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Monoliths in Lansing and Kentwood offer new take on worldwide phenomenon

The monolith that set off this trend was discovered in Utah in November when state biologists were conducting a sheep survey.
Credit: AP
AThis Nov. 27, 2020 photo by Terrance Siemon shows a monolith that was placed in a red-rock desert in an undisclosed location in San Juan County southeastern Utah. New clues have surfaced in the disappearance of the gleaming monolith in Utah that seemed to melt away as mysteriously as it appeared in the red-rock desert. A Colorado photographer told a TV station in Salt Lake City that he saw four men push over the hollow, stainless steel structure in Utah on Friday night. (Terrance Siemon via AP)

Two monoliths have appeared in Michigan this week, and they seem to be having a good time.

The monoliths, which are in the Old Town of Lansing and on the corner of 36th Street and Broadmoor Avenue in Kentwood, follow after the Utah monolith that was discovered last month and then taken down. But unlike the tall triangular prism that appeared in the Utah desert, the one in Lansing has multiple social media accounts, which the artist or artists behind the structure use to explain the phenomenon that has piqued worldwide curiosity.

On their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, the person or people responsible for the Lansing monolith use first-person pronouns to refer to the structure and address other users as “humans” or “earth creatures.” In a post made on Thursday morning that sought to explain the large quantity of monoliths around the world, the artist or artists said that “much like humans we are all different.”

The post also refers to the Kentwood monolith, naming it Carl. “Weird fact about Carl,” the post reads: “he smells like Cheetos.” 13 On Your Side was not able to confirm the scent of the Kentwood monolith, which lacks a social media presence.

Still, whoever is behind the Lansing monolith identifies the Kentwood structure as a peer. “There will be more visitors in various forms to your planet,” the post said. “Locations are yet undetermined, but our mission is one of kindness.”

The monolith that set off this trend was discovered in Utah in November when state biologists were conducting a sheep survey and noticed a large, shiny triangular prism hanging out in the middle of the desert. Satellite data later suggested that the nearly 10-foot tall monolith must have been placed there sometime in 2015 or 2016. The mystery of the Utah monolith inspired people around the world to wonder whether it was art, the work of aliens or maybe some kind of marketing campaign.

The Utah monolith was later removed by a then-unknown party. After a few days, a small group of athletic Utah residents came out and said they had removed the monolith out of concern for the environmental impact of all the tourists flocking to the area. In Utah, it’s also illegal to install structures on public property.

Ever since that first monolith was taken down, copycat monoliths have been cropping up around the world, from Romania to California to North Carolina and more. The ones in Lansing and Kentwood are only the latest spinoffs.

Credit: AP
A monolith stands on a Stadium Park hillside in Atascadero, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2020. Days after the discovery and swift disappearance of two shining metal monoliths half a world apart, another towering structure has popped up, this time at the pinnacle of a trail in Southern California. Its straight sides and height are similar to one discovered in the Utah desert and another found in Romania. (Kaytlyn Leslie/The Tribune (of San Luis Obispo) via AP)

13 On Your Side reached out to the email address provided at the base of the Lansing monolith along with its social media handles to ask why an alien would want to visit Earth in the middle of a pandemic.

“Our visits are not directly related to the emergence of a pandemic. But this is a time when so many are hurting on your planet,” the response said. “In addition to our data collection we hope that our presence provides an uplift to you humans, a distraction, something different, and something good.”

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