The Mystery of Flight Simulator’s Melbourne Monolith Has Been Solved


I have lived in Melbourne for almost 29 years, and for the life of me cannot recall a monolithic spire jutting out of the northern suburb of Fawkner. I have been in COVID lockdown for some time to be, so when I first saw the mysterious middle-finger to God in Microsoft’s Flight Simulator, I assumed it was just a recent construction finalised while no one was watching. However, it looks like the puzzle of the Fawkner Citadel has been solved, and the solution is (unfortunately) much more mundane.

According to Twitter user @liamosaur the issue stems from a simple typo on OpenStreetMap, a free user-edited world map. About a year ago, OpenStreetMap user “nathanwright120” accidentally input ‘212’ rather than ‘2’ when listing the number of floors for the humble double-storey home they were registering to the database. When creating the game, Asobo Studios scraped OpenStreetMap, including the typo, and the rest is history. To be fair, there are going to be a few mistakes when you map out the entire earth.

If you wish to gaze upon the eighth wonder of the world, start up a flight from Essendon Airport in Melbourne and head north-east until you see a malevolent obelisk shooting into the heavens – you will know it when you see it. Get in quick though, as Asobo Studios is looking to fix this and other cursed structures, such as Buckingham Palace looking like a block of flats and the MCG looking like a brutalist panopticon.  

Microsoft’s Flight Simulator is available now via Xbox Game Pass for PC and to purchase via the Microsoft Store or Steam for Windows 10.

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