"Mystery" redirects here. For other uses of "mystery", see Mystery (disambiguation).
Blast door map question mark

A question mark, seen in the blast door map. ("Lockdown")

This article lists Lost's major mysteries and their implied answers, if any exist. The Unanswered Questions heading notes aspects of mysteries in the show that were never explained.

"Solved" denotes those mysteries that the show mostly or completely solved. "Unsolved" denotes those that the show barely addressed. "Partially solved" covers the rest..

For a simpler format, which just lists Lost's mysteries, see "Mysteries At a Glance."

For an outline of every question per episode and its answer, see Questions and Answers.


 Partially solved

The Island[]

Introduced Solved
"Pilot, Part 1" "Across the Sea"
  • Who/What is the Smoke monster?
  • How did he acquire the black smoke form?
  • What are all of the the powers of the smoke monster?
  • What is its purpose on the Island?
    • The smoke monster is considered by some to be a security system for the Island. The Others summoned it to fend off enemies like the mercenaries from the freighter. Ben and Eko also viewed the smoke monster as a judge, who evaluates the pasts of characters it encounters and decides whether they deserve to live or die. ("The Cost of Living") ("The Shape of Things to Come") ("Some Like It Hoth") Despite this, it may or may not be supposed to exist on the Island at all, having been created when Jacob threw his brother into the Heart after his Mother previously warned against entering it.
  • What are the motivations of the smoke monster?
    • The smoke monster was desperate to leave the Island, where he had felt trapped for over 2,000 years. He was willing to stop, or kill, anyone he perceived as a threat to that goal. ("The Substitute") ("Across the Sea")
  • Why does the monster make mechanical sounds?
    • They are actually the electrical sounds naturally emanating from the Monster's composition. ("The 23rd Psalm") This is because the Monster was made from the Heart of the Island's electromagnetism. ("Across the Sea") ("The End")
Introduced Solved
"Pilot, Part 2" "The New Man in Charge"
Introduced Solved
"Pilot, Part 2" "Solitary"
Introduced Solved
"Pilot, Part 2" "Ab Aeterno"
  • What is the Black Rock mentioned in Rousseau's distress signal?
    • A ship from the 1800's which was found in the middle of the jungle on the Island.
  • When did the ship arrive on the Island?
  • How did the ship get located in the middle of the jungle?
    • It landed there after being carried by a tidal wave. ("Ab Aeterno")
  • How did Magnus Hanso die, as the blast door map shows his resting place?
  • What happened to the crew aboard the Black Rock?
  • Why did it appear that some of the slaves had freed themselves? How did they free themselves?
Introduced Solved
"Walkabout" "S.O.S."
  • How are people healed on the Island?
  • Why are some people healed and not others?
Introduced Solved
"Walkabout" "The Last Recruit"
Introduced Solved
"House of the Rising Sun" "Across the Sea"
  • Who were Adam and Eve?
  • How did they die?
    • Mother was killed by the Man in Black. The Man in Black's human body became lifeless when Jacob threw him into the Heart, thus transferring him into smoke form. ("Across the Sea")
  • What was the meaning of the black and white rocks found on the bodies?
Introduced Solved
"Solitary" "Greatest Hits"
  • What was the purpose of the cable?
    • It was one of several cables on the Island which lead from the Flame to the rest of the DHARMA stations. ("Enter 77")
  • Where did the cable Sayid discover lead to?
Introduced Solved
"Solitary" "This Place Is Death"
  • Who were the members of the team?
  • How did the team end up on the Island?
  • What was the "it" that killed all the other members from Rousseau's expedition?
    • Taking into account Rousseau's mental instability, shifting accounts of the story, and position as the actual murderer of her team, it is difficult to determine what she meant when she recorded her messages. However, she likely meant the Black Smoke or the Sickness. ("Solitary") ("This Place Is Death")
  • How did Montand lose his arm?
    • He was taken by the Monster to the Temple entrance, where the rest of his team tried to pull him up, though the Monster managed to pull him down, ripping his arm off. ("This Place Is Death")
  • What were the science team studying?
Introduced Solved
"Exodus, Part 1" "This Place Is Death"
  • Who lit the pillar of smoke seen in "Exodus, Part 1"?
  • Who lit the pillar that Rousseau mentions from the past?
    • It was Rousseau's campfire, seen by Jin just before she shoots Robert, something that she probably misremembered as happening the night before Alex's kidnapping. ("This Place Is Death")
Introduced Solved
"Solitary" "A Tale of Two Cities"
  • Who are the Others?
  • How did they get to the Island?
  • What is their purpose on the Island?
    • Jacob's intent for the Others was to prove that people could be good on their own accord. Their primary goal was to protect the island from threats. ("Solitary") ("Ab Aeterno")
  • Why did they kidnap children?
    • For the children's own protection, according to Ben. Ben had a particular fondness for children, perhaps due to his own troubled upbringing; his refusal to kill Danielle and his kidnapping Alex against orders divided him and Charles Widmore. More broadly, the Others were unable to give birth on the island, so they kidnapped to supplement their population. They were also intently interested in running tests on some children, such as Walt, who exhibited unusual powers. ("Dead Is Dead")("Raised By Another") ("Not in Portland")
Introduced Solved
"Solitary" "What Kate Does"
  • How did the Sickness manifest?
  • What causes the Sickness?
  • How did the vaccine prevent the sickness?
    • Nothing related the two. The vaccine allegedly prevented a different disease, one from which the Swan was quarantined. This disease did not exist; this hoax helped confine the Swan inhabitants. ("Man of Science, Man of Faith")  ("Live Together, Die Alone") The Others also injected Claire with this vaccine, allegedly to protect her from disease, but an implant they inserted, not the Sickness, caused her later symptoms. ("One of Us")
Introduced Solved
"Solitary" "Everybody Loves Hugo"
Introduced Solved
"Special" "Across the Sea"
Introduced Solved
"Numbers" "Lighthouse"
  • What do the Numbers mean?
    • Each number corresponds to the degree Jacob must turn his wheel to view candidates in the lighthouse. Each number was the degree of the remaining 6 candidates for his replacement. They were a sort of filing system, as seen in his cave. ("The Substitute") ("Lighthouse")
  • Why did the Numbers appear on the Swan hatch and why were they the code for the Hatch computer?
  • Why did the Numbers reappear regularly both on and off the Island?
    • The Numbers also represent the factors of the core values of the Valenzetti Equation, which predicts the date of the destruction of mankind. These Numbers correspond to various human and environmental factors, suggesting that they are embedded in the structure of the universe. This is also likely why the Numbers appeared to be cursed. The purpose of the DHARMA Initiative was to alter these values in order to stave off the destruction of mankind. The values were broadcast from the radio tower, with the intent of using the broadcast to determine when DHARMA had succeeded in changed them. ("The Lost Experience")
