Metal Monoliths: The timeline and the story so far

The year is 2020. It’s the golden era of bad news, and there’s no shortage of global issues. At first, we had a World War III scare. Then, a global pandemic throughout the year. And finally, an alien invasion… of sorts, or maybe it’s just metal monoliths.

It all started in Utah – and then took the world by storm. It’s not Mormonism, though. It’s the other M-thing, monoliths. Metal structures suddenly appeared (and, sometimes, suddenly disappeared) throughout the globe.

These alien objects spawned all over the world: America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa, and more. Similar-shaped structures are everywhere, and nobody seems to know why.

Are otherworldly beings behind this? Artists? Is this just a prank, bro? Is Banksy once again up to no good? That’s what we are here to find out.

What are these metal monoliths?

Nobody knows what the monoliths truly are. We can only tell what they look like.

The first one was a simple metal structure found in Utah. A three feet tall stainless steel sculpture that has no message on it nor an apparent reason to exist – and yet, it’s there for everybody to see, like a warning sign of sorts.

Other monoliths soon appeared after the first one was spotted. Apparently, not all monoliths are made equal.

The Utah monolith was a tall, shiny metal object. Other, later-found monoliths lacked in quality. This is reason enough to believe there are different parties involved in monolith creation, everyone’s favorite pastime in 2020.

So far, dozens of monoliths have been found. Some of them are plain, others have drawings or cryptic messages on them. None of them have answers, though.

Where are they located?

If you place a map on a wall and throw a dart at it, you’ll probably hit a country that has its own monolith. That’s how many of them are there. They’re spread throughout every continent and most countries.

The first one was spotted in Utah. The second one in Rumania. A week later, in true fidget spinner fashion, monoliths were everywhere.

Here are a few examples of the Metal Monoliths:

  • There’s one in Finland, a place most people don’t believe exists.
  • Iran has one too, and they don’t get much of anything these days.
  • Scotland has one too – but they only got it after England had plenty of their own.
  • There’s one in Colombia. This is probably the most expensive one, as it’s made of gold.
  • There’s another one in Ukraine, although Russia claims it belongs to the Motherland.
  • And dozens more that aren’t worth listing. Like the Bolivian one that’s made out of wood. Come on, guys. You had one job.

Who is behind the Metal Monoliths?


Plenty of artist collectives have taken responsibility for making one or more monoliths. Several monoliths are linked to designers, sculptors, and other types of artists. You know, the kind of people that crave attention.

For example, the monolith found in California is supposed to be a piece of “guerilla art” created by four American artists, who want to prove something to society. What that would be, I don’t know. Guerilla art sounds cool, though.

Another monolith found in Texas was made by welders from Austin Community College. The list goes on and on.


For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: “It’s just a prank, bro!”

Several monoliths were nothing but a prank. The one in Spain was believed to be built as a practical joke, made by local villagers.

One of the two Polish monoliths, the one located in Warsaw, was built by staff members of a satirical magazine. Not cool, guys. This is why print media is dying.

There’s a monolith in Somerset with the words “not Banksy” printed on it. This sounds like a Banksy thing to do, but he has yet to claim responsibility for it.

Business owners

More than one entrepreneur went out of his way and tried to go viral by building a monolith.

A small business owner in Pennsylvania built a monolith. All he wanted was to promote small businesses and gather support. A Pennsylvanian decided to support small businesses in a weird way and stole the monolith. It was soon replaced by better-minded people.

In Morocco, a tech company used a monolith as a publicity stunt to promote one of its products. They trapped their robot inside a monolith to promote it. How would that work? I don’t know. Anyways, that’s what I call an interesting twist – or the beginning of a B-tier sci-fi movie.

Big streaming companies

One of the first theories that popped up online was that either Netflix or Amazon were behind the entire thing. It wouldn’t be the first time movie studios or streaming companies try something like this. It’s probably cheaper than hiring a Marketing executive.

