Mysterious puzzle of monoliths solved by internet sleuths

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Despite comparisons to 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick, the monolith’s origins are terrestrial in nature. Aerodynamic Office of the Utah Department of Public Safety

A few days ago, the internet was unleashed to discover a metal monolith mysteriously standing in the middle of the Utah desert. Word quickly began to spread about the discovery of the Utah Department of Public Safety. Were they aliens? 2001: Did A Space Odyssey see the light of day?

Thanks to some particularly dedicated Reddit users, we now know that the likelihood of it being an alien is slim (although if that were to happen, I think we can all agree that 2020 would have been the year) .

Redditors were able to isolate the approximate location of the monolith, following the flight paths of Utah Public Safety helicopters to triangulate a rugged area near Canyonlands National Park and the Colorado River. With the approximate location narrowed down, internet detectors took to Google Earth to isolate the coordinates and determine when the monolith first appeared.

Historical imaging data showed that the monolith arrived between August 2015 and October 2016, leaving a fairly large gap. Around this time, the epic sci-fi drama Westworld was spinning in a nearby location, so the best bet right now is someone on the team didn’t pack properly or maybe even used the metal to play a long-term Kubrick-inspired prank on the world.

The location had been used in a number of other TV shows and movies as well, from more recent films like 127 Hours and Mission: Impossible 2, going all the way back to classic westerns in the 1940s and 1960s – though the chances that the westerns left a 10 to 12 foot metallic monolith is about as unlikely as the alien scenario.

Authorities ask that people do not search for the monolith themselves, as they may well find themselves stranded in the desert and in need of rescue.

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