There’s something going around the world right now—and it’s not COVID. A mysterious steel monolith has been travelling across countries over the past three weeks, with no clear purpose or plan. We don’t know where it came from, or where it is going. We don’t even know whether it’s one or many. In most cases, it’s been a 9ft-something gleaming, silvery pillar, though the last looked golden.
The first of these appearances was on 18 November in the middle of the desert in Utah, USA. Its appearance, disappearance and reappearance have sparked a bunch of theories.
In all instances, the monolith has resembled the seemingly extraterrestrial object that appeared in Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the movie, the alien monolith is a recurring symbol that appears to play a role in the development of human evolution. Another theory blames it on Bansky, while some firmly believe that it’s just an elaborate end-of-the-year prank. Most plausible is the one that says it’s an elaborate marketing stunt for an upcoming show or film. But one thing’s for sure: the monolith has travelled more than anyone or anything this here.
Here’s a list of all the countries where the monolith has been spotted, so far:
The first monolith was discovered on 18 November in a remote desert canyon in Utah’s Red Rock Country in the US.
A second monolith appeared in Romania the day the first disappeared from Utah, on 27 November. This one was spotted on Batca Doamnei, a hill close to the town of Piatra Neamt.
The Romania monolith disappeared on 1 December, only to be spotted in the US again—this time in California. This one emerged on top of Pine Mountain in Atascadero on 2 December.
It’s next stop: across the ocean once again on the Isle of Wight in England. This structure, found at the base of a cliff on Compton Beach, appeared shorter than the other monoliths.
On 6 December, the monolith crossed the North Sea to the Netherlands. Hikers noticed the metallic column in a nature reserve in a village in Oudehorne, Friesland.
Another monolith—this time, a gold one—was spotted halfway across the globe in Colombia. It made an appearance in the municipality of Chía, a few kilometers from Bogotá, around the same time as its silver brother in the Netherlands.