Odd Toynbee plaques just litter in Chicago

June 19, 2006 at 12:44 PM

CHICAGO, June 19 (UPI) -- As mysterious as plaques calling for resurrecting the dead on Jupiter are around U.S. city streets are, Chicago treats them as graffiti and removes them.

They're called Toynbee plaques, and they contain the same cryptic messages pressed into intersections in Philadelphia, New York, Washington, Buenos Aires, and Santiago.

They all contain the same message: "Toynbee idea, in Kubrick's 2001, resurrect the dead on planet Jupiter," and the Internet is a hotbed of people with theories about their origin and message, The Chicago Sun-Times reports.

The toynbee.net Web site says they may refer to Ray Bradbury's short science fiction story "The Toynbee Convector."

The site lists eight Chicago intersections to spot the plaques but the newspaper found only two, and then found out why.

"It is considered vandalism," said Brian Steele, spokesman for the Chicago Department of Transportation. "If we see them, we'll look for a way to remove them. We treat it no different than graffiti."

Related UPI Stories
Topics: Brian Steele
Latest Headlines
Trending News
Texas girl's nonstop sneezing baffles doctors
Burger King's black bun blamed for customers' green poop
Danish 'Do It For Mom' ad suggests sex vacations for adult children
Alaska Airlines misplaced its own CEO's luggage
Semi truck caught on camera crossing South Carolina flood waters