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Wildlife officials have stumbled upon a bizarre monolith-like structure in the Utah desert, prompting the internet to pump out Stanley Kubrick jokes and lamentations about the weirdness of 2020.

State workers were conducting a count of bighorn sheep in a remote part of southeastern Utah last week when they spotted a strange object from their helicopter. Upon closer inspection, the officials realized that they had chanced upon a metal monolith that had been installed in a secluded area of red rock. 

The Utah Department of Public Safety released photographs and videos of their staff marveling at the object, which is estimated to be between 10-12 feet (3-3.6 meters) in height. In a press release, the department said that it would not reveal the location of the monolith because it’s in a “very remote” area and they feared individuals could require rescue if they attempted to reach it on their own. Although clearly amused by their discovery, the department also reminded the public that it’s unlawful to tinker with protected lands. 

‘Who Does This Kind of Stuff?’ Mystery Metal Monolith Discovered in Utah Desert. via @Storyfulpic.twitter.com/LNNUccFORQ

“It is illegal to install structures or art without authorization on federally managed public lands, no matter what planet you’re from,” the statement read. 

The mysterious structure caused a sensation on social media, with Twitter users pointing to the infamous monolith from Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2012: A Space Odyssey’. 

anyone else onto something here? pic.twitter.com/WK4BmvlecJ

We are nothing but apes, entranced by a silver metal monolith. We will next proceed to murder each other over it, and the victor shall evolve into intelligent beings to travel into the unknown, just to be turned into a bright orb of light floating in nothingness. pic.twitter.com/k8cRQHYYFz

Others put forward humorous theories about how the monolith may have found itself in such a remote corner of the United States. 

Right now, there is a seriously pissed off alien screaming at their partner for not checking to make sure they didn’t leave anything behind when they filmed their YouTube travel show.

For many, the discovery was par for the course for a rollercoaster year of political upheaval and health crises. 

“2020 ending by going full Kubrick on us,” joked one observer.

2020 ending by going full Kubrick on us. Utah Wildlife Resources discovered a monolith in the desert. Time to blast György Ligeti’s “Requiem for Soprano…” https://t.co/oMyjy3BPhU”That’s been about the strangest thing that I’ve come across out there in all my years of flying.” pic.twitter.com/u9uD2KUGvb

So after all that’s happened this year, 2020 ends with an alien invasion. 👽

The world may never know where the metal object came from. Utah officials said they are still deciding if the odd find warrants further investigation. 

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