16 Lost Details That Still Have Fans Debating Today

If you’re like me, you haven’t stopped thinking about Lost since it ended years ago. The ABC show was the first television drama that I really latched onto, and cared enough about to watch from week to week.

Lost may have aired its final episode way back on May 23, 2010, after a six-season run, but with Netflix’s popularity constantly bringing new viewers to the fandom, it’s still just as relevant as ever. There are still plenty of mysteries to discuss, even if we might not ever get solid answers for them. Some of them did have explanations that were touched upon, but the ins and outs of all of these big questions still warrant a heated argument discussion, even today. That, in my opinion, is part of the beauty of Lost.

16. The Number Of Hatches On The Island

The hatch was once just a single metal door in the ground, discovered and kept secret by Boone and Locke way back on season one, but it was soon revealed that there were several of these scattered throughout the island. The Dharma Initiative, a mysterious group that inhabited the island long before the survivors of Oceanic 815 did, used each of them for a different purpose, and we were let in on some of the inner workings over the series. The Pearl was where surveillance across the island was conducted, and the Looking Glass was a submarine port, for example. But given the nature of the show and how quickly the plot moved, there was simply no time to dive deep into the inner workings of all that these stations were designed to do.

15. How Does The Island Move?

Despite the fact that the show’s early seasons had its characters dying to go home and wishing every day for someone to find the island where their plane crashed, some of the later plotlines were specifically dedicated to making sure no one on the outside ever learned the location of the island. The island, they came to learn, was meant to be protected at all costs, and Ben Linus was one who largely took that upon himself. On one episode, late in the series, Ben turns some mysterious wheel that straight-up moves the whole island, causing it to disappear right before the eyes of some characters flying back on a helicopter. How the hell did that work? Something tells me there’s not exactly a solid answer, but it sure made for a compelling scene.

14. The Details Of Desmond’s Time Travel

Desmond’s time travel episode shook viewers to their very cores — he was whipped back and forth between the freighter off the coast of the island and three years earlier, during his time in the military. He wasn’t the only one who was being zigzagged between time periods, as another member of the freighter’s crew also suffered from similar symptoms. Desmond realizes that if he doesn’t get a handle on things and stop himself from going back and forth so quickly, he’s about to encounter some pretty unsavory health issues as his consciousness attempts to handle the turmoil. Which brings us to our next point…

13. How Do Constants Work?

Desmond is told that in order to stop this traveling between time periods, he needs to find a “constant” — something that exists both in his present and in his past that he can make contact with in each reality, and somehow ground himself. And so, viewers were met with one of the most emotionally intense scenes that the show ever offered. Desmond, in the past, visited his ex-girlfriend Penny, whom he was still in love with, and asked her to please stay in the same apartment and keep the same phone number for the next three years, because he’d be calling. He was thrown back to the present, and when he gave her a call, she answered. Let’s just say tears were shed.

12. The Numbers

The numbers are one of the details of Lost that might simply be too big a concept to explain fully. Not only are they the numbers that Hurley won the lottery with, thus bringing him what he saw as bad luck, leading him to believe the numbers were “cursed,” but they were also carved onto the side of the original hatch, and needed to be input into a computer every 108 minutes to keep the island stable. It showed up in various other ways, as well, but their significance was explained at the end of the show when it was revealed that each one corresponded to one of the six final candidates Jacob had selected to take over the island. Why they showed up in so many other venues remains a little unclear.

11. How Does Jacob’s Cabin Work?

The cabin was built by Horace back in the Dharma Initiative days, but it was clear that the location held some tie to Jacob, the island’s mystical leader. Ben took Locke to the cabin when Locke insisted upon meeting Jacob, and they stepped over a mysterious circle of ash in order to enter it. Though some creepy things happened inside, Jacob was not visible there. Later in the show, Hurley came across the cabin and saw Jack’s deceased father, Christian, sitting inside. The most disturbing and confusing thing about the cabin, though, is that it seems to move locations. When Locke tried to return by himself, he found the same circle of ash, but the cabin was gone.

10. Why Was Walt Special?

Things were weird with Walt from the get-go. After his mom died, he was sent to live with his dad, Michael, whom he’d never really known. His step-dad insisted he couldn’t keep him because there was something off about him — things apparently happened when he was around that weren’t supposed to happen. Throughout the show, Walt appeared back on the island to certain people like Shannon, even though he was long gone, and he was eventually brought back to help Hurley protect the island. It remains unclear why exactly Walt was “special,” and viewers never were let in on what exactly the scope of his abnormalities was.