    • The frequent appearance of the numbers through out the show also demonstrates apophenia, or human's ability and desperation to see a pattern in the randomness.This relates back to the show's overall them of fate versus free will.
  • When Frank Lapidus lands the Ajira Flight 316 on the island, there is a Numbers broadcast in the same voice that Rousseau's team heard. If Danielle erased this, where is it coming from?
    • The Ajira Flight likely received the transmission bouncing through time, as radio waves are known to do on the Island. ("The Long Con")
Introduced Solved
"All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues" "Man of Science, Man of Faith"
  • What was inside the Hatch?
  • Why did a bright light suddenly appear when Locke banged the Hatch door?
    • Because the Hatch occupant, Desmond Hume turned on the light after hearing a noise from outside. ("Live Together, Die Alone")
  • Why was the inside of the hatch door labeled "quarantine"?
    • The occupants of the Swan were under the impression that they had to wear a hazmat suit in order to leave the station, thus the quarantine was likely a way to keep them inside the Swan to ensure that the button would be pushed. This quarantine is likely how Radzinsky and Kelvin were able to survive the purge. ("Live Together, Die Alone")
Introduced Solved
"Deus Ex Machina" "The 23rd Psalm"
  • Who were the people aboard the Beechcraft?
  • Why were they wearing priest outfits, even though the plane was filled with Virgin Mary statues filled with heroin, and one of the corpses has a gun?
    • Yemi, the corpse found by Boone on the plane, was an actual Catholic priest, whose help the drug smugglers (Eko, Olu and Goldie) needed. Only foreign and missionary planes were allowed to take off from Nigeria, which prevented the drug smugglers from getting their drugs out of the country to more profitable markets. He helped them only after they threatened to burn down his church, while the other corpse was disguised as a priest in order to claim the plane belonged to a mission. ("The 23rd Psalm")
  • How was a plane which took off from Nigeria crash on an island which is supposedly in the Pacific?
Introduced Solved
"Exodus, Part 2" "The New Man in Charge"
  • Where did the bird come from?
  • How was it able to pronounce Hugo's nickname, and how did it recognize him?
Introduced Solved
"Orientation" Various
  • How did DHARMA know about the Island, and how did they find it?
    • They used photos and information previously gathered by the U.S. Army who visited the Island in the 50's. The Island was found when a "clever fellow" constructed the Lamp Post station in which a pendulum revealed where the Island was most likely to be at a certain point. ("316")
  • Why were there no signs of DHARMA personnel on the Island in 2004?
  • How did DHARMA travel to and from the Island?
  • What was the purpose of the DHARMA Initiative?
Introduced Solved
"Orientation" "Across the Sea"
Introduced Solved
"Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1" "LaFleur"
  • Who were the Hostiles?
    • The Hostiles were the name that DHARMA gave to the group later known to the Flight 815 survivors as "the Others". ("Jughead")
Introduced Solved
"Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1" "Ab Aeterno"
  • What was the Statue of?
  • What was the Statue's purpose?
  • How was the Statue destroyed?
  • Who built the Statue?
  • When was the Statue built?
    • The exact date is unknown, but ancient Egypt existed between 3150 BC and 31 BC. Additionally, visitors to the Island have traveled through time when coming or going. ("Meet Kevin Johnson") ("Namaste")
Introduced Solved
"Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1" "There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3"
Introduced Solved
"Not in Portland" "The New Man in Charge"
  • What are the pregnancy issues experienced on the Island?
    • Women who got pregnant on the Island after 1977 could not carry their children to term. Sometime before the third trimester, the women experience a serious miscarriage which kills both mother and fetus. Women who conceive off-Island, such as Claire, give birth without issue. In addition, women such as Sun who conceive on island but leave before their third trimester, escape miscarriage and death. ("Do No Harm") ("Not In Portland") ("D.O.C.") ("Ji Yeon")
  • How does the Island affect the pregnant women?
    • The pregnancy problem is a consequence of the Island's electromagnetic energy, harming only those pregnant women and animals who receive direct exposure. Unfortunately, following the Incident, a previously sealed pocket of electromagnetic energy was released and continually "leaking", affecting all pregnant women on the Island, no matter their proximity to the electromagnetic source. ("LaFleur") ("The Incident, Parts 1 & 2") ("The New Man in Charge")
  • What does the Island do to the reproductive systems of its inhabitants?
    • Men experience a five-fold increase in sperm counts while on the Island, possibly due to the healing properties of the Island. ("Not in Portland") ("D.O.C.") Women's changed immune systems attack the fetus. ("One of Us)" ("The Other Woman")
  • What prevents women who conceived on the island from giving birth?
    • Their immune systems attack the new fetus as a pathogen. ("One of Us") ("The Other Woman") Women who conceived off-Island lack the immune boost when the zygote first implants.
Introduced Solved
"Cabin Fever" "316"
Introduced Solved
"There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3" "Across the Sea"
  • What was the wheel's purpose?
  • Why did DHARMA build the Orchid on top of it?
    • They discovered the Wheel while digging to the Heart. Since Dr. Chang stated that they did initially plan to use the electromagnetic energy to time travel, they most likely studied the wheel and/or the time fluctuations related to it to determine how to harness electromagnetism for such purposes as time manipulation. ("Because You Left")
  • How was the wheel accessed and installed, as it predated the DHARMA station?
  • Who built and installed the wheel?
    • The Man in Black built the original wheel and came up with the plans to use it, though it was buried with his well before he could install it. He had many remaining years on the island to build another one or restore the original. ("Across the Sea") Hieroglyphics around the wheel suggest an Egyptian involvement. ("This Place Is Death")
  • Why was the wheel and the room it resided in frozen?
Introduced Solved
"The Shape of Things to Come" "316"
Introduced Solved
"This Place Is Death" "Across the Sea"
Introduced Solved
"Across the Sea" "The End"
  • What is the Heart of the Island?
    • The Heart is the electromagnetic core of the island. The electromagnetism found deep within the island originates here and exists in its most powerful form. It radiates out to other parts of the island. ("The End")
  • Why must it be protected?
    • The Heart must be protected because if the energy is released, it could cause a global catastrophe. Similar to the Swan Incident, the electromagnetic expulsion caused the island to shake, but much more severely. Cliffs began to collapse into the ocean, and the shaking ground caused landslides and rockfalls. If it had escalated, the implications could have been disastrous. ("The End")
  • Who built its layout?

