A monolith in a field in Salo, West Finland, in December 2020/Lehtikuva

News in brief

The series of mysterious metal columns known as “monoliths,” which have been popping up without warning in various locations across the globe since last year, has been baffling Finns.

There have been numerous monoliths sighted in the country, with the latest one appearing at an intersection in the rural municipality of Nurmijärvi this week. 

The strange metal structure, which is approximately 8 feet tall and 30 centimetres wide, is the first one to emerge in the capital city region and received substantial attention after a Facebook post.

Typically 8 to 12 feet tall, the monoliths turn up suddenly and vanish just as quickly. The name is attributed to the strong resemblance the statues bear to the large black monoliths that feature in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The first of the travelling monoliths appeared in Utah, United States in November last year. The origins behind the phenomenon remain shrouded in mystery. While many speculate it is an art installation project, no one has claimed credit yet.

An 8-foot-tall version of the now familiar metal column was spotted in Savonlinna (Southeast Finland) on 10 December last year and disappeared within a week. Another monolith was sighted in the Pirkanmaa region just two days later.