The Pearl is DHARMA Initiative station number 5, discovered by Locke and Mr. Eko. The task of this station, according to its Orientation video, is to monitor The Swan station and possibly other stations. The purpose of the Pearl seems to be to study Psychology. The station consists of a corridor with an octagonal shaped tunnel leading down by ladder to the outside and one large, octagonal room, in which nine television sets are fed live surveillance pictures. However only one television is still actually receiving a live feed from a camera pointed at the kitchen counter in The Swan station. A camera is also visible inside the station, indicating the people of The Pearl were being monitored themselves. There appears to be damage to this station; missing panels in the roof, loose wires, boulder in room. There are no living quarters for the Pearls personnel, as they only serve in eight hour shifts. Unlike the The Swan and The Arrow stations, there is no "Quarantine" warning on any of the doors.
The Question mark
The Pearl station was found by Locke and Mr. Eko, who were in search of the question mark at the center of the Blast Door Map. During their search they stumbled upon the Drug smugglers' plane. Through a dream, Locke was inspired by Eko's brother Yemi to climb the cliff next to the aircraft. After climbing on top of this cliff, Mr. Eko noticed that next to the plane, a question mark in the vegetation near the plane was visible. The mark in the grass was made through salting the ground, preventing anything from growing there. The Pearl station's hatch doors appeared to be hidden under the crashed plane. Thus the question mark on the Blast Door Map turned out to be The Pearl station.
The Pearl's Orientation Video
In one of the station's cupboards the Pearl's Orientation video was discovered. According to this orientation film, the staff of The Pearl live for three weeks in the station, and monitor the occupants of the other stations in eight hour shifts. After each shift they're taken to barracks via the Pala Ferry. Whenever an observation notebook is filled, they are placed in a pneumatic tube and sent off to what is only described as 'us'. The video is hosted by a man who introduces himself as Dr. Mark Wickman; however, he looks identical to Dr. Marvin Candle from the The Swan's Orientation film with the notable difference that he has no prosthetic arm and is wearing a different attire.
The Monitor Bank
There is a monitor bank consisting of nine screens on the far wall of the facility. The monitors are configured in a 3x3 array and numbered, columns first. Each monitor uses dials to operate. The monitors have three circular dials each, in a vertical column. The upper two have similar designs, but the lower third dial is quite different and about twice the size. In activating the monitors, Locke used the big dial to turn on screens 1 thru 3 and the upper small dial to turn on screen 7 (upper right). Screen 7 then displayed the kitchen of The Swan station. All the other screens displayed static. Screen 5 was used to display the The Pearl's Orientation Video. On top of the monitors, mounted on the wall, are three speakers. These likely transmitted audio from the station(s) that were being monitored.
It is unclear whether the Pearl only monitors the Swan or if it monitors other stations as well. However the screen in the Orientation video and the one Locke turned on indicate the former.
There is a computer present similar to The Swan's computer, with the addition of a printer (a Dharma-rebranded Apple ImageWriter II). Locke discovered its screen to be displaying the prompt "Print log? Y/N". Upon giving the "Y" command, the computer's dot matrix printer printed the log printout, a repeating series of numeric codes, interspersed by the word "accepted", as "41602064:41 accepted 41602086:29 accepted", etc. These numbers indicate the time of activity on the Swan's Computer at which the inhabitants of The Swan station enter the numbers and press "Execute". But not only the numbers seem to be registered, the "system failure" warnings also appear on the logs. Most likely everything that is entered in the Swan's computer is logged. Interestingly, The Pearl's computer actually bears the logo of The Swan.
There are two viewing seats each with a table and a magnifying viewing lens mounted on an adjustable arm assembly. Controls on the arms of the chairs seem to be made from spare parts. On the left arm of the left chair, a rocker switch similar to older style power windows can be seen. On the right arm of the right chair, Locke used the conventional stove dial to un-dim the lights in the room. On the dial these words can be read, starting on the right and moving counterclockwise: "HIGH", "MEDIUM", "WARM", and "OFF". On the table there's also a cigarette and debris that fell from the room's ceiling (this would be consistent with the minor structural damage seen elsewhere in this room). According to the writers; the cigarette was still burning when Eko and Locke entered the station.
The Message Tube
There is a still working pneumatic tube with which the Pearl's personel was supposed to send their logbooks to what was described as 'us' in The Pearl's Orientation video. But the actual location turned out to be a dump where the tubes were simply piling up, without anyone of the DHARMA initiative checking on them. Locke took his sketch of the Blast Door Map and sent it up through these transport piping, it also ended up at the Capsule Dump.
The Pearl's Camera
In one of the parts of the ceiling that were broken open there is a camera visible. This camera was apparently filming the Pearl's personel. It is presumed the Pearl's staff was unaware of this camera because it was hidden in the ceiling. But because of the damage to the station, the camera was uncovered, making Locke spot it quickly.
- The people in The Pearl are being observed. They are the true psychological experiment.
- The Pearl might be an experiment along the lines of experiments by Stanley Milgram in which a volunteer was recruited to help researchers in a lab administer increasingly-painful electric shocks to a subject, ostensibly to see how negative reinforcement would affect learning. It turned out that the “subject” was actually a part of the experiment and the volunteer was actually the one being tested. The experiment was designed to see how willing he’d be to cause harm to another, once absolved of any personal responsibility by an authority figure. In this case, harm is watching people slowly go mad as they try to stay on top of the button and discuss if it is all just an experiment.
- The Pearl is just part of the overall experiment. The Blast Door Map is a plant, intended to convince the person in the Swan station to explore the purpose of the stations. Why salt the ground so that a huge question mark is visible from the cliff above in a way trhat only really makes sense when you have a map with a big question mark on it? The Pearl is meant to be found (possibly as is) to observe how the experiment reacts to finding out it is being experimented upon.
- The video feeds send to The Pearl may also be viewable at another station, as one must assume the video being shot inside The Pearl is being sent somewhere else.
- When Locke initially explored The Pearl, he noticed cigarrette butts (perhaps smoke rising from them). This shows that someone was watching all the activities within the hatch at some recent point, possibly even when Locke and Eko broke in.
- The person might have come in through a hidden passage interconnecting stations.
- The orientation video doesn't mention the logs. What are the inhabitants supposed to do with them, and do they have any idea what they mean? Perhaps the logs are part of The Pearl experiment.
- The video footage may reveal Michael shooting Libby and Ana-Lucia.
- The Pearl is where the message from "Walt" was sent from.
- The log may reveal that "Henry Gale" was lying to Locke about not pressing the button during the Lockdown_Incident.
- The Pearl is not the huge question mark on the Blast Door Map.
- Eko and Locke would have had to travel much farther for that to be right.
- Since it's job is to monitor all the other hatches it is actually kept secret right near the Swan. Hidden in plain sight.
- Yemi warned Mr. Eko that he would encounter "distractions" on his way to the Question Mark. Perhaps the Pearl is one of those distractions.
- The questionmark in the middle would more likely be the base of operations for the Dharma initiative.
- Right above the Swan on the Blast Door Map there is a closer, smaller question mark. This might be the Pearl station.
- The Pearl is the CV IV on the Blast Door Map. Since on the map, next to CV IV "The Pearl?" is written. Plus there is a reference to RVS (Remote Viewing Station?) next to CV IV on the map. The viewing of other stations may connect to that reference.
- The mapmaker (Kelvin or Radvinski) could also simply have been wrong.
- Eko and Locke would have had to travel much farther for that to be right.