What is your favourite conspiracy theory that explains the mysteries of the ABC television series, Lost?

The vast number of mysteries on Lost have spawned some great conspiracy theories, ranging from the common (everyone on the plane actually died and the island is purgatory) to the not-so-common (the island is actually located inside a snow globe that is owned by an alien child, and the tension is caused whenever the child shakes the globe). Yet some of them are fascinating, and could be pointing to the answers that may help us understand this cryptic and terrific show.

I’m the author of Finding Lost: The Unofficial Guide, an in-depth look at the show’s many mysteries and references. I’ve also written books on Buffy, Alias, Angel, and Xena, and I’m currently working on Finding Lost — Season Three: The Unofficial Guide, for publication in October 2007. You can read my regular television writing on my blog at nikkistafford.blogspot.com.


Yahoo! Canada Answers staff note: Read more about Nikki Stafford and Lost on our blog: http://ca.blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-OaJuSk4oRKeurd33...

Update 2:

Just a note: I'm not asking necessarily for what your theory is, but what your favorite one has been. Have you heard a particular theory that was so off the wall you couldn't stop laughing... and then thought, "Whoa. What if they're right?"

38 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I wish I could say I have this whole thing figured out, but that would ruin the fun of watching this fantastic show! I have faith that JJ, Damon,Carlton, and others have a great surprise (probably many) in store for fans.

    One thing I believe is that "the Others" are sterile. I can't say why they would be exactly (maybe due to the magnetic force) but that would explain why they have such a strange interest in taking the survivors' children (and attempted abduction of Aaron). That would also explain Juliette's seemingly high position of authority with "the Others" with her profession being a fertility doctor.

    I think this island is like a Bermuda triangle kind of place, a place with unexplainable power, and figuring it out is the key to solving the mystery of Lost. It appears to draw people to it, and have some sort of consciousness - a psychic energy. It also seems to be able to "hide" itself, and prevent people from leaving it. It obviously has housed ancient civilizations, and can heal people (Locke's paralysis and Rose's cancer). It can possibly even protect itself (the Monster). Perhaps the power of this place is what drew the researchers there originally - maybe it can boost a person's existing psychic powers? Maybe the island is the enemy "the Others" refer to - maybe it is responsible for making people sick, if that ever truly happened, perhaps out of punishment... Or perhaps it isn't the island at all, and instead is some sort of spirit(s) haunting the island. Or maybe its more scientific and everyone on the island is actually ill and what we've been seeing are mass hallucinations caused by it.

    Like I said, I haven't figured this out in the least - but I'm glad I haven't - I'm just enjoying the ride! Can't wait for the show's return!!!!

    BTW, Nikki, I'm a big fan of Buffy and Angel too!!!! (Well, anything by Joss Whedon actually, I think he's a genius).

  • 1 decade ago

    My favourite theory was that everyone is in purgatory, and must find peace with their past through their experiences on the island -- so when a character "dies", they've found peace.

    This idea was bourne out by the way Boone died, and by the surreal and cathartic experiences on the island. It also explained why sailing away from the island brought you back to it -- it's not really in the world.

    Sadly, this has been shot down by the producers confirming that it's not true! Also some of the character deaths haven't been after particularly major developments in their stories; for example, the two tailies Michael shot were dispatched without much fanfare and without major personal change immediately beforehand.

    I also used to suspect that the island was radically further North than the characters think, especially given the polar bear and the radio signals in the North Atlantic, but since they've explained the presence of the bears that idea doesn't have any particular strength.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think that the original people on the island were a part of a study to see how people reacted to different stimuli - being alone, feeling like they're being watched, how they act and re-act to others in a situation without outside influences and such. I think it was like a kind of scientific fish bowl or hamster cage. How long will someone keep pushing a button if they're told it will save the world if they have no proof that it actually does anything? I think that somehow, the scientists have found a way to cause mass hallucination - which seems very real - but isn't. There may be drugs involved - like the injections or in the food. I think the experimenting has been going on for a long time - perhaps with people in same families - like father/son/grandson, that sort of thing. Maybe the people on the island now had their circumstances manipulated to get them in the right place at the right time, and the plane didn't really crash - could be that it was made to look that way to give the people currently being "experimented on" a plausible explanation as to why they were on the island in the first place. Some of the wacky stuff - like with the others - could be because of people just cracking under the pressure. Cheese just slides right off their cracker one day, and suddenly they're painting diagrams in glow in the dark paint and running through the bushes trying to carry people off...

