Where's the mysterious metal monolith today then? Oh look, it's atop a California mountain

Is this some kind of sick game of alien whack-a-mole?

This is getting out of hand. Mere days after the metal "monolith" found out in the boondocks of Utah vanished, a similar structure has popped up on a Californian mountaintop.

Local papers reported the plinth was spotted atop Pine Mountain near the town of Atascadero in San Luis Obispo County.

The rectangle was said to be made of stainless steel, measuring 10 feet tall, 18 inches wide, and weighing in at about 200 pounds.

Once more, its provenance is a mystery, but seems like some me-too shoddy workmanship compared to its Utah cousin. Local reports said it looked as though it could be easily pushed over, whereas the Utah entity was stubbornly attached to the ground. Hikers were warned to steer clear.

Signs of welding can apparently be seen at each corner, while the side panels appear to be attached with rivets, as though the structure is built around a steel frame – a far cry from the singular, impenetrable edifice that got a bunch of apes overexcited in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Indeed, aliens is one leading theory for the Utah monument's appearance, while other, more reasonable fellows reckon it's a wanky art project or marketing campaign.

State authorities confirmed on 28 November that the piece had been taken down by an "unknown party", but days earlier another similar structure had materialised, this time in Romania of all places, though where Utah's was smooth, this one was covered in curly squiggles – clearly an ineffable and extraterrestrial script.

Or not. Where will the mysterious metal monolith appear next? Join us next time on Hollywood Oblongs. ®

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