As if 2020 couldn’t get any more bizarre, a mysterious Space Odyssey-style metal monolith has been discovered in a remote area of the Utah desert.
While state workers were counting bighorn sheep from a helicopter, they spotted something out of place – a 12 feet tall metal monolith that had been installed in a secluded area of rock.
The Utah Department of Public Safety said the object was found in a “very remote” area of the desert, deliberately withholding its location to prevent people from attempting to visit.
“It is illegal to install structures or art without authorization on federally managed public lands, no matter what planet you’re from,” said the department’s statement.
The @UtahDPS helicopter was assisting the @UtahDWR in counting bighorn sheep in remote southern Utah Wednesday when the crew encountered something entirely 'out of this world'…@KSL5TV #KSLTV #Utah
Photojournalist: @Photog_Steve5 pic.twitter.com/f8P0fayDIS
— Andrew Adams (@AndrewAdamsKSL) November 21, 2020
“That’s been about the strangest thing that I’ve come across out there in all my years of flying,” helicopter pilot Bret Hutchings told Salt Lake City broadcaster KSL-TV.
'Who Does This Kind of Stuff?' Mystery Metal Monolith Discovered in Utah Desert. via @Storyful pic.twitter.com/LNNUccFORQ
— David Clinch (@DavidClinchNews) November 24, 2020
“One of the biologists is the one who spotted it and we just happened to fly directly over the top of it,” Hutchings added.
“He was like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, turn around, turn around!’ And I was like, ‘What.’ And he’s like, ‘There’s this thing back there — we’ve got to go look at it!’ We were thinking, is this something NASA stuck up there or something? Are they bouncing satellites off it?”
Respondents immediately drew comparisons to the mysterious monolith featured in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 classic 2001: A Space Odyssey.
anyone else onto something here? pic.twitter.com/WK4BmvlecJ
— marisa ♡ 10 days until mank (@marisaonfilm) November 24, 2020
We are nothing but apes, entranced by a silver metal monolith. We will next proceed to murder each other over it, and the victor shall evolve into intelligent beings to travel into the unknown, just to be turned into a bright orb of light floating in nothingness. pic.twitter.com/k8cRQHYYFz
— Sean A. Cadét (@Sean_Cadet) November 24, 2020
2020 ending by going full Kubrick on us. Utah Wildlife Resources discovered a monolith in the desert. Time to blast György Ligeti's "Requiem for Soprano…" https://t.co/oMyjy3BPhU
"That’s been about the strangest thing that I’ve come across out there in all my years of flying." pic.twitter.com/u9uD2KUGvb
— Zack Sharf (@ZSharf) November 24, 2020
The monolith in the movie is a black stone tablet first discovered by a group of apes who then begin to evolve by learning to use tools.
Another monolith is then found on the moon which points to a third one near Jupiter.
Although ostensibly linked to advances in human consciousness and evolution, the real meaning of Kubrick’s monolith has been debated for decades, with one of the more interesting explanations being that it represents a movie screen, a metaphor for Kubrick trying to signal that the space race of the 1960’s wasn’t real.