It was a toy, and yet it wasn’t. It was carefully constructed by a member of a terribly sophisticated civilization in order to help its young ones learn things which, to a human, are indescribable. It existed in numerous dimensions, none of which was supposed to correlate to any of the six ones upon which the human solar system was built. And yet somehow one such dimension was bent, or torn, or perhaps just brutally played with, and thus a thing appeared simultaneously before, during and after Earth’s existence. In the 52nd century after the quake it manifested as a sweet, edible statue and caused some wild insects to wonder about their predecessors; in the 19th century after the prophet it, looking like a deformed Ferris wheel, changed the mind of a human girl and enabled her to flee her parents into the universe next door, leaving behind her only a strange book written by a non-existing author; in the 14th century after the first humanoids it manifested as a monolith and caused a monkey to use a bone to kill its brother; and in the 2nd century after the flood it climbed from inside the water and onto the land, pushing along a tremendous number of fish, two of which survived, a female and a male.
And in a non-linear non-future, a terribly sophisticated civilization flickered for a non-moment, blinked out of existence, and then re-emerged as something completely different. It did not have anything to do with solar systems or earth or humans or insects or small girls or monkeys, but it did smell slightly of fish.