The Hydra is a DHARMA Initiative zoological research station located on the Hydra Island, a few miles offshore of the the main island. The Hydra appears to be one of the larger, if not the largest of the DHARMA facilities: a sprawling collection of different buildings and underground facilities. The above-ground area of the station is surrounded by thick jungle, and is located relatively close to shore.
The Hydra was constructed at some point prior to 1977 and its original purpose was one of zoological research. The station contained research facilities for experimentation on polar bears and marine animals such as dolphins and sharks. Pierre Chang threatened Hurley with being sent to Hydra Island to weigh polar bear dung for the scientists there in their "ridiculous experiments." ("Some Like It Hoth") Personnel were carried to and from the station via the Pala Ferry which ran three times a day. (Barracks video)
The blast door map references the Hydra station with the statement, "Stated goal, repatriation, accelerated de-territorialization of Ursus maritimus (polar bear) through gene therapy and extreme climate change," suggesting the experiments may have been aimed at making polar bears less aggressive. A system found in one of the cages is similar to the experiments carried out by B.F. Skinner in conditioning. ("A Tale of Two Cities")
At some point after the Purge, the Others assumed control of the Hydra, which they used as a base of operations for a number of different projects away from their home on the main Island. The station may have also served as a makeshift prison or judicial center for the Others. Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Walt, Karl, and Juliet were all imprisoned here, and a number of the Others traveled to Hydra Island specifically to watch Juliet's trial. Ben also had an office here.
After the Others kidnapped Walt from the raft, they brought him to the Hydra and kept him in Room 23. Although Juliet reminded Ben that he was the one who had wanted Walt there, Ben claimed it was Jacob who wanted it, due to Walt being "important" and "special." Keeping Walt proved to be highly disruptive, however, with several of the Others refusing to see him out of fear. ("Room 23") Ben later told Michael that Walt was "more than we bargained for." Walt also told Michael that the Others had made him take tests. ("Three Minutes") ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2")
Days 68–74 (Season 3)
Jack, Kate, and Sawyer were later brought to the station and were likewise kept prisoner there. Ben had a fatal tumor growing on his spine and wanted Jack to operate on it. Kate and Sawyer, meanwhile, had been brought along as a means to emotionally manipulate Jack into doing the surgery.
In the meantime, Kate and Sawyer were forced to work on the construction of a runway. The purpose of this runway was initially kept a secret. ("The Glass Ballerina") ("Every Man for Himself") ("I Do") Sawyer also met Karl, who was in a relationship with Alex and had been imprisoned out of Ben's fear that Karl would impregnate her. Karl tried to help Sawyer escape, though it was quickly foiled, and Karl was taken to Room 23. His attempted brainwashing there suggests that psychological experiments were among the Others' projects at the Hydra. ("A Tale of Two Cities") ("Not in Portland")
The Others learned that a few of the survivors had a boat stationed at the Pala Ferry, leading to a gun battle for control of the boat. Although the Others were successful in obtaining it, Colleen was shot in the battle. She was brought back to the Hydra operating theater. Juliet asked Jack to operate and try to save her life, but he was unsuccessful. Colleen's death enraged Danny, her husband, who grew increasingly unhinged and took his anger out on Sawyer. ("The Glass Ballerina") ("Every Man for Himself")
Jack ultimately complied to do Ben's surgery, but in the process he used the opportunity to blackmail the Others in an attempt to get Kate and Sawyer freed. Jack's actions gave Kate and Sawyer a window of opportunity to make their escape. They encountered Alex, who agreed to help them escape Hydra Island in exchange for rescuing Karl from Room 23. Juliet also assisted in the escape, but did so by killing the revenge-obsessed Danny. ("I Do") ("Not in Portland")
Kate, Sawyer, and Karl were able to escape Hydra Island, while Jack, Juliet, and Alex remained with the rest of the Others. Juliet was subsequently put on trial for murdering Danny, although Jack negotiated with Ben to have her spared from the death sentence. Once the trial and the rest of Ben's surgery was finished, the Others abandoned the station and returned to the Barracks, fearing that the survivors might return. ("Stranger in a Strange Land")
Moving the Island
Ajira 316 survivors
2007 (Season 5)
The purpose of the runway was revealed when Ajira Airways Flight 316 made an emergency landing on Hydra Island. The survivors shortly thereafter discovered the Hydra station and moved their injured into the infirmary. At least Caesar and Ilana explored the complex, looking for anything that might help them.