9. Details Of Libby’s Importance

First of all, Libby and Hurley’s romance was far too short-lived, and I am still angry about it. She was killed by Michael before they could fully be together the way they should have been. But in flashbacks, we see that she was also at the same mental hospital where Hurley was being treated, and Hurley thought he knew her from somewhere, but they obviously would not have known each other at this time. Libby was also the one who gave Desmond the boat he was traveling on when he crashed on the island, opening up yet another strange connection. Though more details of her importance weren’t explained, Libby was at the church in the series finale, finally reunited with Hurley.

8. Why Were Island Women Infertile?

The reason for plenty of the show’s biggest arcs was the fact that women on the island weren’t able to bear children successfully. It’s why Ethan and the Others kidnapped an extremely pregnant Claire to study and examine. It’s why Juliet was brought to the island in the first place as a doctor who specializes in delivering babies. And it’s why Sun was so frantic to find out whether she’d conceived on the island with Jin or back on the mainland with the man she was having an affair with. It’s assumed that the abnormal electromagnetic energy on the island harmed pregnancies from conception, meaning that those who conceived on the island were at risk. It’s unclear, though, exactly why the energy has this effect.

7. Were They In Purgatory?

Alright, this is a biggie, and everyone is still arguing about it. At the end of Lost, most of the main characters were shown gathering in a church, apparently ready to “move on” from their previous lives, and Christian opened the door to a bright white light. The showrunners didn’t give any more details to what happened after that, and plenty of people were salty about that ending after all the characters had endured over the years. It’s thought by many that the island was a kind of purgatory where these people who died in the initial plane crash could sort out their demons and come to terms with who they are before moving on to the afterlife, but we’ll never know for sure.

6. Where Did Christian’s Body Go?

The whole reason Jack is on Oceanic 815, to begin with, is to transport his deceased father’s body back to the United States from Australia, where he died after a long battle with alcoholism and reckless behavior. Their relationship was always tumultuous, and when the plane crashed on the island, Jack found his father’s coffin empty and even began to see him up and about, walking through the island. Other characters see Christian throughout the show, too, from time to time, and we eventually learn that The Man In Black has been impersonating him, as he’s able to take on the looks of the dead. But that doesn’t ever explain exactly where his real body went.

5. What’s The Deal With The Statue?

There’s a huge statue on the island, apparently of some kind of god, that previously housed Jacob, long before the survivors of the plane crash took up home on the island. The origin is never really explained. It’s assumed that Egyptians who were on the island long ago built the structure, which was destroyed by the Black Rock when it barrelled into the island, but where did those Egyptians go? And how long were they on the island? And how did they even get there in the first place? If Egyptians were once on the island, does that mean that other ancient civilizations might have encountered the place as well? The statue was surely just meant to be a cool anecdotal detail, but it raises so many questions.

4. How Did The Black Rock Get To The Center Of The Island?

When the survivors first stumbled upon the Black Rock in the jungle, it was pretty unclear how it got there. I mean, they were a full day’s walk from the beach. It wasn’t exactly your typical shipwreck destination. The Man In Black insists that Jacob was the one who brought the ship to the island, otherwise, they never would have been able to navigate there, so perhaps the giant wave that swept them inland was Jacob’s doing. But it seems strange that a wave big enough to launch an enormous ship into a jungle – causing it to mow down tree after tree without stopping – would just happen out of nowhere in a run-of-the-mill storm.

3. Who Was On The Other Outrigger?

There was a pretty intense chase between two boats — the outriggers that dotted the island — after Sawyer and his group endured an island time jump. They were attacked by a boat that was shooting at them, but the identity of whoever was on the other boat was never revealed. It’s speculated upon that perhaps it was some of the crew of the Black Rock, and Sawyer and his group were in the correct time period to possibly encounter them. Damon Lindelof, executive producer of the show and the man who holds all the mysteries we’re aching for answers for, has declined to say who was on the boat. How terribly rude.

2. How Did Mother Get To The Island?

Allison Janney had a deeply disturbing arc on Lost, and we honestly don’t talk about it enough as a society. She played Jacob and the Man In Black’s foster mother, who murdered their real mother and raised them on the island. She was the one tasked with protecting the island for a time, but her origin story is unclear. She was on the island long before anyone else, it seems, by thousands of years. But how did she get there? She didn’t seem to be immortal, as the Man In Black eventually killed her, but she still definitely wasn’t a regular human. Allison, answers, please?

1. How Did Eloise Know So Much?

To be fair, we got quite a lot more history of Eloise’s life than we typically did with many other secondary characters on the show. We know that she’s Dan Faraday’s mother, and Charles Widmore is his father. We know she was formerly a leader of the Others, and that she eventually left the island. What remains such a mystery is how she knew so much about what had to happen — she was the one who urged Desmond to follow the path that would one day lead him to the island in the future, but how did she know? How was Eloise so familiar with the ins and outs of time travel, as well as the events of the future and what had to happen to make everything work out? We may never know.

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