Cue the 2001: A Space Odyssey theme music … there’s a new monolith in town! Actually, it is on Hay Bluff outside the Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye. Earlier this week, the bizarre silver object suddenly appeared, making locals scratch their heads.

Is it a strange UFO spacecraft? A portal to another dimension? An Avant Garde art installation? A prank? No one knows at this point, but the peculiar and mysterious Welsh monolith is causing a social media stir.

What Is a Monolith Anyway?

In Stanley Kubrick’s classic movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey, giant black monoliths are sent to Earth by extraterrestrials as a way to give human evolution a boost. But by definition, monoliths are far less otherworldly.

Source: Wikimedia/Amandine Brige

Basically, monoliths are a feature created by a single chunk of stone. The individual standing stones at Stonehenge are considered monoliths. Often, as with Stonehenge, the monoliths take the form of columns, vertical slabs, or obelisk. In the current trend, monoliths have been made of a single slab of metal, as we will see.

A Surprise on a Morning Run

On March 10, Richard Haynes, a resident of Hay-on-Wye, Powys, Wales, went for his morning run, following a path on Hay Bluff that he frequently takes. This morning, however, he was in for a surprise when he discovered a shiny, 10-foot-tall, metal monolith along his route.

Source: Wikimedia/Aloys5268

Haynes said, “I thought it looked a bit bizarre and might be a scientific research thing collecting rainwater. But then I realized it was way too tall and strange for that.”

Gleaming in the Sun

Haynes described the object as “about 10 feet tall at least and triangular, definitely stainless steel.”

Source: Richard Haynes

He added, “It was hollow, and I imagine pretty light – light enough for two people to carry it up and plant it in the ground.”

“Some Sort of UFO

Haynes wasn’t the only person to come across the mysterious monolith. Craig Muir, a local construction worker, happened upon the curious object. When he first saw it while out hiking, Muir said he was “taken aback”.

Source: YouTube/The Telegraph

“It seemed like a very fine metallic, almost like a surgical steel,” he said. The monolith was so bizarre and out of place that he assumed it was “some sort of a UFO.”

“Leveled and Steady

What struck Muir about the mysterious monolith was that it was well-positioned and set solidly into the ground. “It looked perfectly leveled and steady, despite the weather being windy,” he observed.

Source: Wikimedia/colin price

Muir continued, “It didn’t seem like it was chucked in there. Instead, it had been accurately put in the ground.”

Where Did the Monolith Come From?

That is a question that, so far, remains unanswered. As Muir explained, there is no way to drive a truck to the location on the top of the hill. He believes it was either carried up the hill by a group of people or positioned into place via a helicopter.

Source: Wikimedia/Tomas Del Coro

“However, there were no obvious tracks around it,” he observed. “And one would think that something like that would cause a lot of mess.”

The Welsh Monolith Is Not Entirely Unique

In November 2020, a wildlife research crew using a helicopter to gather data on bighorn sheep populations in Utah saw the flash of a metallic reflection in the state’s Red Rock Country. They flew closer to investigate and discovered a tall, metal monolith rooted deep in a remote canyon.

Source: Wikimedia/Patrickamackie2 (Patrick A. Mackie)

In a video of the discovery released by the Utah Department of Public Safety, one of the people on the helicopter could be heard saying, “What the heck is that?” Another one joked, “The intrepid explorers go down to investigate the alien life form.”

An Unusual Discovery in a Remote and Inaccessible Place

As the Utah Division of Wildlife Services explained, the 2020 monolith was found in a canyon that is remote and inaccessible, except by helicopter. “It’s a tough place to get to by vehicle or on foot.”

Source: Google Earth

They added that they had no clue how long the Utah monolith had been in the canyon prior to its discovery. Eagle-eyed Google Earth sleuths, however, determined that the monolith was installed between August 2015 and October 2016.

Dismantling the Utah Monolith

News outlets and social media platforms didn’t have too much time to contemplate the Utah Monolith. On November 27, 2020, two men, Andy Lewis and Sylvan Christensen, posted a video of themselves removing the metal monolith from the canyon. In the video, they explained that they were concerned about the environment.

Source: Utah Department of Public Safety

In a statement, the pair wrote, “This land wasn’t physically prepared for the population shift.” They added that they feared a steady stream of “monolith gawkers”would harm the desert environment, especially because there was no infrastructure in place to support them.”

More Monoliths Followed

After the discovery of the Utah monolith in 2020, additional metal monoliths mysteriously showed up in other places across the United States. These objects were found in Wisconsin, California, Florida, and Texas.

Source: Cbs58

A group called The Most Famous Artist, an anonymous collective of artists, claimed responsibility for the metal monoliths found across the United States. But this phenomenon was not just centered on the U.S.

A Monolith on the Isle of Wight

Just days after the mysterious monolith was removed from the Utah canyon, another one showed up on a beach on the Isle of Wight, an island located off the southern coast of England. Local resident Alexia Fishwick was one of the first to spot the object while taking a Sunday morning stroll on the beach.

Source: Tom Dunford

As Fishwick recalled, it was “really quite magical.” Many of the residents flocked to the beach to see the strange monolith for themselves. DJ Rob da Bank declared, “I’m not sure if it’s aliens, a Coldplay PR stunt, or a local mirror dealer drumming up trade, but it got us all down to the beach anyway.”

More Monoliths Across England

Although a few strange monoliths have appeared in remote areas of the European continent, most of the sightings have been centered on the British Isles. One was seen in Cornwell and another atop Glastonbury Tor.

Source: Tom Dunford

The one discovered at Glastonbury Tor, a limestone hill jutting up from the surrounding plains, had an inscription on it. It read, “Not Banksy.”

“Not Banksy

It is reasonable to think that the mysterious and unknown street artist known as Banksy could be behind the monolith installations. After all, he is a British artist. But these metal monoliths aren’t really Banksy’s style.

Source: Michelle Cowbourne

Banksy is known for his distinctive, stencil-style graffiti that makes political and social commentary. His works touch on themes like poverty, capitalism, war, commercial greed, and blind obedience. The steel monoliths don’t align with Banksy’s brand of art. If not Banksy, then who? So far, no one knows.