Oceanic 815[]

Introduced Solved
"Pilot, Part 1" "Stranger in a Strange Land"
Introduced Solved
"Pilot, Part 1" "The Brig"
  • Who wrote Sawyer's letter?
    • Even though he initially stated that the letter was written to him, Kate discovered that Sawyer wrote the letter to the original Sawyer. ("Confidence Man")
  • What was the content of Sawyer's letter?
    • It was written by Sawyer as a child, after the murder-suicide of his parents to the man he found responsible for their deaths. ("Confidence Man")
  • Who was the original Sawyer?
Introduced Solved
"Pilot, Part 1" "What Kate Did"
  • Why was Kate on the run?
    • She killed her father (who she had previously thought was her step-father) by setting of an explosion in the house where she lived with him and her mother. ("What Kate Did")
Introduced Solved
"Walkabout" "The Man from Tallahassee"
Introduced Solved
"Raised By Another" "?", "The End"
  • Why did a psychic tell Claire that she must be the one to raise Aaron?
    • Richard Malkin later revealed to Eko that his psychic abilities were a scam, thus his predictions for Claire weren't accurate. ("?")
  • Who was the couple in Los Angeles who could raise Aaron?
    • Although possibly a coincidence, since Malkin revealed that he was a fraud, Jack and Kate briefly lived together and raised Aaron in their time off the Island. Later still, Kate said she and Claire would raise Aaron. ("Something Nice Back Home") ("The End")
  • Why did Malkin change his prediction later, saying that Claire must give up Aaron to a couple in L.A.?
    • After Malkin's original prediction, his daughter drowned but awoke on the coroner's table. Rather than believing in the resurrection, Malkin interpreted his wife's belief in it as criticism of his own dishonesty. He spoke to a priest about the matter and contacted Claire shortly afterward, reversing his advice, having supposedly found a couple for her child. ("?")("Raised by Another")
  • How did Richard Malkin know Flight 815 would crash?
    • Richard Malkin later revealed that his powers were of a fraudulent nature, although his insistence on Claire taking specifically Flight 815 led her to believe he knew it would crash and force her to raise the child. It is unknown if any real psychic phenomena was at play in this scenario. ("Raised by Another")
Introduced Solved
"Walkabout" "The Other 48 Days"
  • What happened to the Tail section of the plane?
    • It crashed on the other part of the Island.
  • Were there any survivors, as Rose suggested?
Introduced Solved
"The Other 48 Days" "Enter 77"
  • What is carved on Eko's stick?
    • Passages of scripture, which he refers to as things he needs to remember. ("The 23rd Psalm")
  • Where does the bearing given to Locke on Eko's stick lead?
Introduced Solved
"Dave" "Live Together, Die Alone"
Introduced Solved
"The Whole Truth" "D.O.C."
  • Who was the father of Sun's baby?
    • It was Jin and the baby was conceived on the Island, as revealed by Juliet's ultrasound. ("D.O.C.")
  • How was Sun able to get pregnant if Jin was infertile?
    • As stated by Juliet, men see an increased sperm count on the Island. ("D.O.C.")
Introduced Solved
"Further Instructions" "The Constant"
  • What caused Desmond's flashes?
  • Can the future seen in the visions be prevented?
  • Why was Claire never seen getting on the helicopter with Aaron as Desmond predicted?
    • As already stated, the outcome of a vision will always happen, though it can be delayed or the specifics can be changed. Claire didn't leave with Aaron on the helicopter, but each eventually flew off the island. ("The End")
  • Why did Desmond's flashes stop?
    • This is likely because Desmond found his constant, thus fully anchoring his mind in time. ("The Constant")
Introduced Solved
"316" "LA X, Part 2"
  • Who gave Hurley the guitar case?
  • What was in the guitar case?
    • There was a wooden ankh inside, containing a list of the names of the survivors who came to the Temple (Reyes, Kwon, Jarrah, Shephard and Austen). ("LA X, Part 2")
  • Why did Hurley have a guitar case?
    • In addition to holding the ankh for delivery to the Temple, the guitar case may also have helped Ajira 316 to reach the Island by acting as a proxy for Charlie's guitar case on the original flight. ("Exodus, Part 2") ("316") ("LA X, Part 2")

The Others[]

