Read five popular theories about the spooky, mysterious island on ABC's ''Lost,'' then post your own hypotheis

By Dan Snierson
Updated December 01, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST
Lost: Mario Perez

Five fan theories about ”Lost” — what are yours?

Trapped in the Bermuda Triangle? Frozen in another dimension? Part of an autistic child’s daydream? When it comes to Lost, there is no shortage of conspiracy theories being swapped by fans. Here are five provocative notions floating in cyberspace.

THEORY The survivors actually died in the crash and the island is purgatory.
PLAUSIBILITY (On a scale of 1 to 5) 4
CAST REACTION ”Perhaps they’re all dead, but it isn’t purgatory for everyone,” says Terry O’Quinn (creepy wise man Locke). ”It’s heaven for some and hell for others.”
INFORMED OPINION ”That’s a cool theory,” says Lost mastermind J.J. Abrams, ”but there are people who have died in the plane, so it would have to be a qualified purgatory.”

THEORY There was only one survivor — perhaps Jack — and the island is a dream; other survivors represent aspects of his personality.
CAST REACTION ”It would bum me out if we were someone’s imagination,” says Jorge Garcia (who plays plus-size jokester Hurley). ”It’d be like, ‘Aww, you ruined it!”’
INFORMED OPINION ”That theory is absolutely correct,” says cocreator Damon Lindelof, ”and the character is J.J. Abrams.”

THEORY The island is a giant lab for mad-scientist experimenting, à la The Island of Dr. Moreau.
CAST REACTION ”I’ve considered the possibility that there is some secret-government something going on,” says Evangeline Lilly (leading lady Kate). ”I’ll leave it at that.”
INFORMED OPINION ”It’s a piece of a much bigger picture,” says Abrams. ”It’s not the big answer.”

THEORY A catastrophe has thrown the world upside down and killed the entire population, save for these survivors.
CAST REACTION ”Holy s—!” says Matthew Fox (noble doc Jack). ”Wow, it’s the dawn of a new civilization here. I don’t think that’s the case, but I really like it.”
INFORMED OPINION ”That is absolutely a possibility,” says Lindelof. ”What’s amazing is that we can do an entire season without answering what happened in the outside world.”

THEORY Aliens crashed the plane, placed the survivors in a zoo-like habitat, and now are just screwing with them.
CAST REACTION Says Ian Somerhalder (Boone): ”No.”
INFORMED OPINION ”Isn’t that an episode of The Outer Limits?” says Lindelof. ”I would just say: Don’t feed the Kate.”