Gingerbread monolith appears in San Francisco's Corona Heights

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A view of the monolith overlooking the city of San FranciscoImage source, Josh Ackerman
Image caption,
The baked structure overlooks the city of San Francisco

A mysterious monolith made out of gingerbread appeared in Corona Heights Park in the US city of San Francisco on Christmas Day.

It is unclear who is behind the object, which combines two of 2020's trends - home baking and mysterious structures.

Its arrival delighted many in Corona Heights - and yes, the neighbourhood's name predates the pandemic.

"I was pretty shocked when I first saw the gingerbread monolith," product manager Josh Ackerman told the BBC.

Other monoliths have popped up around the world in recent weeks.

The first, a mysterious metal pillar, was discovered in the desert in the US state of Utah last month - before it disappeared a week later.

Image source, Josh Ackerman
Image caption,
The sides of the monolith appear to be made out of gingerbread

Like its Utah predecessor, the gingerbread monolith is three-sided, with rectangles of gingerbread apparently held together by icing. Its internal structure is unclear.

Mr Ackerman, who tweeted photos of his encounter, said he had seen a social media post about the structure before he went on a run on Christmas morning, but had not believed the news.

"So when I ran up to Corona Heights and saw it was really there, it was pretty surprising," he told the BBC.

"In a way I felt like the gingerbread monolith totally captured the quirkiness of this city and I thought that it perfectly represented many of the reasons why I love San Francisco."

His response was echoed by other residents in the city, with one Twitter user describing the monolith's appearance as "the perfect act of SF [San Francisco] defiance".

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So what is next for the gingerbread monolith?

It seems there's hope for its future, at least in the short term, with the general manager of the city's Recreation and Parks Department, Phil Ginsburg, telling Californian news company KQED: "We will leave it up until the cookie crumbles."

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Media caption,

A helicopter crew found the unusual object while conducting a count of big horn sheep in the area