Mysterious Monolith Appears Outside of Las Vegas

The reflective metal structure was found on a hiking trail in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge

Vegas Monolith
Officials still don't know where the six-foot-five structure came from. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

A six-foot-five monolith appeared on a hiking trail near Las Vegas, Nevada, over the weekend.

Members of the city’s Metro Search and Rescue found the mirrored structure near Gass Peak, a trail in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, per the New York Times’ Johnny Diaz. Officials have no idea where it came from.

“We see a lot of weird things when people go hiking, like not being prepared for the weather, not bringing enough water … but check this out,” wrote the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) in a Facebook post on Monday. “How did it get up there?”

Mysterious monoliths, usually made from metal, have been appearing in various locations around the globe since November 2020, when a helicopter crew discovered one in the Utah desert.

“I’m assuming it is some New Wave artist or something, or somebody who is just a big 2001: A Space Odyssey fan,” Bret Hutchings, the helicopter’s pilot, told the local news station KSL-TV at the time. “I have to admit, that’s been about the strangest thing that I’ve come across out there in all the years of flying.”

The metallic structures evoke Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film, which features similar monoliths—likely designed by aliens—that mysteriously appear during key moments of humanity’s evolution.

Shortly after the Utah structure made headlines, it disappeared. Its origins were never discovered. Others then began appearing in places like Piatra Neamț, Romania, Pine Mountain in California and England’s Isle of Wight—and in the years that followed, nearly 250 monoliths have been found, reports USA Today’s George Petras and Javier Zarracina.

Monolith with shadow
Members of the city’s Metro Search and Rescue came across the monolith over the weekend. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

Because of their mysterious origins, the structures always spark speculation about who made them and why—with some attributing them to artists, pranksters or even extraterrestrial activity.

“I’m not saying it’s aliens ... but it’s aliens,” wrote one Facebook user in a comment on the LVMPD’s post.

“I’ve been hearing that monoliths have been popping [up] around the world lately,” wrote another. “It doesn’t surprise me that E.T. wants to phone home.”

The Las Vegas police have decided to use the opportunity to remind hikers about trail safety as “the internet gets to work on this mystery.” When hikers set off into the hot sun, they should remember to carry a light source, gear for inclement weather, a first aid kit and plenty of food and water, wrote the department.

On Friday, officials announced they had removed the structure, according to the Associated Press’ Rio Yamat. In a social media post titled “MYSTERIOUS MONOLITH UPDATE,” the LVMPD explained that it made the decision due to “public safety and environmental concerns.”

“The monolith is being stored at an undisclosed location while public authorities determine the most appropriate way to dispose of or store the item,” wrote the department. “It remains unknown how the item got to its location or who might be responsible.”

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