Tracking all the monoliths that have appeared (and disappeared) around the world

The saga of the mysterious monoliths – the tall, metal structures popping up and vanishing around the world – shows no signs of stopping. 

The most recent instance: a structure that was captured on video by local news stations in El Paso’s Upper Valley early Tuesday.

In a shot from ABC7, onlookers can be seen taking photos with the shining object, which was reportedly located across from an Ardovino’s Pizza restaurant. 

Maria Cortes, a reporter for the El Paso Times, part of the USA TODAY Network, confirmed the structure was no longer there by the time she arrived on the scene around 10:30 a.m. local time.

In a video posted to the unverified Instagram account @fitfamelpaso, people can be seen leaving stickers on the structure, touching it and leaning it over. In a following video, a group of unidentified people are seen attempting to put the monolith into two vehicles until they successfully place it in the trunk of a third vehicle, a truck. 

To help keep track of all the appearances (and disappearances) of the monoliths around the world, we pulled together a timeline of each occurrence:

Nov. 18, 2020: The first, unexplained metal monolith was discovered in Utah’s remote Red Rock Country. 

Nov. 23, 2020: The Utah Department of Public Safety publicly announced the discovery of the monolith, which was discovered by the DPS’s Aero Bureau and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources while on a mission to conduct a count of big horn sheep in a portion of southeastern Utah. 

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Nov. 23 to present: The monolith sparked debate over the parties responsible: Some joked – or seriously theorized – aliens were to blame, while some artists took credit for the statue.

Nov. 27, 2020: The Utah monolith disappeared. 

Nov. 28, 2020: Andrei Carabelea, the mayor of Piatra Neamt, Romania, welcomed the discovery of a monolith in his city, which looked similar to the Utah structure. The Romanian pillar was triangular in form and found on Batca Doamnei Hill, close to the Petrodava Dacian Fortress archeological landmark.

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Dec. 1, 2020: Days after the Utah structure disappeared, travel photographer Ross Bernards revealed he was on site when four unidentified men showed up to remove the Utah monolith. Bernards’ friend, Mike Newlands, was also witness to the removal. A few days later, he spoke with one of the men responsible for the removal, who said they removed it for many reasons, including to respect the land. In a YouTube video posted the same day, Utah residents Andy Lewis and Sylvan Christensen stepped forward as being part of the team who removed the Utah monolith.

Dec. 1, 2020: Reuters reported that the Romanian monolith had disappeared, quoting journalist Robert Iosub of the local newspaper Ziar Piatra Neamt.

Dec. 2, 2020: Another monolith was discovered on a hiking trail in Atascadero, Southern California, KEYT-TV and The Atascadero News reported.

Dec. 3, 2020: Like other monoliths before it, the California structure vanished as strangely as it appeared. According to a press release from the city of Atascadero, the 10-foot-tall monolith, which weighed an estimated 200 pounds, disappeared early morning on Dec. 3.

Dec. 6, 2020: Photos taken outside Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop in Pittsburgh showed a 3-sided metal sculpture. But unlike the ones before it, there was no mystery: The candy store shared on social media that they built it as a “gimmick” to “remind everyone to support small businesses.” 

The monolith mystery continues: More copycat structures pop up in Pittsburgh, England, California

Dec. 6 to 7, 2020:The Los Angeles Times and The Tribune, a local San Louis Obispo newspaper, reported the county’s second monolith was spotted in Los Padres National Forest. 

Dec. 7, 2020: According to reports from Sky News and BBC, a similar sculpture was spotted over the weekend on the Isle of Wight’s Compton Beach, located off the southern coast of England. USA TODAY has reached out to representatives for Compton Beach for more information. 

Dec. 8, 2020: A structure that was captured on video by local news stations in El Paso’s Upper Valley early Tuesday before it disappeared later that day. Footage shared to social media showed a group of people putting the object in a truck. 

Contributing: Hannah Yasharoff, Bryan Alexander

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