Friday, May 21, 2010

LOST: The Beasts That Time Forgot

From the very first episode of LOST there have been many interesting appearances of members of the animal kingdom, in generally an unusual capacity. With the exception of the chicken and the boars, the beasts of LOST seems to play an important role in the island lore. Here are my 6 favorite LOST beasts.


This Mammoth of a bird has appeared several times on the show, usually when Hurley is around. Many still hold out hope of one final appearance. I wouldn't stay perched for that though. Many to this day still debate whether the birds second appearance in Season 2 finale actually has the bird saying Hurley's name. The writer's of the show refuse to answer that question. Funny enough, the fan consensus is yes, it does.
The large bird nicknamed the "Hurley Bird" has a 16-foot wingspan. According to the DVD subtitles, the bird's screeches say "Hurley" in both appearances.
In Australian Aboriginal mythology, Altjira is the sky god of the Arrernte. He was the central god of the Dream time (called Alchera by the Aranda) who created the Earth, then retired to the sky. It is depicted as a large green bird with emu's feet, much like the one seen in "Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1".
After Jin told Hurley a story in Korean while they were camping, Hurley said, "Dude, I love the part about the bird. It was a bird right?" ("Catch-22")
On the March 21, 2008 podcast, Damon Lindelof did not want to comment on the significance of the Hurley bird.
One form of the Egyptian god Horus is a green falcon. This fits with the Egyptian themes of the show.
After Sawyer escaped from his polar bear cage on Hydra Island, he ran past a number of aviary-type cages. Curious???????


The most popular and frequently seen island beast, there isn't much to say that hasn't been said about this one. It's clearly the island Maskot. For the full LOST dossier on the Polar Bear significance see this link:

One can derive all sorts of symbolism relating to the show and it's characters from this one. I would actually say this is my second favorite of the LOST animal kingdom. The most notable....connection this animal has to the island would be the Black Stallion and it's author. Walter Farley, author of The Black Stallion series, also wrote a book about an Island Stallion, who was on an island with a secret valley and tunnels built by Spanish Conquistadors. He also wrote "The Black Stallion and Flame" in which the Black Stallion finds himself on the Island Stallion's island as the result of a plane crash.

Also referred to as, (Latrodectus regina) is a dangerous species of spider found on the Island. Brilliantly used to do away with two characters (Nikki & Paulo) the audience did not respond well to after long demanding them.

Dr. Arzt showed Nikki a female Medusa spider in a jar, one of more than 20 species of insects and arachnids he had collected since crashing on the Island. He explained to her that the Medusa spider was very dangerous and that the female's pheromones were so powerful that, if the jar was opened, every male on the Island would be drawn to her in seconds. When Nikki used the live Medusa spider specimen to attack Paulo she revealed to him that the venom of the Medusa spider wouldn't kill him, but would cause paralysis lasting for approximately 8 hours, so profound that even a doctor wouldn't be able to hear his heartbeat.

Arzt's information about the pheromones was proven correct when multiple male Medusa spiders appeared in the grove following Nikki's release of the female Medusa spider from the jar. Nikki was bitten too, and both Nikki and Paulo subsequently died after being buried alive while paralyzed, having been mistaken for dead by Sawyer and Hurley. Awesome.
The spider used in filming is Argiope appensa which is from a different family of spiders than the genus Latrodectus. The "males" are also females, as the real males are much smaller. Argiope appensa was introduced in Hawaii and is a very common there. It's natural range is in Taiwan and New Guinea. A featurette about the real-world spider handlers used for the filming of Lost is an easter egg in the deleted scenes section of the Lost: The Complete Third Season (DVD)

Sharks have played a subtle, but present role on Lost. A shark with a distinct DHARMA Initiative logo on its tail attacked Sawyer and Michael when they were on the raft. ("Adrift"). A shark with a DHARMA Initiative logo was seen swimming near the four toed statue when the island was submerged.("LA X, Part 1"). The DHARMA Initiative experimented on sharks and dolphins in the aquarium that Jack was imprisoned in the Hydra. ("A Tale of Two Cities") (The World of the Others) The blast door map makes reference to a selective breeding program for Carcharodon carcharias (The Great White Shark). There have also been references to sharks in The Lost Experience. In "The Beginning of the End", in Hurleys Mental institute, there is a picture of a shark drawn on a blackboard. An obvious shout out to JAWS.

Sawyer's killing of the tree frog contrasts with his earlier encounter with the wild boar. After he caught up to the boar that had been tormenting him, he unexpectedly spared its life, contrary to his original plan.
Frogs have been used in the research of electromagnetism, which was a field of study of the DHARMA Initiative and the presumed purpose of the Swan station.
The frog was a symbol of fertility to the ancient Egyptians. In Egyptian mythology, there is a frog-headed goddess named Heqet, meaning "frog". In addition to fertility, she was also closely associated with resurrection. Rebirth, both the literal and figurative sense, is a major theme of Lost.
Although the characters refer to the frog as a "tree frog", which are members of the Hylidae family, the actual species of the frog is Dendrobates auratus, which is a member of the Dendrobatidae family (i.e., poison dart frogs). They are native to Central America but were introduced to Hawaii, where Lost is filmed, as means of controlling the mosquito population.

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