Some fearless visitors have flocked to a remote part of southern Utah in an attempt to be among the first to see the mysterious metal monolith.
The structure of the Red Rock Desert was first discovered last week from the air by a helicopter pilot and wildlife officers who conducted an annual count of hornets.
They did not share its coordinates and hoped to expose people to try to make their own pilgrimages if they got lost in the remote area. But for some, the intrigue was overwhelming.
About 48 hours after the news of their find was published, photos surfaced on Instagram of people who had managed to find it.
Among them was David Surber, 33, a former U.S. Army infantry officer who drove for six hours through the night to find it after seeing a Reddit post pretending to have found its coordinates.
“A great trip out to the monolith today,” he wrote on Instagram, where he also shared its location. “No matter who built it or where it came from. It was a positive escape from the world of today. Some too many people to gather behind and enjoy together. ”
He said he was alone with the structure, which he described as formed of aluminum and formed of “three pieces riveted together” for approx. 10 minutes before others arrived.
“All in all, not too crowded, you will all travel,” he wrote.
Tim Slane, who shared the coordinates on Reddit, said he worked them out by tracking the helicopters’ flight path.
It is not known what the origin of the object, estimated by Bret Hutchings, the helicopter pilot who discovered it, was between 10 feet and 12 feet high (about three meters).
But it has been compared to the work of several minimalist sculptors, including the late John McCracken.
A spokesman for his gallery owner, David Zwirner, told the Guardian earlier this week that it was not one of McCracken’s works and said they thought it could be “a work by an artist who pays tribute to McCracken”. But Zwirner later told the New York Times that it could actually be by the artist.