- This article is about the building.
- For the episode, see Lighthouse.
- For the musical piece, see The Lighthouse (composition).
The Lighthouse is an ancient stone tower of unknown origin on the Island. Despite its great age, it appeared to be in excellent condition and in good working order. The uppermost level of the tower contained a large firepit surrounded a movable array of mirrors designed to reflect the light out to sea. The orientation of the mirrors is controlled by a system of gears and pulleys. Strangely, the mirrors are capable of reflecting locations off-Island in the outside world. The lighthouse is one of two known locations where a list of Jacob's candidates may be found.
The origin, history, and original purpose of the lighthouse are all unknown. From the hieroglyphics seen in the signal room, however, it seems highly likely that the tower dates from the same time period as the Temple, tunnels, and the statue of Taweret and was built by an early civilization on the Island. As the Island cannot be seen from the outside world, it seems unlikely that the lighthouse was needed to bring ships to the Island or warn them away. It is not known if anybody prior to Oceanic Flight 815 besides Jacob and its builders ever knew of the tower's existence.
It appears at some point the lighthouse fell into the custody of Jacob, who used the mysterious properties of the signal mirror as a means of remotely observing his candidates in the outside world. Jack believes that Jacob was doing this secretly for years prior to their arrival on the Island. ("Lighthouse") It is not known whether the Others knew of or had access to the lighthouse.
Jack at the lighthouse.
Hurley was instructed by a manifestation of Jacob to bring Jack to the lighthouse. Upon their arrival, Jack kicked the door in and they climbed to the signal room at the top of the lighthouse. While Jacob gave Hurley specific instructions to set the compass rose to bearing of 108 degrees, Jack became distracted in seeing the reflection of the mirror change to show his childhood home. Surprised and upset, he demanded answers about Jacob from Hurley and, not getting them, became enraged and smashed the mirrors. In appearing later again to Hurley, Jacob seemed less than distraught about the destruction of the lighthouse mirrors, claiming he actually needed Jack here for another purpose.("Lighthouse")
The lighthouse sits atop a high rocky bluff along the shore of the Island and is a five story tiered tower constructed of stone blocks. The tower is estimated to be some 80-90ft in height. The structure is entered through a heavy wooden door on the ground floor. A series of stairs leads upwards to the signal room at top. It is unknown if the lighthouse contains any other chambers although each tier of the tower has at least one window.
The signal room occupies the very top of the lighthouse and is roughly rectangular in shape with large window-like openings on all sides. One window contains a telescope mounted on a metal housing. The upper walls contain numerous hieroglyphs.
The center of the room is occupied by a large mechanical structure designed to allow an array of four angled mirrors to rotate all the way around a central bowl or brazier where a fire could be built. Surrounding the bowl is a stage wheel upon which is inscribed a compass rose allowing the mirrors to be set to precise bearings. The mirrors appear to act as a kind of alidade, a device that allows one to sight a distant object and use that line of sight to perform a task. The array of mirrors is moved manually by an array of gears and pulleys. The operating mechanism seems to be of 19th century origin.
A closer inspection of the compass rose, however, reveals that each of the 360 degrees around the circumference of the circle is associated with a handwritten name. Most of the names are crossed out. These names appear to correspond with Jacob's candidates previously seen in the cliffside cave. ("The Substitute")
As Hurley and Jack changed the bearing, Jack observed a number of different locations from the outside world were reflected in the mirrors:
- The pagoda where Sun and Jin were married in Korea. ("The Incident, Part 1")
- The church where a young Sawyer attended his parents' funeral. ("The Incident, Part 2")
- Christian and Margo Shephard's house, where Jack grew up.
How the mirrors were able to reflect off-Island locations is unknown.