  • 1 decade ago

    This is an interesting exercise. What I love about "Lost" is that neither faith nor science can fully answer the questions posed by the big mystery or the characters involved. And that relates to one of the series episode titles: "Man of Science, Man of Faith." I believe that "Lost"'s aim is to conflate the conflicting concepts of destiny, predestination, faith, science, superstition, aetheism, birth, death, and rebirth and see what the result is. Can human society live by one set of principles alone? The DHARMA initiative (Dharma being a Buddhist/Hindu concept in which our actions in life determine whether or not we attain freedom in death from the eternal cycle of rebirth) appears to create an environment for these people, from which there is no escape until certain actions they perform release them (e.g. Eko) from the ghosts haunting them.

    The cool thing about this show is the fact that the producers (this is speculative) must have sat down and pitched it as a science-fiction meets fantasy show. There's a little bit of Survivor in there, a little bit of Lord of the Flies, a little of The Island of Dr. Moreau, and a little Greek mythology, a little religion, a little ER, and it's all stirred up with a big stick!

    What's bothering me is the dropped thread of story about the men in the South Pole (or Artic, not sure), checking the geomagnetic waves, and calling Penny. Perhaps that's the scientific aspect of it, because viewers were being led down the wrong path by too much focus on the faith/superstition aspect of the storyline. However, I don't believe the final unveiling of the mystery will be something concrete (like a golden egg in a treasure box, or a big evil man stroking a furry cat). I believe the answer will be abstract, and the true solutions of the mystery will lie in the resolution of the conflicts within each character, and the coming together of these characters once they realize that their lives are all interconnected.

    I think the numbers are a massive red herring in terms of figuring out the mystery, Hurley winning the lottery was pure coincidence, and there is a powerful geomagnetic force under the earth that is regulated by the code of numbers. The geomagnetic force also explains why Des came back -- because the ocean currents only move in circles around the island, never away. As for the Others, I think they're the first generation of people who were brought to the island to be experimented on and studied. They were once just like the Losties (I guess they would be the Others to the Others if you know what I mean, hehe.) They are definitely infertile, and it may be a product of the part of the island they were brought to/dropped on. One side of the island is toxic (hence Ben's tumour), while the other side is healing (hence Rose's recovery). It's the yin-yang aspect of everything on that island.

    So final conclusion: not a one ring to rule them all theory, but a larger, more layered theory about the complexity of human existence and of living together in this day and age with all our conflicting beliefs about science and god, painful past experiences, and future hopes. It's a metaphysical theory, not a concrete one. It's a thinking person's theory.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I've had a few of my own which I thought to be pretty good. I thought from early on that the numbers were the formula for fate and the entire show was partly designed to explain god as a universal force as opposed to a single person or being. Like when Hurley used the numbers to win the lottery, he cheated fate. And now every time something good happens to him, fate makes something bad happen around him to create balance (ties into idea of black/white and good/evil as well as when Locke told Charlie he could get his guitar back if he gave the island something, possible the lord giveth and the lord taketh away). I also think that both Walt and Aaron are manifestations of the numbers and which is why Walt had "good luck" and exhibited special abilities. Would also explain why aaron was seemingly an emaculate birth (birthed by the numbers) and why Walt show little emotion when his mother died (no attachment). A current theory is that the others are spirits from an anchient civilization that need bodies to inhabit, particularly ones that are young and easily influenced which would also explain the voices out in the jungle. Maybe when Danielle said "The others, it killed them, it killed them all", she wasn't talking of her people but those she calls the others. Might explain how she can tell who is an other.

  • 1 decade ago

    Lost is a GREAT show!

    I feel that maybe a lot of people are reading too much into the show. I don't try to figure all that other stuff out. I just enjoy the show with all the twists and turns. Plus, it's nice that there are some romantic ties happening.

    Writers: Just keep doing what you're doing! The twists and turns will keep people watching as you have spiked curiosity and intrigue among the viewers.

    I await the next season to start so I can sit back, relax and enjoy an hour of GOOD t.v.

  • 1 decade ago

    Nikki, Girl, look at you! On the front of the Yahoo webpage. Big leagues, hon... and they doubted you. Bah! I say to them!

    I like the purgatory theory the best... except that I don't believe in purgatory. But if I did...well, it'd be like Lost. The first poster who gave the give/take response... he's onto something too. Very interesting. I think the whole "human experiment" thing is a cop-out. I will totally be bummed if that's it.

    I'm a lazy Lost-watcher. I don't try to figure it all out, I just watch and enjoy the ride. Ok, maybe I try a little...

