Okay so many many people have been asking questions about the compass. I don't get all the confusion. Even Team Darlton answered the question very strangely. Here's what i think about that damn compass. I have two theories. 1) This one's interesting but i don't like it too much. The compass is one of those phenomena that can't be explained. it is out of this world and is in a continued time loop. (This however doenst make sense as it will continue to degrade until one day it'll just turn to dust and be gone forever, as Richard will hold onto it for 50 years, then give it to locke, then hold on to it for 50 years agian and so on). 2) This one i think makes perfect sense. Richard has a compass. He gives it to locke, who gives it to him in the 1950s. THATS how he recognizes the compass. he has it! he keeps john's compass until he meets him again in 2007, and gives John the compass that he had, not the one locke gave him. Locke gives that compass to a 1950s richard who in turn gives HIS compass, not johns, to john again in 2007. This explains two things, how the compass doesnt degrade into dust (because it's richard's compass every time so it is the same age while john's compass ages with richard and does not time travel a second time), and it explains how richard would know what the compass is. if he didnt own that compass, how would he recognize the compass? anyone agree with this second theory?