Names and bearings
|4|| ||cliffside cave wall||When Locke was pushed out of an 8 story window by his father, Jacob walked over to him after he landed, touched his shoulder, and Locke's eyes popped open. When Locke finally got off the Island, Ben killed him. He later returned to the Island in his coffin. The Man in Black took his form and when the MiB was in Jacob's cave with Sawyer, the MiB crossed off Locke's name.|
|8||Reyes||cliffside cave wall||Jacob was in Hugo's cab. He gave him the information he needed to know to get back to the Island and a guitar case. He touched his shoulder.|
|14|| ||Lighthouse||Likely Ryan Pryce, an Other who Hurley ran over with a DHARMA van.|
|15||FORD||Lighthouse||James Ford. Met Jacob as a child at his parents' funeral. Jacob touched Sawyer when he handed him a pen, which Sawyer used to write his letter. Identified as a candidate by the Man in Black. Has currently chosen the third option: Leave the Island.|
|16||JARRAH||Lighthouse||Sayid Jarrah. Met Jacob when his wife Nadia was murdered. He touched Sayid's shoulder briefly. Identified as a candidate by the Man in Black.|
|20|| ||Lighthouse||Probably Alex Rousseau or Danielle Rousseau.|
|23||Shephard||Lighthouse||Jack Shephard. Met Jacob at the hospital where he worked after his first successful surgery. Jacob offered Jack an Apollo Bar that he had unsuccessfully tried to dislodge from the vending machine. Their fingers touched as Jacob passed the bar to Jack. Identified as a candidate by the Man in Black. Could also refer to Christian Shephard who has often been seen in Jacob's cabin. On the wheel in Jacob's Lighthouse, Shephard's name is written in a darker black ink and different handwriting than the names surrounding his. There are also several small punctures in the surface around his name and a few of those below it.|
|27|| ||Lighthouse||Unknown (possibly Naomi Dorrit?).|
|32|| ||Lighthouse||Probably Shannon Rutherford.|
|35|| ||Lighthouse||Probably Brennan from the science expedition.|
|42||KWON||Lighthouse||Sun-Hwa Kwon and Jin-Soo Kwon both met Jacob when during their wedding when he congratulated them and advised them to keep their promises. Both were touched by Jacob simultaneously notably on their shoulders. The Man in Black indicated one of them was a candidate but was unable to identify which one. KWON may also refer to Ji Yeon Kwon, the daughter of Sun and Jin, who was conceived on the Island.|
|43|| ||Lighthouse||Unknown. Possibly related to #17|
|48|| ||Lighthouse||Probably Harper Stanhope or Goodwin Stanhope.|
|51|| ||Lighthouse||Kate Austen, who met Jacob as a child when she was caught trying to shoplift a lunchbox. Jacob helped her, paying for the lunchbox, and touched her on the nose.|
|58|| ||Lighthouse||Probably Juliet Burke.|
|59|| ||Lighthouse||Unknown. Could possibly be Dogen.|
|62|| ||Lighthouse||Probably Kelvin Inman.|
|98|| ||Lighthouse||Unknown. Possibly related to #112|
|101|| ||Lighthouse||Likely Daniel Faraday.|
|102|| ||Lighthouse||Likely Montand from Rousseau's science expedition.|
|104|| ||Lighthouse||Likely Charlotte Lewis, or her parents David and Jeanette.|
|106|| ||Lighthouse||Likely Stuart Radzinsky.|
|109|| ||Lighthouse||Probably Tom Friendly.|
|112|| ||Lighthouse||Unknown. Possibly related to #98.|
|114|| ||Lighthouse||Unknown. Being the only Japanese surname in the list, might be Dogen.|
|115|| ||Lighthouse||Unknown. Possibly spelled "Barqas" or "Vargas".|
|117|| ||Lighthouse||Probably Ben Linus, or his father Roger Linus.|
|124|| ||Lighthouse||Likely Michael Dawson.|
|129|| ||Lighthouse||Unknown. Possibly Brother Campbell|
|131|| ||Lighthouse||Possibly Scott Jackson.|
- Lighthouses are normally used to warn of dangers to navigation, e.g., shoals, sandbars, reefs, etc., and as such are designed to deter mariners, not attract them. However, it is also common to build structures to mark entrances to harbors, and these structures can be lighted. While these structures would not typically be called a "lighthouse" today, the purpose of the "Lighthouse of Alexandria" was to mark one side of the harbor. Legend has it that the mirrors could be pointed at hostile ships to set them on fire.
- Several of the numbers or degree bearings next to the candidate's names do not correspond with the numbers listed on the cliffside cave walls. It is unclear whether this was intentional, or a production error.
- The mirrors in the lighthouse (four in number) are similar in appearance to those of Rousseau's music box (three in number).
- The cliff used for filming the lighthouse scene is the same cliff where Hurley and Libby's first kiss was filmed in "Dave", according to an interview with Jorge Garcia. ("The End Is Nigh")
- The Hieroglyphs above the compass rose appear to be a prayer to Thoth whom helped build the lighthouse to "observe beyond the sea"
- For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: The Lighthouse/Theories
- Who built the lighthouse, and what was its original purpose?
- How did the signaling mirror reflect locations in the outside world?
- Why are names of individuals associated with particular bearings?
- How many candidates are there?
- How was the mirror aligned to reflect locations important to these individuals?
- Why did Jacob ask Hurley to set the lighthouse bearing to 108 degrees, given that it was associated with an unknown name/person?