While counting sheep in Utah, biologists found a magnificent, metal monolith in the middle of nowhere. It stands about 10-to-12-feet tall according to KSL TV and is seemingly made of a matte silver metal.
A team of biologists and Utah Department of Safety officers in a helicopter noticed the otherworldly structure because of its stark juxtaposition to the surrounding iconic red rock. After landing to go to take a look at the structure, they realized it was almost certainly planted on purpose. According to reports, it’s firmly placed into the ground and sturdy enough to climb on.
"Counting big horn sheep with [Department of Wildlife Resources] this week," the Utah Department of Safety Aero Bureau said in an Instagram post. "During the counts we came across this, in the middle of nowhere, buried deep in the rock. Inquiring minds want to know, what the heck is it? Anyone? 👽?"
Helicopter pilot Bret Hutchings told KSL TV that the crew was pretty confused at first. “We were kind of joking around that if one of us suddenly disappears, then the rest of us make a run for it,” he told the outlet. “We were, like, thinking is this something NASA stuck up there or something. Are they bouncing satellites off it or something?”
After an investigative expedition, though, the team decided it was most likely just a piece of pretty cool art. Surrounding the monolith is a natural amphitheater made of Utah red rock—usually rusting hematite. The iconic sandstone is found across much of southern Utah. It looks like Mars, which may have influenced the stoic structure’s placement.
“That’s been about the strangest thing that I’ve come across out there in all my years of flying,” Hutchings told KSL TV.
Although bizarre, it’s not the first time art has found its way into the backcountry. Most notably, many Native American nations have been making art on their native land, particularly in the American Southwest and Utah, for centuries. In addition, the Namib Desert in Namibia holds a structure consisting of seven speakers, seven white pillars, and an MP3 player blasting “Toto” by Africa on repeat.