A meteor crashes near a small town in the American desert southwest. One of a pair of geologists finds a piece of it in a roadway and, not recognizing the mineral, takes it back to their laboratory to study. In the morning his partner finds the lab wrecked and the man himself petrified. It is eventually determined that the substance composing the meteor uses water as a catalyst. If wet it grows into black, crystal-like shafts which absorbs all available silica nearby, including from any animals or humans who come in contact with it. Once all silica is absorbed and grown to its fullest possible height, the shaft becomes dormant, but may easily totter and collapse, shattering into a legion of fragments, waiting to grow entire new shafts at the next contact with water. The original meteor has also shattered all about the area where it crashed. A local schoolgirl on a field trip takes a piece home and puts it in water ... her farmhouse is later found demolished, and the girl near death. She's rushed to the city and kept barely alive in an iron lung. The big problem for the town is a rain storm is on the way.... Our hero races time to find a treatment for the little girl and protect the town from the onslaught of the towering, destructive Monolith Monsters.Monolith Monsters on INDB:
Martin Cochrane: The desert's full of things that don't belong. Take the salt here. Used to be an ocean bed. Now that ocean knew that the middle of a desert was a pretty silly place for it to be, so it just dried up and went away.