The first mysterious mirrored monolith was sighted in the remote redness of the Utah desert in mid-November. Photos of the 12-foot reflective structure circulated news outlets, art publications, and, of course, social media. The sculpture was not particularly a beautiful work of art; it was an enigma people wanted to solve.

The monolith resembled the monoliths in Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey and Arthur C. Clarke’s novel of the same name, which are built by a mysterious and unidentified extra-terrestrial species. And naturally, where do people turn when things don’t make immediate logical sense? Aliens, of course.

Soon, monoliths were cropping up left right, and centre around the world. At the time of writing, there have apparently been sightings in California, Romania, the Isle of Wight, the Netherlands, and Colombia – and doubtless, there are more waiting to break the waves of social media.