Introduced Solved
"Solitary" "Dead Is Dead"
  • Why did the Others kidnap Alex?
    • Ben, under orders from Charles Widmore and assisted by a young Ethan Rom, went to Rousseau's tent in an attempt to kill her. However, he noticed her baby daughter, and in a quick change of heart he abducted Alex and spared Danielle, telling her to stay away from the Whispers in the jungle. Following this, Ben started taking care of Alex as his own child. ("Dead Is Dead")
Introduced Solved
"Raised By Another" "Stranger in a Strange Land"
  • Why wasn't he on the plane?
  • Why had he infiltrated the survivors' camp?
    • He was instructed by Benjamin Linus to infiltrate the survivors in order to create lists of passengers who would be deemed acceptable recruits for the Others. After discovering that Claire was pregnant, he kidnapped her in order to help the Others research their fertility problems. ("Maternity Leave") ("A Tale of Two Cities") ("The Other Woman")
  • What was his function within the Others?
Introduced Solved
"Raised By Another" "Maternity Leave"
  • Why did the Others kidnap Claire?
    • They wanted to help her successfully deliver her baby. They then then planned to take her child for research and to help populate their ranks. ("Maternity Leave")
  • Where did they keep her?
  • How did Claire escape the Others?
    • Alex helped her out of the station, at which point Danielle discovered her, knocked her out and dragged her to a place near the survivors' camp. ("Maternity Leave") ("Special")
Introduced Solved
"Exodus, Part 3" "Room 23"
  • Why did the Others kidnap Walt?
    • They were under orders from Jacob to do so, likely for research into his "special" abilities. ("Room 23")
Introduced Solved
"Abandoned" "Stranger in a Strange Land"
  • What happened to Cindy while the tail section survivors were travelling across the Island?
  • Why did Cindy stay with the Others?
    • Ben reunited her with Zack and Emma as well as the other people taken. According to the Lost Encyclopedia, she realized they were civilized people who lived in the barracks and protected the island.
Introduced Solved
"The Shape of Things to Come" "What They Died For"
  • What was the purpose of the room?
  • How was this accomplished?
  • Who built the room and when?
  • Why did the DHARMA Initiative build a house overtop of the structure?
    • This was likely to conceal the structure from public access in the Barracks.
Introduced Solved
"One of Them" "Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2"
  • Who is Henry Gale?
  • What is his position among the Others?
  • What was he doing when he was ensnared by Rousseau?
    • He informs John Locke that he was on his way to kidnap him, although, since aspects of his description of the Others have proven false on other occasions, this may not be true. ("Two for the Road")
  • Who was the real Henry Gale?
    • The real Henry Gale was a balloonist from Minnesota whose balloon crashed on The Island while he attempted a solo journey across the Pacific. He was killed by The Others and buried in an unmarked grave below his balloon. ("Lockdown") ("Dave")
Introduced Solved
"Three Minutes" "The Package"
Introduced Solved
"The Glass Ballerina" "The End"
Introduced Solved
"Not In Portland" "Ab Aeterno"
Introduced Solved
"The Man from Tallahassee" "The Brig"
  • How did he get on the Island?
    • He was brought by the Others, who staged a car accident, after which they abducted him and brought him to the Island. ("The Brig") (Access: Granted)
  • Why was he brought to the Island?
    • Richard stated that Locke needed to kill his father in order to let go of him before rising to leadership of the Others. ("The Brig")
Introduced Solved
"Through the Looking Glass, Part 1" "Sundown"
  • What is the Temple?
  • Who built the temple?
    • A number of inscriptions inside are in Hieroglyphics, suggesting an origin dealing with ancient Egyptians. ("Lighthouse")
  • What is inside of the Temple?
    • Its primary function seems to be in surrounding the Temple Spring, just beyond the courtyard. However, it also houses the working quarters for Dogen, a high ranking Other and leader of the Temple, a machine to test for the presence of sickness in a person, and secret underground passages to different exit points around The Island. ("This Place is Death") ("LA X, Parts 1 & 2") ("What Kate Does") ("Lighthouse") ("Sundown")
  • What is the purpose of the Temple wall, and who built it?
    • The Temple wall was built by the Others to conceal and block access to the Temple by outsiders. ("Dead is Dead")
  • What is the purpose of the tunnels beneath the Temple?
    • The hieroglyphics in the chamber in which Ben had his run-in with the Monster seem to suggest that it is a chamber in which the Monster judges people. ("Dead is Dead")'
  • Why did Ben assign the Temple its own DHARMA logo on his map for Alex?
    • Likely to conceal the true identity of the Temple, which was already a secret to Alex and Karl in the first place. ("Meet Kevin Johnson") Alternatively, the Flame monitors had listed "Temple ruins", suggesting some sort of monitoring appliance there. ("Namaste")
Introduced Solved
"LA X, Part 2" "Sundown"
  • Who is he?
  • How did he come to live on the island??
    • Jacob recruited him with a promise to save his dying son. ("Sundown")
  • Why did he need to be dead for The Man in Black to enter the temple?
    • According to the Lost Encyclopedia, Jacob told Dogen that only the master could keep the Man in Black out of the Temple. If he fails, the Temple's defenses fall with him.

The Kahana[]

Introduced Solved
"Catch-22" "Meet Kevin Johnson"
Introduced Solved
"The Brig" "The Variable"
Introduced Solved
"The Beginning of the End" Various
  • What was Naomi's mission?
  • What was the mercenary team's mission?
  • What was the science team's mission?
  • Why were Daniel and Miles specifically selected for the mission?
    • Daniel was assigned to calculate bearings for the freighter's journey. Miles' ability to communicate with the dead was to be useful in locating Ben. Additionally, Daniel was Widmore's son who he apparently wanted the Island to heal. Besides these intended roles, Widmore and Eloise both recalled Daniel's 1977 actions and death. They knew that sending him to the Island in 2004 would cause the events that already occurred, including "the Incident". ("The Variable") ("Some Like It Hoth")
Introduced Solved
"Eggtown" "The Variable"
Introduced Solved
"There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3" "This Place Is Death"
Introduced Solved
"The Economist" "There's No Place Like Home, Part 3"
Introduced Solved
"Confirmed Dead" "Meet Kevin Johnson"
  • Who was Ben's man on the Kahana?
  • How did Ben get Michael to be his mole?
    • Tom found Michael as he was attempting suicide and persuaded him that he couldn't commit suicide as the Island wasn't done with him. He told him that the only way to redeem himself is to go as the Others' mole on Widmore's freighter and destroy it, to prevent the crew from arriving on the Island and killing everyone on it. ("Meet Kevin Johnson")

