If you drop a mysterious metal monolith in the middle of the desert, they will come.
Daring travelers have been navigating a remote section of Utah to get a firsthand look at a 10 foot tall monolith that was planted in the soil amid a rock formation.
The structure – which appears to be an art project in homage to a plot device in the film ‘2001 A Space Odyssey’ – was first discovered last week by wildlife officials who were counting sheep from a helicopter.
Workers shared photos of their bizarre discovery, but did not divulge its coordinates, hoping to discourage people from seeking out the structure and getting lost in the remote area.
Their caution couldn’t deter determined sleuths who combed through satellite maps to crack the case, and locate the structure 16 miles southwest of Moab.
David Surber, 33, a former US army infantry, officer drove for six hours through the night to find it after reading about its supposed coordinates on Reddit.
He posted a video with the caption: “Awesome journey out to the monolith today. Regardless of who built it or where it came from. It was a positive escape from today’s world. Some for many people to rally behind and enjoy together.”
Surber said after he made the discovery, he was alone in the dark for only about 10 minutes before other intrepid adventurers arrived, tipped off by the intel of Reddit user Tim Slane, who tracked the helicopters radar and then used Google Earth to find the exact location.
“I knew that once the location became public knowledge that people would visit the area,” Slane told the BBC. “I have received some angry messages for my revealing of the location. If I had not found it, someone else would likely have found it soon enough.”
It’s still unknown who made the monolith and planted it, and why – but Google Earth imagery show it appeared sometime between August 2015 and October 2016.