I have often marveled (pardon the pun) about how objects that have such amazing powers like the Infinity Gems individually and collectively manage to evade being found by people with cosmic awareness, psychic powers, superior senses and highly advanced technology?

Infinity Gems

Each of these gems allow people to use powers that can potentially alter reality, yet none of them have any kind of energy signature, radiation profile, space-time disruption wake? Even in the current Marvel Universe Earth #616, all of the Infinity Gems are held by metahumans ON EARTH.

How did Thanos ever manage to find them in the first place to create the Infinity Gauntlet? Yes, he did know where the Soul Gem was when he and Warlock worked together.

  • But how did he even know the others existed?
  • Who told him? Or did he just deduce their existence somehow?
  • And how did he find them in the entire wide Universe of places they could be?
  • Did he have an Infinity Gem detector (a la Dragonball radar)?
  • Is there an Infinity Gem carrying case that makes them unable to be detected?
  • 4
    Perhaps they use their own powers to hide from searchers.
    – Oldcat
    Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 18:56
  • Actually, Thanos and Warlock don't work together until after Thanos had already acquired and subsequently lost the Infinity Gauntlet.
    – Raj
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 14:37
  • 1
    Is it just me, or are the colors completely wrong in the graphic above? Did Disney/Marvel change the color/function combination for their MCU, or is the graphic above just plain wrong? Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 15:34
  • MCU used difference colours that in comics. Space: blue, Mind: yellow, Reality: red, Power: purple, Time: green and Soul: orange.
    – Oni
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 17:35

3 Answers 3


I can't speak to whether or not the Gems are detectable by other means, but I know Thanos in particular managed to discover their existence and who had them by using Death's Infinity Well shortly after he was resurrected (Rebirth of Thanos story arc). The well has unlimited knowledge and thus can answer any and all questions asked of it. Once he knew who possessed them, he tracked each owner down and cunningly tricked them out of their Gems in The Thanos' Quest.


I'm not sure of the exact issue but I think the second story arc in the heroic age Avengers run the Red Hood uses a detector to find the Reality Stone left behind hidden in the walls of Attilan before Black Bolt died. When Tony Stark finds the detector he mentions that it's a combination of different organizations secret technology. This would make your question even more of a stumper as it seems the gems are traceable with technology so certainly a cosmic being or psychic would be able to locate them.

  • This sort of answers the question but doesn’t at the same time, could you edit it to be more focused
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 22:12
  1. They are a well kept secret in Universe 616. Those that know the secret, guard it jealousy to prevent others from seeking them out. For the most part, no one even knew they were so powerful. Heck, The Champion (an elder) thought the power gem was a lucky charm/trinket.
  2. In order to trace them, you 1st must have a good reading to go from and since they are kept secret, only the previous owners might have that information IF they took the time to even collect the readings. Few thought they were much use UNTIL Thanos used them to become God.
  3. Those that do have one, are very powerful in their own right. Taking one from such beings would be a dangerous task.
  4. He Marvel Universe is huge and finding one isn't easy when you have the search the whole universe.

Additional Answers:

  • Thanos did some detective work and searched both the minds and libraries of thousands of world for any information that might give him power. He found a scroll that was written about them. That is how he came to know they existed.
  • During the 1st collection, he (again) did detective work and searched each one out. It isn’t explained how he got the information in the comics, just who/where he did. Later, during the 2nd collection of the soul gems (now infinity gems) he asked the Infinity Well (found in Mistress Death’s abode) and gathered information about the gems, their whereabouts and keepers. The Infinity Well can answer questions but is limited to those that died. Basically, it is the collective knowledge of everyone that mistress death has claimed.
  • Same answer as above, he just did some basic detective work or asked the Infinity Well.
  • No.
  • No.

Warlock V2 No5 Sept 1992

Warlock V2 No5 Sept 1992

Thanos Quest

What is all comes down to is that it's a secret kept by a few beings and they all have a silent agreement to tell no one else about them and destroy any information about them. Anyone can find them, if they try hard enough but few people actually have the power, the means and the intelligence to even use one or take one from someone else.

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