“People taking a stroll on Sunday morning stumbled upon another mysterious monolith,” reports Insider.com. “This one was found in a northern province of the Netherlands.” The monolith was covered in ice and surrounded by a small pool of water, according to local reports. The hikers told the Dutch paper Algemeen Dagblad that they’re not sure how the monolith got there. They said they found no footprints around it that would indicate someone placed it there intentionally. And that monolith that disappeared in Atascadero, California has not-so-mysteriously re-appeared, as a group of three local artists takes credit for both creating the original and for successfully retrieving it to restore it to its former glory. “After learning of the second monolith, Travis Kenney had a thought,” writes the relationship site Your Tango. “There were three monoliths in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Why not build the third themselves and make the triad complete…?” “It was meant to be something fun, a change of pace from the kind of conversations 2020 has been plagued with — so much negativity and separation among the people in our country.” All the thanks these men really needed was delivered in the positive energy that quickly took hold of their home town. The presence of this now internationally followed mysterious object brought with it an uplifting local pride, as well as a sense of childlike wonder… The monolith’s creators quietly made the hike back up to observe people’s reactions throughout the day. When they arrived at the top each time, they found themselves soaking in the glow of the many smiles they encountered on faces of visitors. some of whom drove for hours to see the shining obelisk for themselves… While you may think of these monoliths as another square on your 2020 bingo card, it’s worth noting that the purpose of the monoliths in 2001: A Space Odyssey was to further the advancement of intelligent life. Cynics can say that sounds cheesy, but for the sake of full disclosure, I know McKenzie personally and can affirm without doubt or irony that they wanted nothing more than to offer their fellow humans some joyful light in these dark times. “There was no esoteric agenda,” said McKenzie. “Our topline,” added Jared Riddle, “Let’s get outside and laugh.” 70 miles away yet-another monolith “was discovered by campers on Saturday in San Luis Obispo County in Los Padres National Forest,” reports a California newspaper. “We were super happy that someone/group went to all that work,” Matt Carver wrote in a Facebook message to The Tribune. “It really did make our day to find it! I think we had huge smiles on our faces for the rest of the ride home.” The second monolith resembles the monolith in Atascadero, but the structure’s top features “CAUTION” written in red and a picture of a UFO beaming in a human. But wait! Insider.com reports that another mysterious monolith has appeared in Pittsburgh — “intentionally placed outside a candy shop by an owner who was trying to attract attention to his small business.” Christopher Beers, owner of Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop, asked a friend to make the 10-foot-tall structure and placed it outside his store as a marketing ploy. Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop shared the news using a 30-minute video on Facebook. In a Facebook post on Friday, the shop said: “Come see the Monolith before it mysteriously disappears!” Within one day someone did in fact steal the monolith, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. But Grandpa Joe’s owner Beers whipped up another one to replace it. “This one is much heavier and bolted into the ground. That’s not a challenge. That’s just a statement.” Beers said he didn’t report the theft to police because they have more important things to deal with… “That’s not the story,” Beers said of the theft. “The story is I built something fun and made people laugh and we put Pittsburgh on the map. I’m not worried about whoever took it.” Beers said the new monolith will stay up for a couple a days before “it’ll mysteriously disappear just like all the others.” Business Insider reports that monolith jokes have now also appeared in tweets from a wide variety of brands, including Walmart, Southwest Airlines, Ocean Spray, McDonald’s, Steak-umm, and MoonPie. And meanwhile, the headline at one Denver news site reports that “Monolith mania comes to Colorado as local businesses report structures ‘appearing’ outside shops,” citing the arrival of a monolith outside McDevitt Taco Supply and on the patio of Morrison Holiday Bar. Read more of this story at Slashdot.