Lost Numbers Day

It’s official, those numbers have returned…but I lost a day so lets make up for it now!

Yesterday, April 8th 2015, marked Lost Numbers Day…a day when the Lost hatch numbers fell back into alignment.

4   8   15   16   23   42

If you don’t recognize those numbers let me explain.

Lost (2004–2010) was a television series, created by J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof, about the aftermath of a plane crash on a mysterious tropical island somewhere in the South Pacific.

So why was April 8th 2015 Lost Number Day?

April 8th 2015
April 8th 2015

The first three numbers in the sequence relate to the fourth month (April), the day (8th) and the year (2015) but how do you explain the next three numbers? Well it’s the time 16:23:42 as shown in 24 hour clock mode as the Hour:Minutes:Seconds

The Numbers

In 1988, slightly more than 16 years before the crash of Oceanic Flight 815, Danielle Rousseau’s science team picked up a mysterious short-wave transmission from the island. The transmission was merely six numbers repeated over and over again: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42. She wasn’t the only one who heard them. The same transmission was also picked up by a U.S. Navy long wave transmission monitoring station where Leonard Simms and Sam Toomey worked.

Number 4
But what do the numbers mean?

Sam Toomey used the numbers to win a $50,000 (Australian) prize for guessing the exact number of beans in a jar — no one had come even close to the correct number in the 40 years the contest was running. After that, bad things started to happen to those around Sam Toomey. He moved to the middle of nowhere to try and limit the damage, but eventually he killed himself with a shotgun to make the bad things stop.

Leonard Simms wound up at the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute, where he met Hugo “Hurley” Reyes. Leonard kept repeating the numbers over and over, and they eventually became ingrained in Hurley’s mind. Hurley played the numbers in a lottery which hadn’t had a winner for 16 weeks. He won 114 million dollars. After that, bad things seemed to happen to those around him too, but in a way that made him profit and those numbers would keep turning up in unusual places continuing to haunt him.

The numbers were discovered in a station on the island.
The numbers were discovered in a station on the island.

Hurley became convinced that the numbers were cursed, so he went to see Leonard, and eventually he found Sam Toomey’s house in Australia and learned about the transmission but nothing more. He headed back home to Los Angeles on Oceanic flight 815, which departed from gate 23 on what was planned to be a 16-hour long flight departing at 2:15 P.M. and landing in Los Angeles at 10:42 P.M. Spot any of those numbers in there again?!

On the Lost island, occupants of the Swan station followed a protocol in which they typed a sequence into a computer every 108 minutes. Typing these numbers and pressing “execute” (a.k.a. pushing the button) on the keyboard discharged an electromagnetic buildup, continually averting worldwide catastrophe. Interestingly, if you add the numbers together their entire sum is 108.

Later in the show, the numbers reappear. Each number corresponds to one of the airplane crash survivors on the island who become known as the final candidates to replace Jacob as protector of the Island. Jacob observed these candidates using a lighthouse. The lighthouse’s mirrors displayed a different candidate’s life with each degree that its dial turned. The numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 corresponded with what turned out to be the final six candidates:-

4 – Locke   8 – Reyes   15 – Ford   16 – Jarrah   23 – Shephard   42 – Kwon

12 thoughts on “Lost Numbers Day”

  1. Wow, what a fantastic and creative take on the assignment. I find this whole explanation very cool and also very enlightening – now I understand what the whole series was about! I started watching it but never finished it (unfortunately) but now I’m really tempted to do it. Great post 🙂


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