By Will Caraccio
On November 17, 2020, the first monolith–a sleek, geometric column of polished metal staked into the ground–appeared in a secluded mountain area of Utah, USA. The monolith was discovered by a helicopter crew who happened to pass over the uninhabited region. No one knew how the monolith appeared there; just a week later it disappeared, gone without a trace.
Since then, in the span of less than a month, more than 10 other monoliths, all distinct in shape and material, have appeared across the globe. Reports of new monoliths in Romania, England, California, Nevada, and Holland (just to name a few) have interested the world and raised an important question: how and why did these strange structures appear?
For those with a propensity for conspiracy, there is one clear answer–aliens. Those who harbor this suspicion argue that these monoliths, all of which are extremely difficult to transport due to their weight and require immense skill to create, must have been created by extraterrestrial life. Any science-fiction movie will tell you the same.
Others however, claim that these monoliths are the work of experimental artists hoping to gain publicity for their work. In fact, just days after the monolith sightings in the United States, an anonymous collective called The Most Famous Artist has taken credit for the Utah and California statues. Yet, when questioned about the new monoliths in England and other European countries, the collective denied involvement, stating, “The monolith is out of our control at this point.”
While the monolith sightings have created a stir of excitement regarding the possibility of extraterrestrial communication, the chances are these peculiar structures are man-made. Bret Hutchings, the helicopter pilot who spotted the first monolith in southern Utah, suspects that “some new wave artist” is responsible for the statues.
Alien or not, these monolith sightings have provided us with a needed distraction. As said by Heather Moreno, a local mayor of a monolith-containing city, “the monolith is something unique and fun in an otherwise stressful time.”