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The Orchid
Last seen
Constructed by
Controlled by
6 of 6
Exotic matter study
Experiments in space and time
Disguised as a botanical research station
Discovered by
Locke & Hurley (Day 100)

The Temple


The Orchid is the name given to a DHARMA Initiative station dedicated to time travel research, under the guise of being a botanical research station. The true station is located in an underground chamber beneath a greenhouse, and draws energy for its experiments from the same anomalous energy source as the frozen wheel. The Orchid is located several hours north or northwest of the survivors' camp, and is found fairly close to the remnants of the statue of Taweret.




Early civilization

The site the Orchid was built upon appears to have had special significance throughout the early history of the Island. The existence of the well and wheel chamber suggest that the Island's early inhabitants were aware of the energy pocket's existence and had figured out a way to tap into it. The Orchid was later built over this location, although it is unclear what, if anything, DHARMA knew of these older structures. ("There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3")  ("This Place Is Death")

DHARMA Initiative

The construction of the Orchid. ("Because You Left")

The DHARMA Initiative somehow detected the pocket of anomalous energy beneath this sector of the Island and began construction of the station sometime before 1977. From the outset, the Orchid's purpose was to find a way to tap into the energy pocket as a means of allowing the Initiative to manipulate time. By 1977, the Orchid was largely taking shape: the general framework for the greenhouse, the elevator and the initial part of the tunnel system had all been developed.

Dr. Chang was in charge of overseeing construction at the Orchid. He immediately dropped everything he was doing to visit the station after a drilling accident was reported. Upon arriving at the station, Dr. Chang found that one of the workers had collapsed while drilling into the rock according to his specs. The drill itself had melted. Chang ordered the workers to cease drilling immediately -- as drilling any further into the chamber inside could release the "limitless" energy beyond. He appeared highly concerned that the release this energy would have serious consequences. ("Because You Left")  ("The Variable")

Previous to the drilling accident, Miles and Hurley visited the station, bringing the corpse of a dead DHARMA worker to Dr. Chang at Horace's request from the Swan site. The body was unloaded upon arrival and taken inside the station. Exactly why the workman's body was brought here under such secrecy or what was done with it afterwards are unclear. ("Some Like It Hoth")

The Others

The Others likely gained control of the Orchid after the Purge although likely left it in an abandoned state. Ben clearly was familiar with the operation of the station, although viewed the experiments being carried on here by DHARMA as "silly." Per Ben's actions, it appears the Others likely knew of the existence and function of the wheel chamber. ("There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3")

Recent events

The Orchid was briefly inhabited by Keamy and his men ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 1") in an attempt to capture Ben. The station was last seen on December 30, 2004 from Ben's perspective as he turned the giant frozen wheel beneath the station to "move" the Island. On turning the wheel, a bright white light surged outwards across the entirety of the Island and a humming (similar to that of the discharge) was heard. ("There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3")

Orientation videos

Introduction and presentation

Outtakes from the Orchid's orientation film were introduced by producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse as a teaser for Season 4 at the Lost panel at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con and later on the Region 1 Season 3 DVD release. The video is presented by Edgar Halliwax. According to the video, the Orchid, or "Station 6", is a fake botanical station that houses many numbered white rabbits. It seems to have an alarm system with elements similar to that of the Swan. The subject of the Orchid's research is described as "highly volatile and potentially dangerous", and reference is made to the Casimir effect.

Before the video played, Lindelof and Cuse recounted a story in which the film was sent to them after being found in a building in Narvik, Norway that was set to be demolished (possibly the Hanso Foundation headquarters). The film was then purportedly spliced together and restored by the writers.

Implications of the film

  • In the film, Edgar Halliwax specifically mentions the Island's creation of a "Casimir effect". The appearance of such a pointed reference implies that the Orchid plays a specific role in the unique space/time properties of the Island (see wormholes).
  • The mention of 'negatively charged exotic matter' is something of a misnomer, more likely referring to 'negative density' exotic matter, like the oft-referenced theoretical particle known as the tachyon. These theoretical particles possess a 'negative energy density' or more appropriately, a negative mass, and are necessary to stabilize the event horizon of a wormhole enough for an object to pass through it. That the Casimir effect is also mentioned is significant insofar as the Casimir effect can lead to areas of space possessing negative mass density, and thus areas of space-time that could support the event horizon of a wormhole.
  • Hidden messages in the film:
  1. 0:40 - The Lab in the video
  2. 0:49 - A tower block which is also seen in the Swan Orientation film
  3. 1:09 - "God loves you as he loved Jacob" (as seen in the Room 23 video)
  4. 1:42 - Video of a bicycle which is also seen in the Barracks video

The station

Orchid well

The well ("This Place Is Death")

Before DHARMA's arrival on the Island, a stone well was constructed near the site. The well was composed of stone blocks with a rope descending into the depths providing access to the wheel chamber. ("This Place Is Death") The well's exact origins remain unknown. When Sawyer's group time flashed to before the well was built, the statue of Taweret was visible from the future site of the well. ("LaFleur")

The well, albeit in a collapsed state and no longer providing access to the wheel chamber, continued to exist into the 1970s. ("LaFleur") Charlotte was also familiar with it from her childhood. ("This Place Is Death") Likely the collapsed well still exists close to the Orchid in 2007.


