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Seriously?! Mystery monolith No. 3 pops up (and then disappears) in California

By Benjamin Bullard

Either someone (or something) out there is really, really trying to tell us something…or else these surreal metal monoliths are actually just super-easy for pranksters to make and move around.

Fresh on the heels of two mystery monolith appearances half a world away from each other, a third shiny slab has now materialized — and vanished nearly as quickly — in the hills near coastal California. The San Luis Obispo Tribune and other outlets picked up on the Dec. 2 appearance of California’s very own aluminum rectangle atop a hill in Atasacadero, a town that lies just north of San Luis Obispo in the state’s central region...but of course, no one knows what to make of it. 

Like its pair of cousins in Utah and, more recently, Romania, the origins of the California monolith so far are a mystery — as are the circumstances of its rapid disappearance, coming only a day after its discovery. “How did it get there? We don’t know,” reports The Tribune. “Who was behind it? Don’t know. Are extraterrestrials somehow involved? That seems unlikely. Is it part of some worldwide monolithic conspiracy? Possibly.”

So would that make it a polylithic conspiracy?

Regardless, the Atascadero monolith looks like it shares the same basic DNA of its two predecessors, sporting a three-sided shape and standing about 12 feet tall, according to a separate report in the Tribune. Like its shiny siblings, this one’s also welded at the seams, and the people in charge of the land where it stood also have no idea how it got there. The Atascadero Land Preservation Society, which maintains the Pine Mountain site where the monolith appeared, told The Tribune it has no information on the structure, “including when it appeared or who is responsible for erecting it,” according to the report.

Is there a magic number the world must reach before these monoliths stop appearing — or, perhaps worse (or better, depending on the message) even signal the start of some mysterious next phase? Like the obelisks in 2001: A Space Odyssey, are these gleaming towers of reflection meant to herald our awakening to some bigger revelation? Or are they all simply manifestations of a real-world sensation — one that started in Utah, and that LARPing conspirators with some decent machine shop chops have since decided to take viral across the globe?

Alas, we don’t have the answers. All we can do is watch…and wait…to see if three is the magic final number. This has been one crazy year already, so the best we can hope for is that the monoliths keep their mysterious messaging confined to 2020. Otherwise, the upcoming flip of the calendar might just make 2021 a whole lot crazier — and that’s a thought we’re not sure even the aliens are ready to tackle.