A Mysterious Monolith Appears Near Las Vegas. Why? It’s Anyone’s Guess.


It looks like something out of a sci-fi movie. A tall, vertical column mirroring everything around it, with no explanation of its purpose and origin.

Cue the crescendoing cascade of instruments from the theme music of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” a film that featured a large monolith. Only, this is not the view from a distant space outpost, or a part of Earth in an alternative reality. This vertical object stands by a hiking trail on the northern side of Las Vegas — a finding that police are calling “MYSTERY MONOLITH!”

“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!” read a message posted on social media on Monday by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

The department said that the LVMPD Search and Rescue, a volunteer organization, had spotted the object over the weekend near the Gass Peak trail, which is about 16 miles north of Las Vegas and part of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge.

The photographs shared by the police show the lone vertical slab reflecting the dry, rugged terrain and rocky desert landscape against a bright blue sky.

It was not immediately clear where the object had come from, how it had arrived — or what would happen to it next. After sharing the image on social media, a spokesman for the police department said it would not be commenting on the monolith on Tuesday.

Followers of the Police Department’s Facebook page had fun questioning the geometric figure’s origins.

“It’s always the aliens,” one person wrote.

Another suggested that perhaps the monolith was “a portal going to a different location.”

In the meantime, Las Vegas officials have decided to use the mystery as a public service announcement, sharing some safety tips for hiking Las Vegas’s trails in the same comment thread.

The department reminded people to tell someone where they plan to hike or climb and when they expect to return; to research the weather forecast ahead of a hike; to bring first aid kits “and additional food and water!”, as well as “inclement weather gear” for a minimal overnight stay; and to pack a light source, a completely charged phone and a personal locator beacon.

The Las Vegas column is not the only monolith that has attracted attention in recent years after having appeared seemingly out of nowhere, stumping officials and residents and stirring curiosity.

In March, a man who was a resident of Hay-on-Wye in Powys, Wales, woke up to take a routine walk around Hay Bluff, only to find a silver monolith that he said appeared to have been made from surgical steel.

In 2020, a three-sided metal monolith, about 10 to 12 feet tall, was found at the base of a barren slot canyon in Red Rock Country in Utah. The Utah Department of Public Safety shared the finding, calling it an “unusual object,” spotted in southeastern Utah during a survey with the state wildlife agency.

That same year, a 10-foot monolith was found under the Fremont Street Experience canopy in downtown Las Vegas, according to The Las Vegas Review-Journal. In both cases, the authorities did not know the origins of the monoliths, though a group of artists claimed to have fabricated one found atop Pine Mountain in Atascadero, Calif.



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