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Monolith may be gone from Utah desert, but not from Romania

Screen shot of video from Newsflash via The Daily Mail.

The mystery of the Utah desert monolith just got a little more — well, mysterious — after the discovery of a similar structure in Romania, not far from a historic fortress in that country. 

Much like the desert locale of the Utah monolith, Romanian authorities say whoever placed the monolith in Romania needed permission to do so. 

According to The Daily Mail, the pillar faces Romania’s Mount Ceahlau, which locals call the Holy Mountain. Some people call it the Romanian Olympus, a popular hiking destination in the Eastern Carpathian mountains. 

The archaeological site, the Petrodava Dacian Fortress, dates to between 82 B.C. and 106 A.D. Historians believe the Romans destroyed it in the second century A.D. The Dacians called the region home for centuries. 

Many observers compared the Utah monolith to the metal structure prominent in both the book, “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Arthur C. Clarke, and the film he co-wrote by the same name. A famous scene in the novel and film shows an alien metal monolith appearing before prehistoric apes, which then triggers an evolutionary shift. 

Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that the monolith in Romania and the monolith in the Utah desert are the same. Romania’s was discovered on Thursday, Nov. 26. Utah’s disappeared on Friday, Nov. 27, after hikers reported visiting it earlier that day. 

The Romanian version also features some differences. For example, its sides appear scored or sanded; the Utah monolith’s surface appeared smooth.

utah monolith romania

Photo: Utah Department of Public Safety

Romanian officials say they will investigate. Meanwhile, in Utah, San Juan County officials say they are unlikely to follow up as the initial placement of the monolith was already illegal, and they lack resources to pursue its disappearance. 

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