Another mysterious monolith appears, this time in California

Another mysterious monolith appears, this time in California
A third mysterious monolith appeared Wednesday, this time on a hill in Atascadero, California. (Utah Department of Public Safety/Utah Department of Public Safety)

ATASCADERO, Calif. — Maybe three is a magic number. A third mysterious monolith appeared Wednesday, this time on a hill in Atascadero, California.

A nearly 200-pound stainless steel structure found at the top of Atascadero’s Pine Mountain is welded and riveted, similar in design and construction to a metal monolith discovered in the Utah desert, the Atascadero News reported. However, unlike the Utah monolith, which was fairly secured into the sandstone, the Atascadero pillar is not fastened into the ground.

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It is the second copycat structure to appear since a team of biologists counting bighorn sheep discovered the first metal structure on Nov. 18 in what was an undisclosed area of southeastern Utah. Officials did not release its remote location in order to keep potential visitors from becoming stranded trying to locate it. However, through internet sleuthing, its coordinates were discovered, prompting a horde of visitors.

A group said, “Leave no trace” Friday when they toppled and removed the Utah monolith, which was most likely an illegal art installation, although it is unclear who created it and when. Satellite images indicate that it was installed sometime between August 2015 and October 2016.

Its appearance led to international interest and the creation and discovery of a slightly similar structure in Romania. The poorly crafted pillar appeared Nov. 27 as a prank in the town of Piatra Neamt but disappeared four days later. It was also installed illegally.

In Atascadero, city officials have not commented on the structure or its future. Dozens of hikers have already visited it.