Current Events

Mysterious Monolith Appears in the Heights

This appears to be the first monolith to appear in Houston
This appears to be the first monolith to appear in Houston Photo by Jef Rouner
Since November, mysterious metallic monoliths have been appearing all over the world. Houston has one of its own.

Located on 11th Street just east of Beverly, the monolith is identical to the one that was first discovered in San Juan County, Utah on November 18 and many of the dozens that have been found across the globe. It is made of shiny grey metal and is presumably hollow. The shape is triangular, and it stands nine feet tall. Ours also seems to be a tad bit shoddier than some of the others that have been discovered. Employees at the nearby Field & Tides restaurant say that it appeared roughly three weeks ago, and that they had no idea who or what was behind it.

The purposes of the monoliths have been avidly debated, with some attributing them to extraterrestrial forces while more practical-minded folks chalk it up to a viral marketing campaign, art project, or internet craze. A running joke is that it's a failed part of a campaign for the video game Cyberpunk 2077 and that both the game and the monoliths fail to actually do anything correctly. At least one businessman, Chris Beers of Pennsylvania, openly admitted to capitalizing on the monolith phenomenon to promote his candy store. The welding department at Austin Community College admitted that they built one as a joke.

click to enlarge Ganesha portrait at the base of the monolith. - PHOTO BY JEF ROUNER
Ganesha portrait at the base of the monolith.
Photo by Jef Rouner
Monoliths have also been the subject of conspiracies and weirdness. Moroccan company Top Negoce has claimed (possibly in jest) that the monoliths are part of their roll-out for a female robot called Aya, who is trapped inside. In California, angry Christians toppled a monolith Atascadero declaring they didn’t “want illegal aliens from Mexico, or outer space.” It was replaced with a wood cross that declared “Christ is King.”

click to enlarge This is a very Houston set of offerings. - PHOTO BY JEF ROUNER
This is a very Houston set of offerings.
Photo by Jef Rouner
It does appear as if the Heights monolith has already attracted some manner of worship, albeit in a very Houston fashion. The base of the structure has been surrounded by offerings, including a Whataburger key chain, a picture of Ganesha, fruit, a miniature version of the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, and bottle caps from Top Chico. It has also been decorated with a colorful sash as well as a vinyl sticker simply reading “weird.”

In all likelihood, the monoliths are the 2020 version of planking and flash mobs. On the other hand, if you happen to be in The Heights then you might as well leave a token at its base. At this point, help from any mysterious powers is welcome.

click to enlarge You said it, sticker. - PHOTO BY JEF ROUNER
You said it, sticker.
Photo by Jef Rouner
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Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner