It was the most popular plane crash of all time -- and perhaps the most debated.
When Oceanic Flight 815 crashed on the first episode of "Lost" in 2004, a perplexing plot and a mosaic of complex characters -- all with secret pasts -- were thrown together, along with some polar bears on the tropical island and a few miracles. "Lost" sparked an unrivaled cult following.
Far from the island, "Lost" fans Mike Berlin, Alex Green and Aaron Rosenthal are on a survival mission of their own this week: They are attempting a Guinness World Record for the most hours spent watching the supernatural-tinged show.
"We love 'Lost' and for me it remains the only television show I've seen in its entirety," Rosenthal said.
Tonight the men, along with the series' most devoted, will finally get some answers. The series finale premiered tonight at 9 p.m., with a two-hour look back at the making of "Lost" starting at 7 p.m. ET on ABC.
This week at Professor Thom's, a bar in New York City, the men are watching the series over again, making for an "intense refresher" leading up the finale. But the men have more in mind as they watch all 121 episodes with a countdown clock and suited up in Dharma logo uniforms; they're doing it for charity.
Their Lost-A-Thon is taking donations for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, Doctors Without Borders and The Nature Conservancy.
With onlookers at the bar and a live stream on the Internet, the men have gained their own viewership from around the world.
"Greetings UK, Israel, France, bonjour," Green said as he waved to the viewers via Web camera.
The men have more than 50 volunteers keeping track of time, managing their large Twitter following and helping to keep them awake. Their true survival skills have surfaced: jumping jacks and spray bottles to the face help to keep the men coherent and focused.
"I'm surprised how well we've actually done. ... We've had two hours of sleep over the past 61 hours and probably are going to get only one other hour of sleep during the entire 94 hours," Rosenthal said.
'Lost' Fans Will Engage in Discussion Groups, Parties, Lost-A-Thon to Mark End
Berlin said he knew "Lost" fans from around the world would rally around their lost marathon.
"It's a piece of frothy pop culture entertainment, but there's a community aspect to it, like nothing else," he said. "It's kinda neat."
'Lost' in Translation
Taking the show well beyond weekly watch parties, fans of "Lost" formed discussion groups, "Lost" lingo and even online dictionaries. For the first time, average viewers dropped their role as spectators and became theorist and ideologues, debating on the meaning of it all and trying to decipher the often baffling clues.
Weekly viewership was steady at about 18 million in the first season, and more than 23 million watched the premiere of the second season.
"We've known these characters for upwards of six years. And you really learn to follow them; you understand what their motives are, why they do what they do," Rosenthal said.
Berlin, Green and Rosenthal have had plenty of time to debate the show's mysteries during their 94 hour "Lost" stint.
"There comes a time all good things must end," Rosenthal said.
CLICK HERE to watch the live Lost-A-Thon stream.
Mitchell Goulding contributed this report.