By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Jan 03, 2021 at 4:29 PM Photography: Tosa Rocks Instagram

We may have left 2020 behind, but one of the past year's strangest subplots has survived into 2021 as one of those random silver monoliths mysteriously appearing across the globe has taken root in Milwaukee. 

Found in County Grounds Park in Wauwatosa, the ominous eight-or-nine-foot-tall structure was first reported by Milwaukee Magazine's Chris Drosner on Sunday, though the first documented sighting of the monolith took place a day earlier with Instagram user Tosa Rocks posting a photo of the strange structure on Saturday. There are no other apparent identifying features on the monolith. 


A post shared by Tosa Rocks (@tosarocks)

The sighting is the latest in a bizarre trend of silver monoliths randomly appearing around the globe, starting in November with the discovery of a tall, shiny, metal prism standing in the middle of a canyon in Utah's Red Rock Country. (Never mind that, thanks to Reddit amateur detectives, the monolith was photographed as early as 2015.) The first object's origins are still unknown – some think it was the newly discovered work of late artist John McCracken while other artists have tried claiming the monoliths as their own – but one thing's certain: It wasn't special for long as more and more tall silver art pieces were "discovered" in Romania, New Mexico, California and all over the world, most serving as brief photo ops before getting torn down, taken away or "disappearing."

And now Milwaukee's hopped on the bizarre beam bandwagon. 

So has Brew City been visited by some curd-craving UFOs, giving Milwaukee their shiny and strange seal of approval? Sorry, considering that Drosner reports that the metal monolith actually appears to be "thick cardboard or plywood over a wood frame, and painted a metallic silver," even the most crazed conspiracy theorist and Area 51 fanatic would have to conclude that this object's origins seem far more terrestrial in nature.

That leaves two likely options – both disappointing in their own special ways. Either the monolith is a part of some grand viral marketing scheme that we'll all roll our eyes at during the Super Bowl, or – the most probable result – it's a copycat creation beating an old trend further into the dirt and bringing an extra taste of 2020 into the new year.

Stay tuned to OnMilwaukee for any updates on which of these underwhelming scenarios is the case – but as far as strange mysterious local stories go, it's no Milwaukee lion. But hey, if any surreal 2020 viral headline was going to make its way to Wisconsin, I'm just happy that it was the metal monoliths and not the murder hornets. 

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.