The DHARMA Initiative[]

Introduced Solved
"Orientation" "Live Together, Die Alone"
  • Why did the button need to be pushed every 108 minutes?
  • How was it decided that 108 minutes was the interval at which the button needed to be pressed?
Introduced Solved
"Orientation" "The Incident"
  • What was his real name?
  • Why did he use a different alias in each orientation video?
  • Who was he?
    • He was a theoretical astrophysicist, and high ranking member of the DHARMA Initiative responsible for many different aspects of the initiative, such as acting in orientation videos and overseeing various stations' construction. ("Because You Left") ("Some Like It Hoth")
  • How did he lose the use of his arm?
  • Why did he throw out his wife and infant son?
Introduced Solved
"Orientation" "The Incident"
  • What caused the Incident?
    • Drilling into the massive pocket of energy beneath the Swan work site, ("The Incident") though it is possible that the survivors also caused some of the damage by detonating the Jughead, as "whatever happened, happened" still applies. ("The Incident") ("The End")
  • How was the Swan station preventing a similar Incident in the future?
Introduced Solved
"Lockdown" "Live Together, Die Alone"
  • Who created the blast door map?
  • How did Radzinsky make the map?
  • Why did they create the blast door map?
    • In preparation for armed conflict against the hostiles. This was Radzinsky's original plan, although Kelvin may have continued it less with the interest of preparing for war and more just to provide a constant through his dull hatch life. ("Lost Encyclopedia")
Introduced Solved
"Lockdown" "The New Man in Charge"
  • How are the supplies delivered to the Island?
  • Who is sending the supply drops?
  • Why are supplies still being sent to the Island?
    • Because the DHARMA facility in Guam, where the supplies were packed and sent from was still in operation until 2010. They didn't know that DHARMA ceased to exist after the Purge, receiving regular updates and coordinates from the Lamp Post station, whose mechanism for calculating the Island's position was programmed to run perpetually. ("The New Man in Charge")
Introduced Solved
"Enter 77" "The Man Behind the Curtain"

DHARMA Stations[]

Introduced Solved
"Man of Science, Man of Faith" "Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2"
  • What was the purpose of the Swan?
    • The Swan was originally conceived to study the unique properties of electromagnetic energy emanating from that part of the island but it's purpose was changed following the incident.
    • The Swan was repurposed to release the pocket of electromagnetic energy which could have disastrous consequences if allowed to build up.
    • Inside the Swan was a computer into which the numbers needed to be entered every 108 minutes. Doing so would cause the energy to disperse before it could reach critical levels. ("Man of Science, Man of Faith") ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2")
  • What caused the electromagnetic buildup?
    • Electromagnetism existed on the island for thousands of years, concentrated in specific pockets. ("Across the Sea") In the late 1970s, the DHARMA Initiative drilled into one such pocket, releasing its energy. The survivors of Oceanic 815, who had traveled to the past, attempted to stop the incident by detonating a bomb. Their attempt failed and may even have contributed to the Incident. ("The Incident, Part 1")
  • What was the failsafe?
    • Turning the failsafe key could destroy the Swan. Doing so was considered dangerous and unpredictable, as the failsafe could only be activated from directly underneath the station. ("Live Together, Die Alone")
  • What would happen when the failsafe was turned?
  • Who was Marvin Candle?
  • Who was Radzinsky?
Introduced Solved
"Everybody Hates Hugo" "Because You Left"

Unanswered questions

  • Who did the glass eye belong to?
Introduced Solved
"Maternity Leave" "D.O.C."
  • What is the purpose of the Staff?
    • The Staff was a medical facility built by the DHARMA Initiative. It was later used by the Others as the place they would bring pregnant women to give birth and die, due to the problems experienced by pregnant women on the Island. ("D.O.C.")
  • Why was there a fake beard and clothes at the station?
    • They were used by the Others to fool the survivors of Oceanic 815 and possibly other unwanted visitors on the Island into thinking the Others were much less advanced people than they really were. ("Maternity Leave") ("Live Together, Die Alone")
  • Why did the station appear abandoned?
    • Because the Others had hidden all the medical equipment in a secret vault. ("D.O.C.")
Introduced Solved
"?" "Live Together, Die Alone"
  • What was the purpose of the Pearl?
    • The Pearl was a station designed to monitor the other DHARMA stations via hidden surveillance cameras. In the orientation video for the Pearl, "Mark Wickmund" claimed that the inhabitants of the Swan were unknowingly participating in a psychological experiment and that it was of vital importance to record every activity undertaken by the people in the Swan. ("?") ("The Cost of Living")
  • What was Paulo doing in the washroom?
  • Who was the man with the eyepatch seen on the television?
  • Why did the orientation video say that the events in the Swan were merely a psychological experiment?
    • Desmond had speculated that it was the inhabitants of the Pearl who were in fact undergoing a psychological experiment. It is also possible that the Pearl was a safeguard after the incident to ensure that the button was being pressed. ("Live Together, Die Alone") ("The Incident")
  • Why were the booklets from the Pearl simply left in the jungle, unretrieved?
    • Because although the Pearl operators believed the Swan personnel were the ones undergoing a psychological experiment, it was in fact themselves who were the experiment. DHARMA had no actual use for the journals or what was inside them. ("Live Together, Die Alone")
  • Why was the dirt over the Pearl salted to be visible from above?
    • Most likely for Pallet Drops by the planes that supplied the Island. ("?")
Introduced Solved
"Three Minutes" "Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1"
Introduced Solved
"A Tale of Two Cities" "The New Man in Charge"
Introduced Solved
"Enter 77" "Namaste"
  • What was the Flame's purpose?
    • The Flame was used to communicate with the other DHARMA stations, as well as the outside world. ("Namaste") ("Enter 77") ("One of Us")
  • Why did Mikhail say its communications had been knocked out?
    • Because the discharge caused a massive electromagnetic anomaly which destroyed its communication capabilities, or so Mikhail claimed. However, it is likely Mikhail was lying about this in order to fool his Oceanic 815 visitors. ("Enter 77")
Introduced Solved
"Greatest Hits" "Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"
  • What was the Looking Glass' purpose?
    • The Looking Glass was a beacon and an underwater dock for the DHARMA submarine, as well as a station for jamming radio signals to and from the Island. ("Greatest Hits") ("Through the Looking Glass")
  • Why did Charlie find two women inside, even though Juliet claimed the station was flooded and abandoned?
    • Because Ben kept the Looking Glass' status as a working station a secret from his people (even high ranking Others such as Richard, Mikhail and Juliet thought that it was actually flooded), because he thought that no one knowing about it was the key to keeping the Island safe from Charles Widmore. ("Through the Looking Glass") ("The Beginning of the End") ("The Other Woman")
      • The Others also used the beacon in The Looking Glass to move to and from the island using the submarine as needed.
Introduced Solved
"The Man Behind the Curtain" "The Other Woman"
  • What was the Tempest's purpose?
    • The Tempest was used to research and develop chemical weapons. It may have also been intended as a weapon against the hostiles, even though it was later ironically used by them against the Initiative. ("The Other Woman")
Introduced Solved
"There's No Place Like Home, Part 1" "Across the Sea"
  • What was the Orchid's purpose?
  • How was it that the rabbits were able to travel through time?
  • Why were the scientific labs hidden far underground beneath a greenhouse?
    • Because they were built in secret from the hostiles, whose truce with the DHARMA Initiative mandated that the Initiative could not drill more than ten feet into the ground or disturb any ancient ruins. ("The Truce")
Introduced Solved
"The Lie" "316"
  • What was the Lamp Post's purpose?
    • The Lamp Post was used to locate the Island by predicting its most likely location at a given point in time. ("316") It also sent automated messages to the DHARMA logistics warehouse in Guam to send supply drops. ("The New Man in Charge")