It was south of the Hydra that the Man in Black was discovered, although he disguised himself as a resurrected John Locke to the Ajira passengers. Sun, Frank, Ben, the Man in Black, and Jacob's bodyguards all left Hydra Island via outriggers and made their way to the main Island. The rest of the Ajira survivors remained at their campsite near the plane. ("The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham") ("Namaste") ("Dead Is Dead")
2007 (Season 6)
The Man in Black sent Sawyer on a recon mission to Hydra Island. It was there that Sawyer discovered Charles Widmore and his people, who had arrived via submarine and taken up residence in the Hydra station. Sawyer also discovered the Ajira passengers had been mysteriously killed. Although Widmore denied having murdered them, Sawyer didn't believe it. ("Recon")
Widmore's team made extensive preparations, including surrounding the facility with a portable sonar fence similar to the one surrounding the Barracks, and setting up a pair of giant solenoids in the yard behind the main building. Both Jin and Desmond were captured and brought to the Hydra. Jin was kept in Room 23 for a short period of time and Desmond woke up in the infirmary. Widmore told Jin that he had come to stop the Man in Black from leaving the Island. ("The Package") ("Happily Ever After")
In making preparations inside the solenoid chamber, Simmons was accidentally killed when the power was switched on. Despite this, Widmore ordered Desmond to be put inside. Jin objected, but Widmore explained that Desmond had survived such electromagnetic catastrophes in the past and their lives depended on whether or not he could do so again. Desmond survived the experiment and was left unconscious for a few seconds. During this time, he had contact with his counterpart in the flash-sideways timeline. ("Happily Ever After")
When Sawyer returned to Hydra Island, bringing most of the other candidates with him, Widmore had them all imprisoned in the same cages that Kate and Sawyer had been kept in three years before. Jack, Sayid, and the Man in Black teamed up to rescue them from the cages. Most - if not all - of Widmore's team were killed in the ensuing battle. Widmore himself and Zoe appeared to be the only survivors, both of whom were killed not long after at the Barracks. ("The Last Recruit") ("The Candidate") ("What They Died For")
After Hurley became protector of the Island, he appointed Ben to be his advisor. Ben journeyed to the DHARMA Logistics Warehouse in Guam to close it down. The two DHARMA Initiative members working there, Hector and Glen, were given their severance pay and told that they were free to go. Before dismissing them completely, however, Ben showed them the Hydra Orientation film. Ben's copy of the film was on a DVD, although he mentioned it was a transfer from an old Betamax.
The Hydra station is quite extensive with areas located both above and below sea level. The surface area of the Hydra appears to be a fairly large compound composed of several buildings with interconnecting covered walkways. It is unclear exactly where some of these structures are located in respect to one another. The notable areas will be described here.
See main article: Cages
In a central area of the compound are two large cages situated near a walkway with an overhanging canopy. The walkway leads into the main building: a large concrete and metal edifice.
Built into one of the cages is an experiment reminiscent of the works of B.F. Skinner in operant conditioning. Pressing the levers and buttons in a particular sequence provides the subject with a "reward" of food and water; pressing them in a wrong way gives a painful electric shock. It was revealed by Tom that the cages formerly housed polar bears. The Others used these cages as makeshift prison cells. Kate discovered in one instance that she was able to climb out the top of her cage by squeezing through the bars.
Located somewhere nearby the main building are a number of other smaller cages that most likely housed other species used in DHARMA's zoological program. ("A Tale of Two Cities")
Out behind the main building is a large open yard. Charles Widmore and his people set up a large enclosed wooden structure here surrounding two massive solenoids with huge cables connecting it to the main building. When switched on, the solenoids generate an intense electromagnetic field. A large metal stairway leads up and into the main building from here. ("Happily Ever After")
A large concrete and metal structure several stories tall, surrounded by the jungle. The main building appears to contain a set of locker rooms and shower facilities, an operating theater with an observation gallery. It can be assumed that there are X-ray facilities elsewhere in the building as well as surgical supplies and anesthetic.
Located within one of the buildings is a massive electrical generator. It was probably the source of energy from which the entire station ran, and as of 2007 the generator was still functioning. ("Happily Ever After")
A sizeable operating room is located somewhere on the ground floor of the main building. Just outside the door is a small preparation area including a sink and a lightbox allowing doctors to look at X-rays. Across from the preparation area a small flight of steps leads up to a small obervation gallery overlooking the operating theater. Likely this area may have been used for teaching or observation during animal operations.
Ben noted that the operating theater is a fully equipped facility, with all of the tools, devices, and supplies a surgeon would need. However, it was later revealed by Juliet that the crash cart and cardiac paddles were broken. ("I Do")
Up a flight of steps on the outside of the main building is a large locker room and working shower facility. ("A Tale of Two Cities") There likely are other exits.
