Isle of Wight monolith: 'Magical' structure appears on beach

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image copyrightLee Peckham
image captionThe National Trust, which owns the beach, said it was investigating the shiny pillar

A monolith has mysteriously appeared in Britain - just days after similar ones were spotted in the US and Romania.

The unusual mirrored structure was discovered on the Isle of Wight, an island off the south coast of England.

Resident Alexia Fishwick said she "was dumbstruck" when she came across it during a beach walk on Sunday and described it as "really quite magical".

A monolith found in Utah last month created wild speculation on social media and apparent copycats.

Many observers have presumed they were art installations left by sculptors.

The metal edifice in Utah was found planted in the ground before it disappeared just days later.

media captionThe crew found the unusual object while conducting a count of big horn sheep in the area

Two other shining metal towers later appeared in Romania and southern California.

Ms Fishwick said: "I'd read about the one in Utah and then Romania, so I knew the significance. Many people took no notice of it."

She said people first thought she had photoshopped the images when she put them online.

Lee Peckham, a lawyer living on the island, said: "I saw it and wondered what it was and thought it a rather strange thing to see on the beach. I wondered who put it there and why."

DJ Rob da Bank, another island resident, was also among those who took a stroll to see the sight for themselves.

He mused: "I'm not sure if it's aliens, a Coldplay PR stunt or a local mirror dealer drumming up trade, but it got us all down the beach anyway."

The National Trust, which owns the site, said it had no immediate plans to remove the monolith, which it said was erected without permission.

A spokesman said: "We were unaware of the monolith's presence until this morning, but we've now visited Compton Beach and it seems secure on a wooden plinth and is made from mirrored sections of plastic or perspex material.

"We need to monitor over the next few days to ensure the beach remains safe and does not become overcrowded."

image copyrightAlexia Fishwick
image captionAlexia Fishwick described the monolith as "incredibly graceful"

An anonymous collective called The Most Famous Artist has taken credit for the monoliths in Utah and California.

It posted an image of the Utah monolith on Instagram, with a 45,000 US dollar (£34,000) price tag.

However, when asked about the Isle of Wight structure, it said: "The monolith is out of my control at this point. Godspeed to all the aliens working hard around the globe to propagate the myth."

News of the monolith on the island has caused a stir on social media with some posting in jest - that the monolith - which already has its own Instagram page - could be a portal to another dimension.

In 2001: A Space Odyssey - the 1968 film directed by Stanley Kubrick - imposing black monoliths created by an unseen alien species appear in the movie, based on the writings of novelist Arthur C Clarke.

Most observers reflecting on their trip to the mysterious monolith suspected it was left by an artist rather than an alien species.

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