The Missing Lost World: Jurassic Park Detail That Bothers Fans

Ah Jurassic Park. You can hear John Williams' resplendent theme music already, can't you? Well, after the wild success of the first film back in 1993, Michael Crichton, the author of the original book, was under pressure to deliver a second chapter of dino action. So in 1995, The Lost World arrived on bookshelves everywhere, with Steven Spielberg directing the movie adaptation, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, in 1997.

The story revolved around John Hammond's nephew taking over the nefarious company, InGen, intending to set up a small Jurassic Park in San Diego using genetically engineered dinosaurs that were hidden on a second island, Isla Sorna. However, it wasn't as well-received as the iconic first film, with Roger Ebert criticizing it for being "written on autopilot." Ouch — that's got to hurt more than a velociraptor bite. But it's easy to see what he means, with certain elements of the movie not making much sense aside from delivering fast-paced action sequences to recreate the magic from the first film.

One such moment toward the movie's finale — just before a T-Rex gets loose in the streets of San Diego — has confused fans for over two decades. How exactly did the entire crew of the boat die on the way to the city?

Maybe the T-Rex isn't the culprit

When InGen loaded the tranquilized T-Rex onto the cargo ship, it's surprising nobody stopped to wonder whether this was a recipe for disaster. Because lo and behold, the ship crashes into the docks and unleashes the prehistoric predator on the world. Then, the entire crew is found dead on the ship, with a severed hand still clutching the controls on the bridge. As a Reddit post pointed out, the T-Rex was locked away in a cage before the crash, and the dinosaur was so large that maneuvering around the ship while trying to munch the crew would be very difficult.

Many fans suggested that raptors attacked the boat before it left Isla Sorna, mainly because the T-Rex would've been too big to attack the bridge of the ship, leaving behind that dangling hand. But surely that would mean the vicious hunters would still be on board by the time the boat arrived in San Diego. And if there were a handful of velociraptors hunting civilians, that should've definitely stayed in the movie.

There's some debate online over whether footage left on the cutting room floor would've explicitly explained the death of the crew. But of all the deleted scenes seemingly confirmed from The Lost World, a raptor boat attack isn't one of them. Another theory suggests that John Hammond hired a team of mercenaries to assassinate the crew as part of InGen's coverup of the incident. But there's some serious narrative legwork to be done in making that convincing. How would the mercenaries escape the rampaging T-Rex? Whose idea was it to frame the dinosaurs for the killings? That's some heavy conjecture.

Or maybe it's just a simple scene meant to underscore the idea that the T-Rex got loose... It seems we'll never know.