A pile of black lava rocks for Bernard's sign in "S.O.S."

Jack in front of a black rock at the line

In "S.O.S.", Bernard starts building an SOS sign from black rocks he found in a lava field 1/2 mile inland from the beach. The Island has igneous (volcanic) origins, like almost all islands in the Pacific, so it is composed in great part of a black volcanic rock called basalt.

Igneous rocks contain large proportions of metal elements such as iron and manganese. This gives the rocks magnetic properties which form anomalies in the earth's natural magnetic and gravitational field.

Lava-formed coastlines are also apparent in the rocky vistas seen in the following episodes:

  1. "Homecoming": As Jack gets the guns from the hidden Halliburton case.
  2. "Exodus, Part 1": As the party hikes toward the Black Rock with Arzt and Danielle Rousseau.
  3. "Exodus, Part 2": As the party returns from the Black Rock.
  4. "Abandoned": As the Tailies are walking along the coast to the other side of the Island.
  5. "The Other 48 Days": As the Tailies continue their trek.
  6. "Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1": As Desmond follows Kelvin out the coast and confronts him as he discovers his sailboat Elizabeth.
  7. "S.O.S.": As Jack and Kate attempt a prisoner exchange with the Others at the Line.
  8. "Tricia Tanaka Is Dead": As Hurley and Charlie roll the DHARMA van down a steep hill, narrowly avoiding crashing into some black rocks.


  • The skeletons that Jack and Kate discovered in the caves harbored a small pouch that contained one white stone and one black stone.
  • Claire had a dream about a "black rock" that she put down in her diary which Charlie read about. This is most likely a reference to the Black Rock which was revealed later in Season One or the Man in Black, who is symbolized by black rocks (see below).
  • "Black rock" is whispered in the jungle.
  • Sawyer ducks behind a black rock when approaching the helicopter. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 1")
  • In "The Substitute," Sawyer and the Man in Black come upon a scale balancing a white and a black rock in the cave with Jacob's list. The black rock slightly out-weighed the white rock before the white rock was removed by the Man in Black. He then tossed the white rock into the ocean, leaving the black rock on the scale. He refers to it as "an inside joke."

Cultural references

  • Greek myth states that Prometheus was tied to a black rock, possibly a mountain, as a punishment from Zeus.
  • Black rock, on the beach of Rarotonga, west of Avarua, marks the spot where the missionary Papeiha is thought to have landed on shore. Papeiha was the first Christian missionary on the island. [1]
  • "The Black Rock" is a poem by John Gould Fletcher (1886–1950) and dedicated to Thomas Hardy. The subject of the poem is a black rock in the sea, and there are several themes including how men are frail, yet love has longevity just as a rock in the sea. [2]
  • Black rock is another name for a place in Clevedon, Bristol, UK for a cave system near the M5 Motorway (aka Fox's Cave), where tradition alleges polar bears once dwelled.
  • There was a book titled Black Rock: A Tale of the Selkirks by Ralph Connor. [3]
  • In Hawaiian mythology, the "Black Rock" is a promontory designated as one of three great 'Uhane Lele, a sacred point where souls of the dead leaped into their ancestral spirit land.
  • In Native American mythology, in the legend of the "Green Man", the "Black Rock" is allluded to as a spirit the Green Man killed, an evil spirit who was the son of a woman whose soul was contained in a black stone. A Black Rock Spirit figures among the superhuman guards that defended an island of bad spirits located in the middle of the ocean.
  • Black Rock City, NV is where the "Burning Man" festival is held. It was purported that M. David Benson himself was handing out Apollo Bars featured in The Lost Experience game at the festival.
  • When Gerardus Mercator made his famous map of the North Pole, he sited at the pole itself the "Very High Black Rock," an immense monolith of magnetic stone 33 miles in circumference, which had been described to him by an "eyewitness" (who had never, it turns out, actually left Europe). This stone was what allegedly drew compass needles north.
  • The novel Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon contains a song called "The Aqyn's Song" with the following lyric: "It is north, for a six-day ride,/Through the steep and death-gray canyons,/Then across the stony desert/To the mountain whose peak is a white dzurt./And if you have passed without danger,/The place of the black rock will find you."


  • Lost is filmed on location in Hawaii, the islands of which were created by volcanism. Hawaii sits on what geologists call a "hotspot" or "mantle plume". This is a superheated portion of the Earth's upper mantle which produces an above average amount of volcanic activity. Its residents have many words to describe different types of lava flows. Lava coastlines are sometimes visible in Lost, e.g., the cove.