The Orchid's greenhouse ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 1")

From the outside, the Orchid appears to be a large greenhouse containing a wide variety of plants growing on various trellises. About twenty-seven years after its construction, the station appears to be completely abandoned, having sustained substantial damage and been overgrown by the jungle. Vines climb up the exterior frame, stairs and support beams. ("There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3")

Greenhouse station concept art [source needed]

Inside an alcove near the north wall of the station is a hidden switch that activates an elevator providing access to the true station deep underground. Ben told Locke:

You're going to go into that greenhouse through that hole there. Once inside, you're going to turn left. Go about 20 paces until you see a patch of anthuriums on your left. They're in an alcove against the north wall. Face that wall, reach down with your left hand, you'll find a switch that activates the elevator. The elevator takes you down to the actual Orchid station.

("There's No Place Like Home, Part 1")

Hidden laboratory

Inside the actual station ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 1")

At the bottom of the elevator shaft is a short corridor with several adjacent rooms, and a large area containing electronic equipment, a number of desks, and rabbit cages. Among the electronic equipment is a television and VCR which Locke used to watch the station's orientation video. A heavy parka belonging to "Dr. Halliwax" was found nearby in a locker. ("There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3")

Issue #19 of Lost: The Official Magazine shows some production stills of various locations within the Orchid. The stills show:

  • A testing laboratory with beakers
  • A machine labeled 'MAGNETRON TRANSMITTER'
  • An office-space
  • A chalkboard on which a maintenance schedule is written:
    • Monday: Emergency Lighting(?)
    • Tuesday: Water Pumps
    • Wednesday: Electronic Generators(?)
    • Thursday: Air Conditioning
    • Friday: Oil Pumps
    • Saturday: Backup Systems
    • Sunday: Station wide PA
  • Folders labelled 'VTS4 Procedures'


Adjacent to the main room is an oval-shaped chamber with an unusual shielded door known as "the vault", where the Initiative conducted space-time experiments. In the orientation video, Dr. Edgar Halliwax states that the experiment will displace a rabbit in time by 100 milliseconds, and that no metallic objects are to be placed within the vault. A set of controls in the main room appear to tap somehow into the energy pocket.

Judging by the original video, which was said by the writers to be "out-takes" of the real video, the equipment does indeed function, but often has unpredictable results.

Wheel chamber

Main article: Frozen wheel

To gain access to the wheel chamber, Ben piled everything metallic he could find into the vault and activated the controls. The resulting explosion blew a hole through the back wall of the vault into a previously hidden tunnel. It is unclear where the tunnel originates, but the architecture suggests it may have been built about the same time as the Temple and tunnels beneath the Barracks. At the end of the tunnel, an old ladder leads down to the entrance of the wheel chamber, sealed by ice.

Breaking through, one emerges into the wheel chamber: a small icy cavern with hieroglyphs carved into several surfaces. A small lantern hangs on one wall. One entire wall is taken up by a large stone wheel set into a rock wall and encased in ice. Turning the wheel appears to somehow activate the energy pocket resulting in a movement of the entire Island in space and time. Movement also sets off a reaction similar to the discharge.

Notable visitors

Picture Name First visit Last visit Reason for Visit
Pierre Chang "There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3" "The Variable" Was seen in the station's orientation film. Also came to the station under construction to inspect a problem.
Keamy "There's No Place Like Home, Part 1" "There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3" Led the mercenaries to the greenhouse to ambush Ben; later followed him to the hidden section, where Ben killed him
Omar "There's No Place Like Home, Part 1" "There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3" Traveled there with the mercenary team
Ben "There's No Place Like Home, Part 1" "There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3" Used the frozen wheel to move the Island and was transported to Tunisia in 2005
Locke "There's No Place Like Home, Part 1" "This Place Is Death" Traveled with Ben to move the Island and said goodbye to him and returned during the time flashes to stop the Island's moving
Hurley "There's No Place Like Home, Part 1" "Some Like It Hoth" Traveled there with Ben and Locke
Jack "There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3" "There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3" Went to find Hurley, and argued with Locke
Sawyer "There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3" "This Place Is Death" Accompanied Jack to find Hurley and returned with Locke during the time flashes to stop the Island's moving
Daniel "Because You Left" "The Variable" Visited The Orchid after returning from Dharma headquarters in Ann Arbor.
Jin "This Place Is Death" "This Place Is Death" Followed Locke during the time flashes to stop the Island's moving
Miles "This Place Is Death" "The Variable" Followed Locke during the time flashes to stop the Island's moving
Juliet "This Place Is Death" "This Place Is Death" Followed Locke during the time flashes to stop the Island's moving


Unanswered questions

Unanswered questions
  1. Do not answer the questions here.
  2. Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
More details...
For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: The Orchid/Theories
  • Who constructed the well and wheel chamber?
    • When were they built?
    • What happened to the well?
  • Was the DHARMA Initiative aware of the ancient structures at the site?
  • Why did DHARMA feel the need to conceal the true purpose of the Orchid?
  • Why was Alvarez brought to the Orchid, and what was done with his body?

External links

  • The Orchid Orientation Video - This version lacks the profanity and countdown alarm sound.
  • The Orchid Orientation Video from Comic Con audience - This version includes the profanity and countdown alarm sound, as well as the reactions of the audience.
  • Lost Panel Video
  • Casimir effect (Wikipedia)
  • Exotic matter (Wikipedia)
  • TheTailSection - video of Lost Panel at Comic Con 2007, including short statement about the Orchid video. (may contain other spoilers)

This article uses material from the "The Orchid" article on the Lostpedia wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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