The 10 foot tall metal structure was discovered at the top of the mountain on Wednesday morning, with hiker Ray Johnson telling The Atascadero News it has not been there the previous day. Like its predecessors, there are no clues as to how the Californian monolith got there or what purpose it serves — other than to spark rampant speculation.
The monolith’s construction appears similar to its siblings in Utah and Romania, being a smooth, three-sided structure with a triangular footprint. It also seems to be made of reflective stainless steel, put together with rivets and welding.
However, unlike its predecessors, the Californian monolith was not cut into the ground. It could even potentially tip over if someone pushed it, though we stress that this is not a challenge. The monolith is estimated to weigh a few hundred pounds, and could severely injure someone if it were to fall. As such, it’s probably wisest to give it a wide berth.
The local authorities are aware of this latest monolith, but has no plans for it at present.
“Just heard about it a few minutes ago,” Atascadero Mayor Pro Tem Charles Bourbeau told Mashable in an email. “I’ll have to check it out.”
It’s just as well though — if the last two monoliths are anything to go by, it’s likely this one will mysteriously disappear within the next few days.
It’s still unclear whether these structures bear any connection to each other. It’s possible that they’re just copycats who heard about the first monolith and had some scrap metal lying around. It’s also possible they’re all part of a big marketing stunt, and that some brand will tell us to buy their new Monolith energy drink by year’s end.
Either way, it’s certainly caught the attention of our distraction-seeking brains during this pandemic. According to analytics firm Talkwalker there have been 168,000 monolith mentions on Twitter over the last week, generating 1.5 million engagements.
These past few weeks have been an unexpected renaissance for unexplained phallic sculptures. Aside from the trio of monoliths, a six-foot wooden penis also disappeared from Grünten mountain in Germany this week. At least we can be fairly certain the outsized dildo caper is unrelated to the monoliths’ 2001: A Space Odyssey shenanigans.