The shiny triangular object was spotted just a few meters away from the Petrodava Dacian Fortress, a fort built by the ancient Dacian people between 82 BC and AD 106.
A mysterious metal monolith appeared in Romania this week, days after a similar structure that captured the world's attention by its sudden appearance in a remote Utah desert, was removed by an "unknown party." According to Daily Mail, the three-sided metal pillar made its latest appearance in Batca Doamnei Hill in the city of Piatra Neamt in northern Romania last Thursday. The shiny triangular object was spotted just a few meters away from the Petrodava Dacian Fortress, a fort built by the ancient Dacian people between 82 BC and AD 106.
NEW: Mysterious monolith appears in Romania after Utah one vanishes pic.twitter.com/oeKkkAP3OI— Norbert Elekes (@NorbertElekes) November 30, 2020
The unexplained structure near the well-known archaeological landmark has a height of about 13 feet and one of its sides faces one of the most famous mountains in Romania, Mount Ceahlau. Known locally as the Holy Mountain, Ceahlau is listed as one of the seven natural wonders of the country. Romanian officials are still unclear as to who is responsible for erecting the mysterious monolith. "We have started looking into the strange appearance of the monolith," said Neamt Culture and Heritage official, Rocsana Josanu. "It is on private property, but we still don't know who the monolith's owner is yet. It is in a protected area on an archaeological site. Before installing something there, they needed permission from our institution, one that must then be approved by the Ministry of Culture."
A metal monolith appeared at a scenic spot in northern Romania over the weekend after a similar structure was discovered – and then disappeared – in the Utah desert. https://t.co/QtC57qC6Hw pic.twitter.com/KF1csiUvu3— ABC News (@ABC) December 1, 2020
The peculiar find in Romania comes just days after a similar monolith was discovered at the base of a barren slot canyon in Utah's Red Rock Country. Although news of the structure sparked theories about the involvement of extraterrestrial beings, many believe it was the work of someone inspired by Arthur C Clarke's science fiction novel 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the book — which was later made into a film by Stanley Kubrick — a monolith is used as a tool by an alien race to investigate worlds across the galaxy and to encourage the development of intelligent life.
Time for a teachable moment!— David S. Anderson (@DSAArchaeology) November 24, 2020
The mysterious monolith in Stanley Kubric’s fun rendition of Arthur C. Clark’s classic story 2001 A Space Odyssey was based on some actual anthropology! 1/7 https://t.co/o7F5VHKycW pic.twitter.com/qztoFUzQwL
It first appears on Earth in Africa three million years ago and appears to confer intelligence upon a starving tribe of great apes to develop tools. The great apes in the book use their tools to hunt animals to end their starvation and to kill a predatory leopard. The monolith also sparks an awakening of intelligence and the development of humans when the main character in the story uses a club to kill the leader of a rival tribe of apes.
This moment is reflective of the scientific debate surrounding the possible role of violence in human evolution that was happening at the time. Particularly, an argument made by anthropologist Raymond Dart. 3/7 pic.twitter.com/8wAiKctYuv— David S. Anderson (@DSAArchaeology) November 24, 2020
In particular, Dart was the first to identify what we know today as the species Australopithecus africanus, a close relative to the better known species Australopithecus afarensis, of which “Lucy” is the most complete example. 5/7 pic.twitter.com/gwFMvfAo65— David S. Anderson (@DSAArchaeology) November 24, 2020
Most anthropologists today think Dart’s tools were exaggerated, but if you take it upon yourself to visit Utah in search of this new Monolith, beware apes wielding bone clubs!!!! 7/7 pic.twitter.com/1yT6gjtM4Q— David S. Anderson (@DSAArchaeology) November 24, 2020
While things have been less murderous in our present world, the discovery of the metal pillar — especially in a year as bizarre as 2020 — did get globe UFO spotters and conspiracy theorists riled up. Many drove huge distances to see the 10 to 12 feet tall structure despite the Bureau of Land Management Utah urging them not to. "Visitors who flocked to the site parked on vegetation and left behind human waste as evidence of their visit. The undeveloped area does not have restrooms or a parking lot. The BLM recommends that visitors not attempt to visit the site, which has no cell service and requires high clearance vehicles; passenger vehicles have already been towed from the area. We remind the public that driving off designated roads and trails in the Monticello Field Office is illegal," the bureau said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Google Earth images reportedly show that the monolith had been standing in the location since at least 2015 or 2016. Lieutenant Nick Street, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, said on Tuesday that it's possible the structure had been there for "40, 50 years, maybe more. It's the type of material that doesn't degrade with the elements. It may only be a few years old, who knows. There's no real way based on the material it's made out of how long it's actually been there." At the same time, art enthusiasts speculated that the pillar could be the work of John McCracken, an American artist who lived for a time in nearby New Mexico and died in 2011.
Although a spokeswoman for David Zwirner initially denied these rumors, instead suggesting that perhaps it was the work of a fellow artist paying homage, he later gave another statement suggesting the piece was indeed by McCracken. "The gallery is divided on this," Zwirner said. "I believe this is definitely by John." Even as experts try to get to the bottom of this mystery, the monolith was removed by an "unknown party" on Friday evening, the Bureau of Land Management Utah said in a statement.