    The Neighbour... you know... the one who has your season two dvds. :o)

  • 1 decade ago

    I'd like to think of the Island as a place of Karma. What goes around is coming around full circle. When Mr. Eko died and said "you're next" he was having his personal prophecy fullfilled. Most of these "others" are just like the ones from the plane. They're just been there longer and established a colony. They may be doing what is asked of them by the island as Locke has done in the past by giving Boon's life to the island. I think everyone on the island is there to fulfill their destiny.

    It's just like 6 degrees of separation...most people have been linked to one another in one way or several. I think the writers will start to show pasts of the others linking them to the survivers of the plane crash and show that they've all got connections. I also believe that when Charlie, Eko and Locke didn't press the button another plane crashed and we'll see those "survivors" in the future.

    I also think the children on the island are being groomed for the future generation of those who will serve the island.

    The numbers almost seem like the never ending mathimatical equation of pie. They seem to link everyone in existence together through their use.

  • 1 decade ago

    My theory (so far) is that 'the Others' purposely made the plane to crash in order to have more people join them after mentally breaking their will and spirit. The 'how' the plane crashed is indeed possible since the entire island is in fact a network of research bunkers. They need to kidnap enough man power for a certain unknown project. It was also known to these people there wouldn't be any children on board the flight because it would an unwanted 'x-factor' in their plans.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Ok let's see....I really haven't got a clue though...we spent the entire summer (my kids and I) watching past series (hoping that we missed something that would make it all make sense...this was not the case).

    There's too many weird things happening and too many twists and turns to figure anything out and to tie just one theory in. It's like Sunny said above just as you think you've got it figured out it get's blown out the window! :~)

    Perhaps the future shows will slowly begin to have a direction and start tying things together, but this would point to the end, which I'm not ready for!

    It seems to all point to people having been monitored, held against their will and likely being experimented on.

    So either there is some terrible thing that was let loose, (maybe a space ship landed or a meteorite fell on the island, causing the magnetic problem), and some kind of life form, or organism or entity, came along with it, and it keeps growing and evolving and although it can be threatening and menacing, it can also be communicated with--(maybe this is what John knows?) It might be housed and contained somewhere on the island (by the "others" who originally inhabited the island) and it has some mysterious affect on the people, infecting them, healing them or killing them and it has telepathic powers.

    The "others" could have started experimenting on people who were "infected" trying to find a "cure".

    Maybe it took over the island for self preservation, maybe it needs roots and as it absorbs it learns.

    Maybe the "others" have found a way to control it, involving the counter.

    Maybe the numbers are a self destructive code that the entity entrusted to one of the others, and maybe this code could destroy both the entity and the island or planet, and thus must always be reset.

    Maybe the entity wanted Hurley and others on the plane brought to the island and the numbers were key to drawing them there. They could all have had connections to the numbers even unknowingly.

    The entity might actually be good but is fighting the "others" who are trying to harness it's power or destroy it, or maybe it's only trying to survive and it "takes" the souls of the one's who've died for their knowledge or wisdom.

    It appears the others initially went underground to protect themselves from the entity, and so maybe they realized they could control it somehow through the numbers, and so now the entity is trying to destroy them. Maybe the numbers are a code to blasting off from the island? (see note below)

    A lot of maybes. I don't know...anything is possible at this stage! The show is too bizarre to have any sane and logical conclusion for an ending. It has to be far-fetched. The conclusion can go any which way right now--anything is possible. Guess that will be up to the writers...(who I don't think have an ending just yet!)

    Martin has some interesting ideas and perhaps all those factors could be tied into the plot.

    Hey, Count Pete, I like your ending as the grand finale...kind of like the X-files...the island in the end transports the entity back to space along with it's new "children" to re-create it's planet all over again! LOL

    The entity could be a "spiritirual" remain of some past civilization from outer space that had many similarities to the people of earth. I think it would be neat that John be able to unravel all the secrets and perhaps has known them all along and the entity has been communicating with him, making it's will known.

    I hope you get some good theories that you can tie in together!! :~)


    PS: All I've really heard from people is that they can't follow what's been happening--just basically a lot of head-scratching and wondering if they missed something on past episodes, just as we thought.

    Frankly, my thoughts are just that some pre-historic life form exists on the island, that is maybe the island itself. What if it was so powerful it controlled the earth and all the "Acts of God" that occurred throughout the planet through the ages? The "others" could just be scientists who try to study it and maybe have discovered something crucial about it (the numbers?)

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