‘Gateway to portal, aliens’: ‘Mysterious’ monolith pops up in Nevada desert, sparks social media frenzy | Trending - Hindustan Times

‘Gateway to portal, aliens’: ‘Mysterious’ monolith pops up in Nevada desert, sparks social media frenzy

AP |
Jun 19, 2024 06:24 AM IST

Authorities are worried that people coming to see this “mysterious” monolith, which appeared in the Nevada desert, will damage the area's rare flora and fauna.

The strange monolith looks like it could have come from another world.

A monolith appeared near Gass Peak, Nevada. (AP)
A monolith appeared near Gass Peak, Nevada. (AP)

Jutting out of the rocks in a remote mountain range near Las Vegas, the glimmering rectangular prism's reflective surface imitates the vast desert landscape surrounding the mountain peak where it has been erected.

But where did the object come from, and is it still there? That's a mystery the US Fish and Wildlife Service said it was trying to solve after learning about it Monday through a social media post.

Las Vegas police said on the social platform X that members of its search and rescue unit found the otherworldly object over the weekend near Gass Peak, part of the vast Desert National Wildlife Refuge where bighorn sheep and desert tortoises can be found roaming. At 6,937 feet (2,114 meters), it is among the highest peaks in the area north of Las Vegas.

Also Read: Mysterious 10-foot-long monolith appears on a remote hill in the UK, baffles people

“We see a lot of weird things when people go hiking like not being prepared for the weather, not bringing enough water," the police department wrote. “But check this out!"

Photos accompanying the department's post show the strange structure standing tall against a bright blue sky, with distant views of the Las Vegas valley. It evokes the object that appears in the Stanley Kubrick movie “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Take a look at the post here:

How did social media react?

The pictures of the “mysterious” monolith created a frenzy among social media users. One individual called it the “gateway” to a “portal for another world.” A few joked that it was a structure created and placed by “aliens.”

“What’s the secret to keeping it so clean and shiny out there in the elements?!” asked a person. While another wrote, “This is wild. It’s the MONOLITH from Space Odyssey”.

Neither the police department nor its search and rescue unit immediately responded Monday to requests for more information about their discovery — the latest in a series of mysterious shiny columns popping up around the globe since at least 2020.

In November of that year, a similar metal monolith was found deep in the Mars-like landscape of Utah's red-rock desert. Then came sightings in Romania, central California and on the famed Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas.

All of them disappeared as quickly as they popped up.

Also Read: Mystery monolith makes an appearance in Mumbai after Ahmedabad

The Utah structure, which captured the world's imagination during the pandemic, is believed to be the first in the series. It stood at about 12 feet (3.6 meters) and had been embedded in the rock in an area so remote that officials didn't immediately reveal its location for fear of people getting lost or stranded while trying to find it.

Hordes of curious tourists still managed to find it, and along the way flattened plants with their cars and left behind human waste in the bathroom-free backcountry. Two men known for extreme sports in Utah’s sweeping outdoor landscapes say it was that kind of damage that made them step in late at night and tear it down.

Now, the US Fish and Wildlife Service said it is worried the same level of damage could happen at the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, which was established to protect bighorn sheep and is home to rare plants. It is the largest wildlife refuge outside of Alaska and can cover the state of Rhode Island twice.

“People might come looking for it and be coming with inappropriate vehicles or driving where they shouldn't, trampling plants," said Christa Weise, the refuge’s acting manager.

The Utah and Nevada structures were illegally installed on federal land.

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