Unanswered Questions

  • How did Eloise Hawking come to be in charge of the Station?
  • Who was the "very smart man" who invented the algorithm to allow the DHARMA Initiative to find where the Island was going to be?

Ajira Flight 316[]

Ilana Verdansky
Introduced Solved
"316" "Ab Aeterno"
  • Why was Sayid in Ilana's custody on Ajira Flight 316?
    • Primarily she claimed that she was a bounty hunter hired by Peter Avellino's family to apprehend Sayid ("He's Our You"), though it was later revealed that she did this to bring Sayid to the Island, as part of her role as the person responsible for protecting Jacob, and later the remaining candidates. ("The Incident, Part 1") ("Ab Aeterno")
  • Why did Ilana get so emotional because of Jacob's death?
    • He was the closest thing to a father she ever had. ("Dr. Linus")
  • What was Ilana and Jacob's relationship?
    • He was a person she heavily trusted, ("Ab Aeterno") even as far as spending her whole life beside him training to one day protect his candidates. ("Everybody Loves Hugo")
  • How did Ilana leave the Russian hospital soon enough to capture Sayid, even though she was badly injured?
  • Why did Jacob need her help?
    • To help him keep the remaining six candidates safe. ("Ab Aeterno")

Unanswered questions

  • Why was she in the Russian hospital?
    • The ABC episode recap for Ab Aeterno stated that she was badly burned during training.
Introduced Solved
"Dead Is Dead" "The Incident"
  • What was the answer to the question?
  • What was the significance of the question?
    • Ilana was told to show the content of the Ajira crate to the person who will correctly answer the question. ("The Incident, Part 2")
Ajira crate
Introduced Solved
"Dead Is Dead" "The Incident"
Introduced Solved
"The Little Prince"

Unanswered questions:

  • Who was in the other outrigger?
    • Crewmen from the Black Rock, according to supplementary DVD material. Damon Lindelof, however, later referred to the mystery as a forever "unchecked box", suggesting that that material is non-canon.[1]
Introduced Solved
"Recon" n/a

Unanswered questions

Jacob vs. the Man in Black[]

Introduced Solved
"Two for the Road" "Across the Sea"
  • What was the name of "Him", the man Ben said was the Others' leader?
    • It was Jacob. ("I Do")
  • Who was Jacob?
  • Where was Jacob living, as he was never seen with the Others?
  • How did Jacob acquire his abilities?
    • They were bestowed upon him by his Mother once he took over the job of protector of the Island. ("Across the Sea")
  • Why didn't Jacob age? How did Jacob grant Richard immortality?
    • Jacob possessed these powers as the protector of the source of all life, death and rebirth. ("Across the Sea")
Introduced Solved
"The Man Behind the Curtain" "The Incident, Part 1"
  • What is the origin of the cabin?
  • What is the significance of the ash circle around the cabin?
  • How was the Man in Black able to enter with the ash circle in place?
    • The ash circle was broken through unknown means some time before Locke and Ben initially went there.(The Lost Encyclopedia)
  • Why did Ben think Jacob lived in the cabin?
    • Jacob did at one time reside in the cabin. He later moved back to the statue, the ash circle was broken, and the Man in Black began using the cabin. Richard either forgot to mention to Ben that Jacob had moved or purposely misled him into believing that Jacob still used the cabin.
  • Why does Jacob appear invisible to Locke?
  • Why did Ilana order the burning of the cabin?
    • It was being used by someone other than Jacob, most likely the Man in Black. ("The Incident, Part 1")
  • Who asked Locke for help and why did objects start flying around the room? Whose eye did Locke and Hurley see?
    • The Man in Black asked Locke for help, appeared to him briefly, and caused objects to fly around the room to manipulate both Locke and Ben.

