The 10 Coolest Appearances of the Numbers on Lost

By Kevin Guhl in Daily Lists, TV
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 8:15 am
4 8 15 16 23 42... Just what did the Numbers on Lost mean? To the 9,000+ people that recently won with them in New York's Mega Millions Lottery (not to mention God knows how many people must play the Numbers on a regular basis in lotteries around the world), they obviously meant something. According to the show, they were the numbers of Jacob's Candidates. According to official sources outside the show, they were the Valenzetti Equation, which predicted the end of the world. Why exactly they were being broadcast from a radio tower on the Island we'll probably never know.

Whatever the case, the Numbers were a constant presence on Lost, a core part of the fabric that bound all of its characters together. They were so prevalent that they appeared numerous times throughout the series, popping up again and again, hidden in the background and in unexpected places. Here are the coolest appearances of the Numbers, many of them well-hidden, inserted by the creators of Lost into the show. Thanks to Lostpedia for info and pix.

10) Safety Deposit Box
When Kate was a kid, she and her friend Tom buried a time capsule containing a toy airplane and other random objects from childhood on an August 15 (8/15). Years later, the duo retrieved the time capsule, but Kate soon after got Tom accidentally killed in a police chase. A grief-stricken Kate then went far, far out of her way to retrieve the toy plane from a safety deposit box, #815.

9) Eko's Stick
Mr. Eko was a badass in every way, and his time on the show was cut way too short. One of my greatest wishes is that Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse would detail what their original plan for Eko would have been had the actor not departed the show. A self-made priest, Eko carved many biblical verses into his walking/beatin' stick. One of these was the 23rd Psalm, which speaks of God protecting a believer from the fear of evil, such as how Eko stared the Smoke Monster right in the face. The stick also featured the full sequence of Numbers, of course.

8) Copy Machine
Charlie, fresh out of the rock star lifestyle and still addicted to heroin, meets a rich girl named Lucy and plans a con on her and her father. But he actually falls for her and takes a job working for her father in an effort to become respectable and go straight. Both hilarious and sad, Charlie horribly botches his new job selling C815 copy machines when withdrawal symptoms kick in and he barfs into the copier during a demonstration to clients and then faints.

7) Bunnies
Somebody on Lost Island had a bunch of white bunnies, a box of Sharpies and way too much time on their hands. The Dharma Initiative, as depicted on the show and in Orientation films related to the show, had a penchant for writing the Numbers on rabbits and then subjecting the bunnies to various experiments, possibly including time travel. At one point, two bunnies numbered 15 show up in the lab, suggesting either a "Back to the Future II"-style moment or just that someone lost track of the bunny numbering.

6) Electromagnetic Anomaly
The computer in the Island's Swan station required that the Numbers be typed in every 108 minutes (with 108 being the sum of the Numbers), lest some supposed disaster come to pass. All was well and good for decades, until the Flight 815 survivors showed up. Locke and Desmond decided to see what would happen if the Numbers weren't entered, figuring it was all a psychological experiment. They were wrong, and magnetic energy began to wrench the station apart. Desmond saved the day by activating a fail-safe mechanism, which created a huge discharge of electromagnetic energy. Memorably, the sky turned purple and the Swan imploded, blowing off Desmond's clothes. An off-Island tracking station commissioned by Desmond's long-lost love Penny detected the electromagnetic discharge, which was identified on the tracking station's computer as 7418880 - the product of multiplying the Numbers together! Someone on the Lost writing team had a lot of fun with their calculator.
Tags: Lost
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