Google Maps Anomalies: The Utah Monolith

Did it come from the stars or a starving artist? That was the question on everyone’s mind when wildlife surveyors discovered an unusual 12-foot-tall metallic monolith in the deserts of southwestern Utah last week.

After the discovery, officials were coy about its location, but leave it to the Internet to reveal everything, eventually. The monolith was rather quickly pinpointed using Google Earth.

The Utah monolith on Google Maps
Image: Google Maps

As you can see if you visit Google Maps, the three-sided monolith is positioned at a rock formation in Utah’s Red Rock Country. matching what was shown in the above news report and in official photos.

The monolith was also found not too far from a path (though still a good hike), which would point to a human artist and not an extraterrestrial ne’er-do-well. Though, I suppose, aliens can be artists, too.

There’s really no knowing what the monolith is all about, or even how long it’s been there. According to Google Earth data, the object may have appeared some time in 2016. But, as Lieutenant Nick Street of the Utah Department of Public Safety said, “For all we know it’s been installed since the ’40s and ’50s.”

Adding to that, in an official statement, the Utah Bureau of Land Management reminded everyone that the avant-garde 2001 tribute is actually illegal, so we may never truly know who took the time to haul 12 feet of heavy metal out there and plant it in the ground. That is, unless they decide to come forward.

“Although we can’t comment on active investigations, we would like to remind public land visitors that using, occupying, or developing the public lands or their resources without a required authorization is illegal, no matter what planet you are from.”

Well, stranger things and all that.

Update: It would seem the monolith has actually gone missing. The Utah Bureau of Land Management say they weren’t responsible, but received “credible reports” that the monolith was removed by an “unknown party” on the night of November 27. The mystery continues…


Rob Schwarz

Writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions.

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