A mysterious monolith has been discovered in a remote part of the United States.
The object, which is estimated to be around 10-12 feet (3-3.6 metres) tall and made of some type of metal, was found planted in the ground, tucked in a red rock cove.
It was spotted in Utah by state wildlife officials who were helping to count bighorn sheep from a Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) helicopter.
“That’s been about the strangest thing that I’ve come across out there in all my years of flying,” pilot Bret Hutchings told local news channel KSL TV.
“One of the biologists is the one who spotted it and we just happened to fly directly over the top of it.
“He was like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, turn around, turn around!’ And I was like, ‘what’. And he’s like, ‘There’s this thing back there – we’ve got to go look at it!'”
He went on: “We were kind of joking around that if one of us suddenly disappears, then the rest of us make a run for it.
“We were, like, thinking is this something NASA stuck up there or something. Are they bouncing satellites off it or something?”
He said it appeared to be man-made. Perhaps by “some new wave artist” or a “big fan” of the science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey, he added, referencing a scene in the movie.
In the 1968 Stanley Kubrick movie, a metal monolith is discovered in the desert by apes.
The DPS posted images and footage of the discovery on its website, and a person taking one of the videos can be heard saying: “The intrepid explorers go down to explore the alien life form.”
They add, laughing: “Who does this kind of stuff?… it’s just wild.”
After the DPS shared images of the structure on its social media channels, followers came up with their own theories.
One suggested it was a “space portal”, another suggested the object was “probably left behind from a movie shoot”.
Others joked “this is where you plug in the charger” and “I was wondering where the heck I left that”.
The DPS said in a statement that it would not be revealing the exact location of the monolith for public safety reasons.
Installing structures without permission on federally managed public lands is illegal, it added.