The mysterious silver monolith that went viral last month made an appearance on the IUP campus Monday. It is believed to be the first time the monolith – or a replica of it – appeared on a college campus in the U.S.
A triangular metal structure standing approximately 10 feet high, the monolith appeared Monday, Dec. 7, outside the Co-op Store’s main entrance.
CEO and Executive Director of IUP’s Student Cooperative Association, Lou Garzarelli said the monolith simply “showed up” sometime Monday, much to his surprise.
"I just hope that our community and the IUP community enjoys it and gets to experience the monolith that's been all over the world,” he said. “It's been everywhere, but I think we might be the first college campus in the country where the monolith has appeared.”
According to multiple media reports, the first monolith mysteriously appeared Nov. 18 in a remote part of southeastern Utah, close to the Area 51 region, which quickly prompted theories of aliens among fans of Stanley Kubrick’s famous film “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
In the movie, a black steel monolith appears out of nowhere, seemingly by an unseen force who are known as the “Firstborn.” The monoliths are discovered by Kubrick’s main character, Dave Bowman.
Fans of the movie are beginning to see it come to life with the popping up of mysterious silver monoliths across the U.S., beginning in Utah. Since then, sightings of the monolith have been confirmed on at least three continents, including South America and Europe.
The monolith was first discovered by wildlife officers Nov. 18, who were flying by helicopter over the area, according to media reports in Utah. It was described as 10-12 feet in height.
The Utah branch of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) said the “illegally installed structure” was removed on Nov. 27.
Since then, other monoliths have appeared in the European country of Romania, as well as Colombia in South America, and at least five U.S. states, including Pennsylvania’s very own IUP campus.
It mysteriously arrived surrounded in as much curiosity as those in Kubrick’s film and those appearing out of nowhere since November.
While anonymous art groups have declared their hand in putting up the monoliths, there hasn’t been definitive proof of these groups putting them up. There is also no definitive evidence of who is taking them down either.
While it seems that the monoliths are disappearing as quickly as they arrive, who knows when the next one will pop up out of the blue. Is it an alien sign or something bigger? What would Kubrick say? And just who is responsible for it?
Keep an eye out for more as they appear and disappear around the world.