 November. Three days later, a similar monolith was spotted in Barca Doamnei Hill in Romania, as per reports. Is it the same monolith? Again, we don’t know. However, what we do know is that this is not the only eerie, unexplained phenomenon on Earth. Here are some others:
Blood Falls, Antarctica
In East Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valleys, a crimson-red stream flows through the snow-white Taylor Glacier and Lake Boney below. It looks pretty gory; almost like a scene from Game of Thrones. But nope, no one killed anyone here. The colour was chalked up to red algae, but that’s not the case either. A study, however, shows that the glacier has high levels of salt. Saltwater has a low freezing point than pure water, so it releases heat as it freezes. This is what causes the river to flow. The water is filled with iron and iron-rich brine, which could possibly be the reason it has a rusty colour.
Pink Lake Hillier, Australia
In some parts of Western Australia swathed with emerald green foliage lie larger-than-life pink bubblegum-hued lakes. While the colour of the other pink lakes, such as the nearby Pink Lake and Senegal’s Lake Rebta, have been attributed to algae, the reason for Lake Hiller’s shocking pink hue is not known. Some of the many guesses are that the pink is colour is due to high levels of beta-carotene, a red-orange pigment; halobacteria, a pink bacteria; haloarchaea, a type of microorganism that appears reddish in large blooms; or a high concentration of pink brine prawn. Unlike other pink lakes that regularly change colour with fluctuations, Lake Hillier retains its shade year-round. Even when it’s bottled. Go figure.
Hidden Beach, Mexico
This beach could be a vacationer’s dream in times of social distancing. Playa Del Amor or Hidden Beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, is located in a gaping hole, where no boats can make their way. Otherwise invisible, the only way to get to the petite island is to jump into the water and swim or paddle to the paradise. The formation of the hidden beach is rumoured to be due to military explosives testing in the 1900s, which left several craters and caves on the islands. Since Marieta Islands in Mexico have always been uninhabited, it made it the ideals grounds for testing by the Mexican government.
Fairy Circles, Namibia
The arid grasslands of the Namib Desert are covered with regular patterns of bare circles, between 2m and 15m in diameter. From a bird’s eye view, these patches or fairy circles almost look like distanced honeycombs. There are again several theories behind the arid parts. Some scientists believe that the empty circles are created by termites under the soil that clear vegetation. They make the soil porous and establish permanent reservoirs of water below the surface, which sustains them and the ecosystem. Another theory explains that it is created by plants competing for water. They help their nearest neighbour, however, hinder those further away by growing long roots that extract water from the soil.
Crop Circles, United Kingdom and beyond
The designs we create with rangolis, those artistic and precise measures are found in farms in the United Kingdom and dozens of other countries around Europe. Some believe they are made by UFOs or when spaceships land, others insist that they are all man-made by flattening parts of the crops, which are mostly cereals and grains. But the mystery remains unsolved.