Isle of Wight monolith mystery solved

A monolith is pictured on Compton Beach, Isle of Wight.  (Lee Peckham/PA Wire)
A monolith is pictured on Compton Beach, Isle of Wight. (Lee Peckham/PA Wire)

The mystery of a monolith discovered on an Isle of Wight beach appears to have been solved, after a designer claimed credit for it.

Walkers first spotted the striking 10ft-tall structure, which resembles others found in recent weeks in the US and Romania, on the island’s Compton Beach early on Sunday morning.

Social media then teemed with posts speculating about the origin of the reflective object.

The uncertainty seems to have been put to rest by Tom Dunford, 29, a designer from Fishbourne, West Sussex.

Mr Dunford told the BBC that he created the monolith “purely for fun” out of materials from his place of work, including some mirrored perspex.

Explaining his choice of location, he said: "If the aliens were to come down I think they'd go for the safest place which is the Isle of Wight in Tier 1 (Covid restrictions).

"When I saw the first one [monolith] pop up (in Utah) I thought it was brilliant, the second one popped up and I had a text from a friend which said 'You're the man that can do this on the island',” he added.

The designer went to the beach at around 4am on Sunday morning to install the pillar, which he admitted proved far more popular than he had anticipated.

In fact, the statue has attracted so much attention that the National Trust has placed rangers on the beach to stop overcrowding.

"I'm going to leave it and let people take photos and go and collect it in a couple of days," said Mr Dunford.

His creation was the most recent monolith to make global headlines, after others were found in Utah, California and northern Romania in the past month.

They all resemble the giant monolith seen in Stanley Kubrick’s classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Although their provenance is not definitively known, an anonymous collective called The Most Famous Artist said it was behind the two found in the US.

It is now advertising a limited number of monoliths on its website for $43,000 (£34,000) each.

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