A large bunker-like room with reinforced walls and drains along the floor - partitioned in two by a thick transparent fiberglass wall. Both ends of the room have hatch-like doors leading into the adjacent corridor, opened by turning a wheel. Per Juliet, this chamber was used by DHARMA scientists who were experimenting on sharks and dolphins. DHARMA may have stamped the DHARMA logo on an unknown amount of sharks and dolphins. An example of this can be shown when Sawyer and Micheal are stuck on the raft where a shark with a DHARMA like logo attacks them. This shark could have been one of the aquatic creatures DHARMA was studying. ("A Tale of Two Cities")
Animal subjects would be housed in one end of the room which contained a large metal table and a number of chains hanging down from the ceiling above. Likely this end of the room could be partially flooded during experiments. An intercom is set into one wall. Although Juliet told Jack it was non-functional, Jack appeared to receive several messages through it on several occasions. ("A Tale of Two Cities") ("Every Man for Himself") ("I Do")
The opposite end of the room beyond the glass partition appears to have been intended largely for observing scientists and contains a large desk, chair and an elaborate electronic soundboard. The soundboard is quite complicated and among other functions controls communication between the two ends of the room. Behind the desk a red emergency button affixed to the wall used to activate an emergency pumping system to flush water from this area of the station should it become flooded.
Both doors from the aquarium open into an adjacent corridor with at least two more doors (one at either end) and a ladder leading upwards. One of the doors at the end of the hallway is a large wheeled hatch, which, when opened by Jack during an escape attempt, caused this entire area of the station to flood with seawater. Presumably if somehow opened under controlled circumstances this would allow the aquarium tanks to be filled and could be used to bring in and/or release animal subjects.
Also in the underwater section of the Hydra is a small observation room. Appearing similar in design to the bank of monitors at The Pearl station, the room has six monitors, each equipped with live video and audio. Each camera has its own control panel with two knobs, three switches and a small red light. From here one can monitor different areas of Hydra Island, including underwater rooms and, above-ground, the walkways, the operating room and the cages. A gun locker is located nearby containing 3 SKS rifles, three Walther P-38 pistols and several boxes of ammunition. This weapons locker is far smaller than that at The Swan. Tom referred to the area as "the surveillance room". ("Stranger in a Strange Land")
Room 23 facility
Elsewhere in the compound is another rundown building which appeared to be quite large. One room inside the building is known as "Room 23" where the Initiative experimented/interrogated captured Hostiles. Others were holding Karl while subjecting him to brainwashing. Karl was strapped to a chair with a drug-laced IV in his arm, wearing LED goggles and being forced to watch a looped video while subjected to extremely loud drum-and-bass music. The video contained a wild assortment of images and features short glimpses of Gerald DeGroot and Alvar Hanso. It also contained several religious statements, such as "God Loves You, As He Loved Jacob" and other subliminal messages. ("Not in Portland") ("The Package") Walt was also brought here previously and may have been subjected to the same treatment. ("Room 23")
In 2007, after Widmore arrived on the island in his submarine, Zoe and Seamus attack the Man in Black's camp on the main island and kidnapped Jin. Jin was placed in Room 23 until Zoe came in and asked him about his time with the DHARMA Initiative as a security guard and elctromagnetism. ("The Package")
According to the Hydra Orientation film, the DHARMA Initiative's original purpose for Room 23 was to extract information from various captured Hostiles (who were unwilling participants) and then to erase their memories of the interrogation. ("The New Man in Charge")
Also within the Hydra compound is a large meeting room with a lectern, likely used for discussion and lecturing. Juliet was seen here whilst on trial for Pickett's murder. ("Stranger in a Strange Land")
Somewhere within the Hydra complex is Ben's office. The office contains a desk adorned with an animal skull and other samples, bookshelves and filing cabinets. ("Stranger in a Strange Land") Later Caesar searched this room and found issues of Life magazine from 1954 and several documents including maps of the Island and what appeared to be a photocopy of a page from Daniel's journal, showing a time-related diagram. He also found a sawed-off double barreled shotgun hidden under the desk. ("The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham") One drawer in the desk contained a picture of Alex. ("Dead Is Dead")
Somewhere close to Ben's office, is a similar-looking room that was used by the survivors of Flight 316 as a makeshift infirmary that may have been a resting quarters for DHARMA personnel. The room contained several beds, other furniture and boxes. ("The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham")
Lost: Via Domus
The advisory room has a code name which is DIHS-AR16. Ben and Juliet were waiting inside when he arrived. The purpose of this room is unknown. It is likely that this is a restricted section of the Hydra, and can only be accessed by high ranked members of the Others. ("Worth A Thousand Words")
The depository is a storage room for the Hydra station. The room is equiped with various materials, including food and animal equipment. ("Worth A Thousand Words")
This room has a code name which is DIHS-R38. The room was used for various zoological research and experimentation. There are several animal cages, as well as laboratory equipment. There is also a wall that has x-rays from a shark. It is likely that many experiments with dolphins, sharks, and other marine animals were done in this laboratory. ("Worth A Thousand Words")
In this room there is a large aquarium that contains two large shark tanks adjacent to each other. Above the tank there is a large metal machine that can carry the sharks and suspend them in mid-air. The staging tank has a code name which is DIHS-ST1. ("Worth A Thousand Words")
- The names of the stations appear to be related to Apollo from Greek mythology. There is a story where Apollo sends his bird to fetch water. The bird is late in returning the water and because he fears Apollo, he captures the Hydra - and returns with it back to Apollo blaming the Hydra for his mistakes. Apollo sees through the deception and punishes them both.