Unanswered questions

  • Who breached the circle of ash?
  • How was the cabin able to change locations?
  • Why did Jacob abandon the cabin?
Introduced Solved
"The Incident, Part 1" "Across the Sea"
  • Who was the Man in Black?
    • He was once a man, Jacob's twin brother and Claudia's second son, raised by Mother. He was keen on leaving the Island, though Mother constantly prevented him from doing so, eventually culminating in her killing Claudia's people, leading the Man in Black to kill her. Jacob, angered with this, threw the Man in Black into the Heart, making him the Monster. ("Across the Sea")
  • Why did the Man in Black need Ben to kill Jacob?
Introduced Solved
"The Incident, Part 1" "The End"
  • Who are the candidates?
  • Why were the candidates chosen?
    • Jacob selected the candidates because they were "like him": alone and looking for something that was missing in their lives. ("What They Died For")
  • How was Jacob able to get the candidates to the Island?
    • At some point in each of their lives, Jacob came to the candidates off the Island and physically touched them. According to the Man in Black, somehow this touch caused fate to take control over the events in the candidates' lives, which eventually led them to the Island. ("The Incident") ("The Substitute")
  • Why was Kate not a candidate?
    • Jacob removed Kate's name when she became a mother to Aaron. According to Jacob, her removal as a candidate was only a line of chalk in a cave and she could take the position if she wished. ("Eggtown") ("What They Died For")
  • Which of the two Kwon's were actually one of Jacob's candidates?
    • Although Ilana seemed unsure whether Jin or Sun was the actual Kwon candidate, given that Jacob had removed Kate from his consideration when she became a mother, it is likely that Sun was not the candidate for the same reason. ("What They Died For")
  • Who was the final candidate?
    • Jack decided that he would accept Jacob's offer and became the new protector of the Island. His position was short-lived, however, as he was fatally wounded battling the Man in Black and died shortly after he prevented the Island from sinking. Hurley then took over the job, advised by Ben. ("What They Died For") ("The End")
Introduced Solved
"LA X, Part 2" "The Last Recruit"
Introduced Solved
"Lighthouse" "What They Died For"
  • Why were the names of all the candidates there?
    • By turning the lighthouse wheel to the degree that corresponds to a candidate, Jacob (or anyone) was able to observe that candidate in the lighthouse mirror. ("Lighthouse")
  • Why did the survivors or anyone else never spot the lighthouse before, even though it was large and they had passed near its location many times?
    • You had to be specifically looking for the lighthouse to find it. ("Lighthouse")
  • Who built the Lighthouse and when?
    • It was built by ancient island inhabitants.
Introduced Solved
"Dr. Linus" "What They Died For"
Introduced Solved
"Recon" "Across the Sea"
  • Who was she?
    • She was the protector of the Island prior to Jacob. ("Across the Sea")
  • Why did the Man in Black refer to her as a "crazy" person?
    • She killed the Man in Black's birth mother and stole him and his brother from her. She also prevented him from leaving and massacred his people. ("Across the Sea")
  • What were the growing pains he had because of her?
    • She made a rule preventing him from killing Jacob, the man he held responsible for the loss of his humanity (by turning him into the smoke monster), and for his inability to leave the Island. She also prevented him from leaving the Island via the Wheel, and killed the people he was living with, preventing him from getting help from them. ("Across the Sea")
  • Why did she thank the Man in Black for killing her?
  • How was she able to kill all the Romans on the Island, burn their village and bury the Well?

Unanswered questions

  • What was her name and what were her origins?
    • Mother told Claudia, "I got here the same way you did, by accident." Claudia arrived by shipwreck. ("Across the Sea")

Off the Island[]

Introduced Solved
"Solitary" "There's No Place Like Home, Part 1"
Introduced Solved
"Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2" "There's No Place Like Home, Part 3"
Introduced Solved
"Flashes Before Your Eyes" "Follow the Leader"

Unanswered questions

  • What was her relationship with Brother Campbell?
    • Although not definitively answered, it's worth noting that both Eloise and Campbell were in charge of churches, and both guided Desmond in directing him onto the right path of his destiny.
Introduced Solved
"Through the Looking Glass" "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham"
Introduced Solved
"The Beginning of the End" "There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3"
Introduced Solved
"The Beginning of the End" "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham"
Introduced Solved
"The Other Woman" "Dead Is Dead"
  • How did their rivalry start?
    • Their feud started when Ben disobeyed Widmore's orders to kill Rousseau, and later Alex, who he adopted and raised as an Other. ("Dead Is Dead")
  • Under which circumstances did Widmore leave the Island?
    • He was banished by Ben, who discovered he had a child with an outsider and frequently left the Island, which broke some of the Rules that the Others (or at least their leaders) followed. ("Dead Is Dead")
Introduced Solved
"The Economist" "He's Our You"
  • Why did Sayid start working for Ben?
    • Because after Ishmael Bakir, an associate of Widmore's killed Nadia, Ben manipulates Sayid into thinking he can revenge his late wife and protect his friends by joining Ben. ("The Shape of Things to Come")
  • Who were the people that Sayid was killing for Ben?
  • Why did Sayid eventually leave Ben's service, and urged Hurley not to trust Ben?
    • Because after killing the last of Widmore's associates on Ben's list, Sayid realized that Ben had only manipulated him. ("He's Our You")
  • How did Sayid know that someone was watching Hurley?
    • Ben told him, after visiting him in the Dominican Republic. ("He's Our You")
Introduced Solved
"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2" "316"

Flash sideways[]