The Cloverfield series featured an Alternative Reality Game that plenty of people thought wasn’t that alternative to begin with – and ended up being nothing but a marketing ploy to promote a movie.

The Blair Witch Project film featured countless fake police reports that most people believed were real too.

Before the movie District 9 hit the theaters, “Humans only” signs popped up all over the world. Using a couple of steel monoliths to promote a movie doesn’t sound that far off.


There’s a big chance aliens are behind the original monoliths. There’s no proof of it other than it’s 2020 and all bets are off.

All jokes aside, several monoliths were found in places with 24-hour surveillance – and nobody is shown entering or leaving the place in question before or after certain monoliths were found.

Keep in mind that in Space Odyssey, monoliths are machines built by aliens. That’s legal precedent in my book.

If aliens took the time to place several monoliths throughout the world before invading us, let’s just say I welcome our new monolith-making overlords.

Are we behind the Metal Monoliths?

All right, we’ll come clean: it was us. We needed something to talk about, and things have been rather slow lately. You can only one-up a global pandemic with an alien invasion.

Truth be told, the whole COVID-19 thing was getting old – and I refuse to go through another year’s worth of Instagram stories of people complaining about the lockdowns. The toilet paper craze was good, but enough is enough, everyone.

Okay, it wasn’t us. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t build a three feet tall monolith even if I wanted to. Or maybe I’m signaling my alien commander to invade at dawn.

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

The most plausible explanation is that there’s not one guilty party but plenty of monolith sources.

At this point, more than one businessman has tried to go viral using a monolith to increase their profits. Several artists have claimed responsibility for the monoliths, others filmed themselves while building one. Amazon Prime executives are probably scrambling trying to figure out how to cash in on this.

This was either a prank or a promotional stunt that went far. A little too far. It caught on, and people wanted to be a part of it. Or aliens. It’s a 50-50 split.

The Metal Monoliths Timeline

Day 0

Most people don’t know what a monolith is. The 24-hour news cycle is centered on COVID-19 and the American presidential election. For 2020, that’s the new normal.

Several sources claim that the Utah monolith was already there, waiting for someone to see it. There’s no way to know when the first monolith was placed there, but it is estimated that it was put there sometime between 2016 and 2020 – and no, that’s not a joke at all. It could’ve been there for four years.

Day 1

The day is 11/18/2020. The first monolith is found in Utah. In retrospect, this was a big moment. At the time, everyone had one question: “what’s a monolith, exactly?” By the time they realized it was a steel thingy, people went back to care about COVID.

Day 8

Fast forward to 11/26/2020. Another monolith is spotted, now in Romania. Things are getting real. It’s the second time most people hear the word monolith – and this time it caught their attention.

Everyone wants to know what’s going on. Netflix executives are desperately trying to buy the rights for 2001: A Space Odyssey. Somewhere in America, a doomsday prepper is excited because he will finally put his weapons to use. Space Odyssey is real! The aliens are coming, baby!

Day 14

The aliens are yet to arrive. It’s all quiet on the western front. The doomsday preppers are feeling a little disappointed, but they are used to it. Suddenly, they get their hopes up again: dozens of monoliths appear throughout the world.

The second monolith wave hits harder than the first. Monoliths are spotted in several American cities. A few days later, they are all over Europe. It’s a monolith extravaganza. You sigh and realize you’ll have to listen to your drunk cousin tell his story about that one time aliens abducted him.

Metal Monoliths Today

Another day, another monolith. Even though we are past the five-monoliths-per-day stage, we still hear about at least one new monolith every day. Most of them are believed to be built by people – but some of them are a complete mystery.

The anti-monolith sentiment is growing. People are going out of their way to destroy the monoliths. Nobody knows why they first appeared, but it’s always fun to blow things up. Unless they were made by aliens. If that’s the case, I’m against those people.

Either way, we don’t know what’s going on

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