A monolith is a geological feature consisting of a single massive stone or rock, such as some mountains, or a single large piece of rock placed as, or within, a monument or building. Erosion usually exposes the geological formations, which are most often made of very hard and solid metamorphic or igneous rock.
In architecture, the term has considerable overlap with megalith, which is normally used for prehistory, and may be used in the contexts of rock-cut architecture that remains attached to solid rock, as in monolithic church, or for exceptionally large stones such as obelisks, statues, monolithic columns or large architraves, that may have been moved a considerable distance after quarrying. It may also be used of large glacial erratics moved by natural forces.
Geological monoliths 
Large, well-known monoliths include:
- Ben Amera, Mauritania
- Brandberg Mountain, Namibia
- Aso Rock, Nigeria
- Zuma Rock, Nigeria
- Sibebe, Swaziland
- Sphinx, Egypt
- Uluru (Ayers Rock), Northern Territory, Australia
- Pine Mountain (Victoria), Australia
- Bald Rock, near Tenterfield, New South Wales
- Mount Coolum, Queensland
- Mt Wudinna, South Australia
- Kalamos, Anafi, Greece
- Logan Rock, Trereen, Cornwall, England
- Penyal d'Ifac Calpe, Valencian Community, Spain
- Rock of Gibraltar, Gibraltar
- Rock of Monaco, Monaco-Ville, Monaco
- Katskhi pillar, Georgia
North America 
United States 
- Beacon Rock, Columbia River Gorge, Washington
- Bottleneck Peak and Moon, Sids Mountain, Utah
- Chimney Rock, Bayard, Nebraska
- Courthouse and Jail Rocks, Bridgeport, Nebraska
- Devils Tower, Wyoming
- Great White Throne, Zion National Park, Utah
- Angels Landing, Zion National Park, Utah
- El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, California
- Enchanted Rock, Llano County, Texas
- Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California
- Haystack Rock, Clatsop County, Oregon
- Looking Glass Rock, Transylvania County, North Carolina
- Morro Rock, Morro Bay, California
- Scotts Bluff National Monument, Gering, Nebraska
- Stone Mountain, Stone Mountain, Georgia
- Castle Rock, Pineville, West Virginia
- Tooth of Time, Cimarron, New Mexico
- Stawamus Chief, Squamish, British Columbia
South America 
- Pedra da Gávea, Brazil the world's largest monolith on the coastline
- Pão de Açúcar, Brazil
- Torres del Paine, Chile
- El Penol, Colombia
- Phobos monolith on the moon Phobos which orbits Mars
Monumental monoliths 
A structure which has been excavated as a unit from a surrounding matrix or outcropping of rock.
- Stone of the Pregnant Woman, Baalbek
- Aztec calendar stone "Stone of the Sun"
- Coyolxauhqui Stone another aztec monolith
- Great Sphinx of Giza "The Egyptian Sphinx"
- Stonehenge contains several
- Ellora Caves - UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Gomateswara or Lord Bahubali at Sravanabelagola, Karnataka
- Stone circle
- Standing stones
- Obelisks - see this article for a list
- Ogham Stone, Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
- Adam and Eve Stones, Avebury, Wiltshire, England
- Manzanar National Historic Landmark, USA
- Vijayanagara Empire#Architecture medieval South Indian carved examples
- The Church of Saint George in Lalibela, Ethiopia, is one of a number of monolithic churches in Ethiopia
See also 
- List of inselbergs
- Monadnock (or inselberg)
- Monolithic architecture
- The Monoliths in 2001: A Space Odyssey
- López Domínguez, Leonor (May 2001). "Villa de Bernal and its Magic Mountain". México Desconocido #291.
- "Peña de Bernal - Bernal - Queretaro" (in spanish). Retrieved 25 November 2008.
- Cava Northrop, Laura; Dwight L. Curtis, Inc. Let'S Go, Natalie Sherman, Raul Carrillo (2007). Let's Go Mexico: On a Budget. Macmillan. p. 370. ISBN 978-0-312-37452-5.
- Escobar Ledesma, Agustín (1999). Recetario del semidesierto de Querétaro: Acoyos, rejalgares y tantarrias. Conaculta. p. 75. ISBN 978-970-18-3910-2.