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The following are a list of relatively popular but clearly debunked theories, listed along with the sources of the debunking.

Lost has generated a huge number of interesting and diverse theories to explain the mysteries of the show. Some are more plausible than others, but some are clearly (and at times, repeatedly) refuted or discredited by Lost's writers and producers.


  • Theory: The Others or DHARMA or other characters of the story are actually aliens, or the Island itself is a giant spaceship.
  • The statue may be the remains of an Alien civilization.
  • Debunked by:
  • Source:
    • SciFiWire Interview - 'As the show progresses, [Damon Lindelof] added, it won't venture too far into science fiction as its mysteries unfold. "We're still trying to be... firmly ensconced in the world of science fact," he said in an interview. "I don't think we've shown anything on the show yet that has no rational explanation in the real world that we all function within. We certainly hint at psychic phenomena, happenstance and... things being in a place where they probably shouldn't be. But nothing is flat-out impossible. There are no spaceships. There isn't any time travel."'
  • In-show parody:
    • Sawyer on the Others: "My theory, they're aliens. That's why they use the fake beards -- their heads are made of plastic". Hurley: "Prosthetic, dude". ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")
    • Sawyer asking Juliet about his and Kate's forced labor in "The Glass Ballerina": "So, when you pulled us out of those polar bear cages and put us on the chain gang, what the hell did you have us breaking all those rocks for anyway?" Juliet: "We were building a runway." Sawyer:" Runway? For what?" Juliet: "The Aliens. (smiles) I don't know what for, do you think they told me everything?" ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 1")


  • Theory: The survivors or other characters were at some point replaced with clones.
  • Debunked by:
  • Source:
    • Ain't It Cool News - "There are no clones on Lost. Damon Lindelof gave his personal promise and guarantee that there are no clones in the show. Nothing personal against clones, they're people just like us (literally) but there are no clones on Lost."


  • Theory: The Monster is a dinosaur.
  • Debunked by:
  • Source:
    • Lost-TV Forums Exclusive Interview - Damon says: "JJ and I have always known what it was and we're VERY discriminating about who we tell, because that's one of the biggest secrets of the show. We know from the beginning it wasn't a dinosaur. If the network ever said anything about it to us it was more on the order of, 'Please tell us it's not a dinosaur.' And we're like, 'Ok, it's NOT a dinosaur!'"
  • In-show parody:
    • Hurley questions Jack about what they just saw, after a Monster encounter: "Was it a dinosaur?" Jack: "It wasn't a dinosaur." Hurley: "You say you didn't see it." Jack: "I didn't." Hurley: "So how do you know it wasn't a dinosaur?" Jack: "Because dinosaurs are extinct." ("Tabula Rasa")
    • Paulo: "It could've been a dinosaur." Nikki: "It's not Jurassic Park, Paulo." ("Exposé")
    • Hurley theorizes that the survivors time-jumped to the time of the dinosaurs, and that some of them became Adam and Eve. ("Lighthouse")
    • In the Flash sideways, Hugo donated money to a new Paleontology Wing of the Golden State Natural History Museum and was presented with an award in the form of a frosted glass Tyrannosaurus rex. ("Everybody Loves Hugo")

Dreamworld/All Inside Someone's Head

  • Theory: All the events on the Island are not "real", and merely the dream/imagination/hallucination of one of the characters (most commonly named as Walt, Hurley or Vincent). According to this, that character will wake up by the end of the show, and the audience will realize that none of the events actually happened.
  • Debunked by:
  • Source:
  • Special Note:
    • Though the writers have said that the entire story is not all in the mind of one character, they have not denied that dreams and hallucinations are of significance, simply that not all the events will be fabricated in someone's mind (a la ending for St. Elsewhere, the snowglobe reference that Carlton makes above).
    • This is once again emphasized in the March 10, 2008 podcast, when Damon Lindelof (in a response to a question about possible interpretations of the ending of Via Domus) says: "We're not interested in 'All a dream' storytelling," instantly followed by a reaffirmation that individual scenes could always turn out to be dreams, but there would never be an ending when a character wakes up and everything had just happened inside a "snowglobe".
    • In an interview with UGO in the middle of Season 4's production, Damon finished the interview by stating "The one thing that Carlton and I are steadfast on saying over and over again, and that we're not lying about is that the show is not all a dream. It's happening in the real world, there are real stakes, you're not going to get to the end and cut to black and suddenly realize that this was all sort of a fantasy. That's the only thing that we sort of need to get out there in the world, because it does diffuse a lot of wacky theories."
  • In-show parody:
    • Dave to Hurley: "It's hard, I know, but I mean -- all this? You, me, this island, that peanut butter -- none of it's real, man. None of it's happening. It's all in your head, my friend. The second you closed that window your brain popped a gasket. You went back into your little coma thing. That's where you are right this very second. In your own private Idaho, inside Santa Rosa". ("Dave")


The Mapinguari as an explanation for the Monster first appeared on the ABC website Oceanic-Air.com, but is not valid or canonical since the site was created by ABC's marketing department rather than Lost's creative authorities.


  • In-TLE parody:
  • Callers to DJ Dan's show (known "conspiracy nuts") mentioned black clouds made of nanobots as a nod to the popular refuted theory, but by the end of The Lost Experience, DJ Dan himself says that "I sure as hell don’t think you’re going to be seeing it on your television screens anytime around September of this year."


  • In-show/TLE parody:

Reality TV

Turbine Explosion (Monster Caused the Plane to Crash)


  • Theory: Dead characters can come back to life, explaining why Christian Shephard and Yemi reappear on the Island.
  • Debunked by:
  • Source:
    • Numerous Official Lost Podcasts:
      • In the 7/31/06 podcast, Damon specifically states, "When a character dies on the show, they’re dead. The only time you’ll see them again is in someone else’s flashback. So, um, we do that because we want the stakes on the Island to be real—there are characters who have died who have appeared in other people’s memories." An almost identical quote about life-and-death stakes being 'real' is said in the 11/08/05 podcast.
      • Of course, Christian appeared to Locke in real time...
      • ...and in Jacob's cabin, and to Michael on the freighter, and to Jack on the mainland; Ana Lucia and Charlie have both spoken to Hurley, and he also mentions having been visited by Eko...I don't think there are any zombies or literal, physical resurrection going on, but "the only time you'll see them is in someone else's flashback" simply isn't true.
      • I think it's implied that he meant you won't see the REAL person anywhere except for a flashback. With the expanded knowledge we have about MiB, it's a safe bet that when we saw these people, we weren't seeing them.
  • Behind-the-scenes parody:
  • In-show parody:

Nikki and Paulo replaced Rose and Bernard in an alternate timeline

Last Humans

Theory: States that the Island is not on the planet earth. The survivors of Oceanic 815 were the last humans on earth and then placed on the Island. Since there was never a plane crash, the flashbacks we see are implanted memories.

Debunked by: Season 4 and Season 5 show an outside world in existence, off the Island.

See also