- The Hydra itself is a many-headed monster from Greek myth, and was killed by Heracles as one of the twelve tasks he was given after a terrible crime. Theoretically it could not be killed - if a head were cut off, several more would grow in its place. Heracles and his friend Iolaus killed it by cauterizing the stumps of each neck as Heracles severed it except one head which was immortal that they buried.
- The word "hydra" also means "Any persistent or ever-increasing evil with many sources and causes"
- Hydra is also a constellation. "Hydra is the longest constellation in the sky and is also the largest in terms of area. It is so long that it takes more than six hours to rise completely. Along its northern side, we can observe the zodiacal signs of Cancer, Leo, Virgo and Libra.The stars in the serpent's head appear to be at the same distance but they are really very far away from each other. The northernmost of the six stars in the head of the serpent, Epsilon Hydrae, is a quintuple star - a system of five stars. Alphard (Arabic for "the solitary one") is Hydra's brightest star."
- The Hydra is a genus of a freshwater invertebrate possessing radial symmetry and capability to regenerate amputated appendages, and biologically immortal. This sense of hydra appears to be the source of the station's symbol.
- The Hydra was a top-secret communications centre, located at Camp X, a special spy training facility during WWII located outside of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. It was used to intercept enemy signals, and transmitted information between North America and Britain.
- Ὕδωρ (hydor) is Ancient Greek for "water". The word Ὕδρα (Hydra) means creature of the water.
Almost all of the Others have been seen at the Hydra because they work there.
|Picture||Name||First visit||Last visit||Reason for Visit|
|Walt||"Room 23"||"Room 23"||Was brought there by the Others for tests.|
|Jack||"A Tale of Two Cities"||"The Candidate"||Was held prisoner in the aquarium where he conducted surgery on Ben. Jack was also held in Sawyer's cage above ground.|
|Kate||"A Tale of Two Cities"||"The Candidate"||Was held prisoner in polar bear cages opposite Sawyer.|
|Sawyer||"A Tale of Two Cities"||"The Candidate"||Was held prisoner in polar bear cages opposite Kate.|
|Caesar||"The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham"||"The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham"||Crashed on the Hydra Island on Ajira Airways Flight 316.|
|Ilana||"The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham"||"The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham"||Crashed on the Hydra Island on Ajira Airways Flight 316.|
|Jin||"The Package"||"The Candidate"||Was held captive in Room 23 by Charles Widmore.|
|The Man in Black||"The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham"||"The Candidate"||The Man in Black visited the station as John Locke.|
|Desmond||"Happily Ever After"||"Happily Ever After"||Was held captive in the Hydra to do work for Charles Widmore.|
|Sayid||"Happily Ever After"||"Happily Ever After"||"Saved" Desmond from Widmore's team.|
|Hurley||"The Candidate"||"The Candidate"||Was held captive by Widmore's team after they arrived with the Elizabeth.|
|Claire||"The Candidate"||"The Candidate"||Was held captive by Widmore's team after they arrived with the Elizabeth.|
|Sun||"The Candidate"||"The Candidate"||Was held captive by Widmore's team after they arrived with the Elizabeth.|
|Frank Lapidus||"The Candidate"||"The Candidate"||Was held captive by Widmore's team after they arrived with the Elizabeth.|
- On the first official video podcast, the Hydra logo can be seen on Damon Lindelof's hat. This was shown before "A Tale of Two Cities" was aired, and was the first official mention of the station.
- In Greece, there is an actual island named Hydra, 38 nautical miles south of Athens.
- The Hydra symbol was found on a metal collar by Charlotte with a polar bear skeleton in Tunisia. ("Confirmed Dead")
- Lost: The Complete Third Season (DVD) Commentary: "Damon Lindelof: The DHARMA Initiative was doing all these experiments on animals, so is that room that Karl was in for humans, or what kind of animals were they showing those films to? Like, what was really going on there?"
- The playback device used to show Jack videos appears to be a U-matic format 1985 SONY UMATIC VO-5800.