Mysterious Monolith Pops Up in Las Vegas Desert and No One Knows Who Put It There

A new monolith emerged in the Las Vegas desert, prompting the question: could it have been aliens or something much more human? For many, the sudden and ominous appearance of this reflective structure triggered memories of similar perplexing art installations in the past.

On Monday, June 17, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) shared the new sighting of the monolith on X (formerly Twitter). According to the LVMPD, their Search and Rescue Unit (LVMPDSAR) discovered this structure a few days earlier on the Gass Peak trail north of Las Vegas. It stands 77 inches tall and each side is 13 inches wide. As the LVMPD later explains, “It was made out of reflective sheet metal folded into a triangle and secured with rebar and concrete.”

The original social media post issuing a statement about the monolith sparked a range of reactions. Some users proposed science fiction theories, while others dismissed it as a cheap and obvious stunt. The structure has also been viewed as a striking piece of art, with calls for its protection from potential vandals. However, many consider it a form of vandalism against the natural landscape.

“Littering. Hope you fine whoever dumped that…. Might as well be an old TV or mattress,” wrote one user in response to the post on X. Many comments, however, reminisce about the monoliths discovered a few years ago, remembering the same intrigue and mystery they inspired.

In November 2020, amidst a desert canyon in Utah, staff from the Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) discovered a monolith. The silver pillar, distinctly less reflective than the one found in Las Vegas, was soon sensationalized. While the DPS didn’t disclose its exact whereabouts out of safety concerns, individuals soon found its location using Google Earth and publicly posted the coordinates. Many vehicles ventured off-trail to reach the remote structure, causing controversy over the impact on the natural surroundings.

Less than two weeks later, four individuals removed the monolith. According to a photographer who witnessed the scene, one of the men remarked, “This is why you don’t leave trash in the desert.” The Utah monolith’s origins remain a mystery. Speculation suggests that it could be the work of John McCracken, who passed in 2011, or a tribute to him due to the similarity to his minimalist sculptures.

Since the first monolith appeared in Utah, these mysterious structures have emerged across the globe in various countries on almost every continent. Individuals have reported monoliths in over 20 states in the United States and more than 15 European countries, including notable monoliths in Romania, the Netherlands, and Wales. In many cases, local authorities swiftly removed these structures.

A few monoliths break this trend. In Pine Mountain, California, the artists behind them are metalworkers Travis Kenney, Randall Kenney, Wade McKenzie, and Jared Riddle. A local English designer, Tom Dunford, claimed he had left the one on England’s southern coast, inspired by the Utah monolith.

These revelations disputed supernatural claims and confirmed that instead of one group creating these anonymous structures, the Utah monolith likely sparked a trend of mostly anonymous, randomly appearing rectangles.

Several users posted detailed instructions on reaching the Las Vegas monolith to those unfamiliar with the trail and area. However, on June 21, the LVMPD announced that they helped remove the monolith and that it is “being stored at an undisclosed location while public authorities determine the most appropriate way to dispose/store the item.”

A new reflective monolith appeared near Las Vegas, creating supernatural intrigue and artistic inspiration in its wake.

It joins the pattern of monolith emergences that began in late 2020, when the first mysterious block was discovered in the Utah desert, inspiring many similar structures to appear around the world.


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The newest monolith near Gass Peak has since been removed by the Search and Rescue team, though it's still unclear how it got there in the first place.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department: Website | Facebook | X
h/t: [IFL Science, CNN]

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Shiori Chen

Shiori Chen is an Editorial Intern at My Modern Met. Located in the Bay Area, she runs a youth art magazine and contributes as a staff writer for a local online media outlet, focusing on news and journalism. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys painting, watching films, and teaching herself how to play instruments.
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