Introduced Solved
"The Variable" "The End"
  • Can the past be changed?
    • No. Events in the past already occurred. Their consequences, which future people witness, prove what occurred. Regardless of past peoples' motivations and their knowledge of the present, they eventually chose a specific course of action, one that produced the present's current state. ("Because You Left")  ("The Lie")
  • Can major events change the timeline?
    • No. Daniel Faraday briefly hypothesized that a sufficiently major event, such as detonating a hydrogen bomb, could undo past events. He was later proven incorrect. Although it initially seemed that such actions caused the timeline to diverge into parallel branches, the events in the flash sideways took place in the afterlife, long after the crash of Oceanic 815. ("The Variable") ("LA X, Part 1") ("The End")
Introduced Solved
"LA X, Part 1" "The End"
  • How could the Island have sunk?
  • Why was the Island submerged in the flash sideways timeline?
    • Due to the revelation that the flash sideways world was actually the afterlife, it is likely that the Island being submerged was a symbolic clue as to this reveal, given that the sinking of the Island would have resulted in the death of mankind in the real world. It may also be a narrative device to indicate that the Island held no power over the lives of the Oceanic passengers. ("LA X, Part 1") ("The End")
Introduced Solved
"LA X, Part 2" "The End"
  • What happened to Locke's knives and Christian's coffin?
    • Within the context of the flash sideways, Oceanic Airlines simply misplaced the items. ("The Substitute") ("The End") The characters created the world of the flash sideways and sought to let go of obsessions and remember significant experiences. Losing and recovering their literal baggage helped them along this path. ("The End")
Jack Shephard (flash-sideways timeline)
Introduced Solved
"LA X, Part 1" "The End"
  • How was Jack's life different in the flash sideways timeline?
    • In the flash sideways timeline, Jack had had a son with Juliet Carlson. Though he strove to be a better father than Christian, Jack's relation with his son David was strained. Despite this, Jack was able to patch up his relationship with David; something he had never been able to do with his own father. ("Lighthouse") ("The End")
  • What caused Jack's recurring neck wound?
    • The neck wound was an artifact from Jack's life on the Island, where the Man in Black attempted to stab him in the neck. ("The End")
  • Why did the wound keep reappearing?
    • Given that the flash sideways timeline had been created to help the Oceanic survivors remember their former lives, the neck wound was likely meant to help Jack remember. ("The End")
Introduced Solved
"LA X, Part 1" "The End"
  • Why was Desmond on the plane in the flash sideways timeline?
  • What did he want to show to the rest of the Oceanic 815 passengers?
    • He wanted to show them that this wasn't their real life, that it was actually their afterlife, and wanted to help them all remember their past lives, and fulfill their purpose in the flash sideways timeline (Hurley finally going out with Libby, Locke "letting go", Sayid meeting Shannon, Claire meeting Charlie, and Jack and Kate coming together). ("Everybody Loves Hugo") ("The Last Recruit") ("What They Died For") ("The End")
  • Why did he run Locke over?
    • He wanted him to meet Jack again (this time as his patient), so he can have the surgery and finally "let go". ("What They Died For") ("The End")
Introduced Solved
"LA X, Part 2" "The Package"
  • Why did the Oceanic agent refer to Sun as Miss Paik?
    • Because in the flash sideways timeline, Sun and Jin never got married, though they did have a love affair. ("The Package")
  • What was the money that Jin was suppose to deliver in L.A. for?
  • Why was Jin tied up in Keamy's restaurant?
    • Because Keamy was suppose to kill him after talking to Sayid. ("The Package")
John Locke (flash-sideways timeline)
Introduced Solved
"LA X, Part 1" "The Candidate"
  • How did Locke lose the use of his legs in the flash sideways timeline?
Introduced Solved
"The Substitute" "Dr. Linus"
Introduced Solved
"Lighthouse "The End
  • Who is his mother?
  • Was he real?
    • Christian Shephard explained to Jack that everyone in the church was real. Juliet and Jack did not have a son together in their Earthly lives, so David was apparently a surrogate, needed by Jack to help him overcome his father issues, and by Juliet, herself a fertility specialist, to reconcile never having a child of her own. ("The End")
Introduced Solved
"LA X, Part 2" "The End"
  • How did Juliet know "it worked"?
    • When Juliet was near death, she was able to see a vision of the afterlife, wherein Oceanic 815 never crashed. She may have incorrectly assumed that they had been successful in preventing the Incident, resulting in Oceanic 815's safe landing in Los Angeles. However, she also said to Sawyer as she was dying, "We should get coffee sometime. We can go Dutch." Later, when she met him at the vending machine in the flash sideways, she said the exact same thing about going Dutch for coffee, followed by "It worked," referring to the trick she suggested for getting Sawyer's stuck candy bar out of the machine. So it is possible that those last thoughts, "It worked," that Miles detected from her grave, were actually her seeing her afterlife, and repeating what she said to Sawyer at the machine. ("LA X, Part 1") ("The End")
  • How was Charlotte Malkin able to communicate with Yemi?
    • Similar to Juliet, when she was close to death via drowning Charlotte Malkin was able to see into the afterlife where she presumably spoke with Yemi who gave her a message for Eko. ("?") ("The End")
  • How is Desmond able to see visions of the flashsideways timeline?
    • Since exposure to large amounts of electromagnetism can cause characters to see visions of their past and future, Widmore's experiment forced Desmond to see so far into his own future that he was looking at his own afterlife. ("Happily Ever After") ("The End")
  • How are the flashsideways characters able to see the events from the original timeline?
    • Since the timelines were not actually separate, and the flashsideways timeline was the characters' afterlife, these visions occurred when characters were able to make some sort of connection with their previous lives, granting them awareness of the events they had previously lived out. ("Happily Ever After") ("Everybody Loves Hugo") ("The End")
Introduced Solved
"The End" "The End"
  • Why aren't Michael and Walt at the church?
    • Michael wasn't at the church because he was trapped on the Island as a ghost for having murdered Ana Lucia and Libby. Walt likely wasn't there because the Island (and thus the Oceanic castaways) were no longer a part of his life. The most important part of their lives were the time they spent together. This indicates that Walt and anyone else capable of moving on, likely has a different experience and set of people, unspecified, to move on with, and did not contribute to the creation of the Island survivors flash sideways world; he had "been through enough." ("Two for the Road") ("The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham") ("Everybody Loves Hugo")("The End")
  • Why wasn't Ana Lucia at the church?
  • Where were the characters moving on to?
    • The writers and cast alike have stated that the nature of "moving on" in the afterlife is subject to personal beliefs, which they respect, and is thus open to interpretation.

See also[]


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