This page refers to the pillar of smoke from "Exodus, Part 1". For the black smoke creature/entity, see the Monster.

The Pillar of Smoke

The pillar of smoke appeared in "Exodus, Part 1" after Rousseau warned the survivors that the Others were coming.


Rousseau claimed the same pillar appeared right before the abduction of her daughter, Alex, by the Others, a week after her birth. Because of Rousseau's warning and the appearance of the pillar, the mid-section survivors decided to hide. A small group left on a quest to find dynamite and blow open the Hatch while the rest of the survivors were led to the caves by Sayid. After directing the first group to the dynamite in the Black Rock, Rousseau returned to the beach camp and, in the confusion of their flight, kidnapped Claire's baby.

When Sayid and Charlie set out to bring Claire's baby back, they discovered the origin of the pillar: It turned out to be a brazier, burning an unknown material on the beach. Rousseau appeared and claimed she had heard the whispers saying that "they" were going to take "the boy". She thought that if she brought the baby to them, then they would return her child. Sayid commented that it was odd that there were no footprints of people who lit the fire. It's possible that the Others were able to cover their footprints, since we know that "they don't leave tracks."

Later that night, Walt is taken from the raft by a group of Others on a boat. It seems Walt was "the boy" the whispers referred to.

Rousseau's statements about the Others are not straightforward. Rousseau used the terms the Others and the whispers interchangeably as if they were the same thing. At the time she took Aaron, she still claimed she had not see an Other as a person on the island.


Sayid also created a pillar of smoke as a signal to Jack, when Jack was leading Walt's rescue party of himself, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, and Michael in "Live Together, Die Alone". It was visible from both the Pala Ferry dock, as well as Jack's point of view at the capsule dump. According to Sayid's surreptitious ambush plan, he also had intended the Others to see the smoke. The Others eluded the ambush, arriving from the ocean-side in the Galaga to capture the Elizabeth.


A pillar of smoke was seen by Jin in 1988, just before he witnessed Rousseau shooting her lover Robert. He discovered the source of the smoke to be Rousseau's campfire. ("This Place Is Death")


Aldo stating he is protecting Kate from The Monster.

Aldo states that he is protecting Kate and Jin from the "big pillar of black smoke that makes a tikka tikka noise and looks pissed off". ("What Kate Does")


Ben tells Ilana that her friends were killed when Locke "turned into a pillar of black smoke" ("The Substitute")

The Man in Black

The Man in Black saw a pillar a smoke that heralded the destruction of the ancient village by Mother ("Across the Sea") He can transform himself into a cloud of black smoke.


In the ABC.com Flash game Lostscape, one of the items to locate is the smoke. It is named on the item list as Signal fire smoke.

Cultural references

  • In the Bible's book of Exodus (also an episode name in "Exodus, Part 1" and "Exodus, Part 2"), a pillar of smoke by day, which also appeared as a pillar of fire by night, guided the Israelites out of Egypt.

Unanswered questions

Unanswered questions
  1. Do not answer the questions here.
  2. Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Pillar of smoke/Theories
  • Why did a pillar of smoke precede the kidnappings of Alex and Walt?

See also