After missing a couple of episodes and getting lost, I wasn't able to finish the series when it was first run and now that I've heard about the train wreck that the series turned out to be, I'm not too unhappy about missing out. I am curious about something I did see though. Can somebody please tell me what the black cloud that weaved its way through the jungle in season 1 was supposed to be? It seemed sentient and reactionary. Was it ever explained? (I've looked at a couple of websites with differing suggestions like: It's a monster and It's Death. They don't appear to have a common canon answer)

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    How far did you get into the show?
    – user1027
    Sep 27, 2012 at 20:55
  • @Keen Let's see. There was a polar bear, a crashed plane in a tree, some idols, and the Nubian Guard guy from the Mummy Returns. I popped back in later in the series and saw bunkers, doomsday switches and the sinister group of otherside of the islanders. Sep 27, 2012 at 21:01
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    I'm thinking this may be General Reference: On the Wikipedia page for Lost, just search for "smoke" or "cloud", and you'll have your answer.
    – Izkata
    Sep 27, 2012 at 23:08
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    I do not think it is general reference. I did not know the answer... they strung that series out longer than I had tolarancefor.
    – Chad
    Sep 28, 2012 at 13:03
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    @Chad "General reference" doesn't mean you have to know the answer, it just indicates that a reasonable search can provide a single link that gives the answer.
    – NominSim
    Sep 28, 2012 at 15:20

1 Answer 1


Massive spoilers for the ending of Lost. I'm not going to bother with spoiler tags here.

The Smoke Monster is the adversary and twin brother of Jacob. Jacob is the guardian of the island, and brought the survivors to the island. The Smoke Monster is able to appear as different dead people, in his original form he's just referred to as the Man in Black. In their roles on the island, both Jacob and the Man in Black are immortal, and have been there for millenia. Throughout the series, he uses his smoke monster form and his ability to appear as dead people to manipulate the survivors, especially Locke. His goal was to get off the island, but to do so required killing Jacob, which he accomplished via manipulating Ben Linus. His plan was then foiled by Jack and Kate who were able to turn him into a mortal and kill him.

Massive, in-detail information can be found on his Lostpedia page, although let me know if there is more detail you're looking for.

  • I'm skipping a great deal of detail here, just trying to craft the information to be relevant to someone who watched the first couple of seasons.
    – user1027
    Sep 27, 2012 at 21:16
  • How far along into the series did that detail come to light? Sep 27, 2012 at 21:32
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    @JohnO Yeah. The series was...eratic and disjointed. Actually, Keens response was pretty good. It made more sense than anything else I found. I got my answer. Sep 27, 2012 at 22:49
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    @MajorStackings Some of these details happened in the final few episodes. The reveal that the Smoke Monster was a person was in the finale of the 5th season.
    – user1027
    Sep 28, 2012 at 14:20
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    @JohnO I've filtered out a great deal of tangential information here, trying to boil it down to a short summary of what that thing was. They radically changed its nature in the last season, which complicates such a summary.
    – user1027
    Sep 28, 2012 at 16:45

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