What Do the Spots on Lucas' Back in 'The Impossible' Mean?

What Do the Spots on Lucas’ Back in ‘The Impossible’ Mean?

What Do the Spots on Lucas’ Back in ‘The Impossible’ Mean?


In the movie ‘The Impossible’, a powerful and harrowing account of a family’s experience during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Lucas, the youngest of the family, develops mysterious spots on his back. These spots play a significant role in the film, leaving viewers wondering about their meaning and significance. In this article, we will explore the possible explanations behind the spots on Lucas’ back and what they might symbolize.

The Physical Reality of the Tsunami

The first and most straightforward explanation for the spots on Lucas’ back is rooted in the physical reality of the tsunami itself. During the tsunami, many survivors were exposed to debris, contaminated water, and various substances that could have caused skin irritation or allergic reactions. These spots could simply be a manifestation of a physical response to the traumatic events that Lucas and his family endured.

An Emotional Manifestation

Beyond the physical aspect, the spots on Lucas’ back could also be seen as an emotional manifestation. Traumatic events can often have a profound impact on individuals, leading to physical symptoms that mirror their emotional distress. In the case of Lucas, the spots on his back could symbolize the overwhelming fear, anxiety, and guilt he experienced during the tsunami.

A Symbol of Survival

Another interpretation of the spots on Lucas’ back is that they symbolize his survival and resilience. Despite the unimaginable devastation around him, Lucas manages to overcome numerous obstacles and find his family amidst the chaos. The spots on his back could serve as a visual reminder of his strength and ability to endure.

A Metaphor for the Invisible Wounds

The spots on Lucas’ back could also be interpreted as a metaphor for the invisible wounds that survivors carry with them long after the physical scars have healed. Just as the spots remain on Lucas’ back, the trauma of the tsunami lingers within him, impacting his emotions and overall well-being. This interpretation highlights the lasting effects of such a traumatic event and the importance of healing and resilience.


While ‘The Impossible’ offers no explicit explanation for the spots on Lucas’ back, their presence adds depth and complexity to the character’s journey. Whether seen as a physical manifestation, an emotional symbol, a testament to survival, or a metaphor for invisible wounds, the spots serve as a reminder of the lasting impact of traumatic events and the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity. As viewers, we are left to ponder the significance of these spots and reflect on the broader themes of the film.


1. What are the spots on Lucas’ back in ‘The Impossible’?

The spots on Lucas’ back in ‘The Impossible’ are the result of a condition called cutaneous larvae migrans, also known as “creeping eruption.”

2. How is cutaneous larvae migrans caused?

Cutaneous larvae migrans is caused by the migration of parasitic hookworm larvae beneath the skin.

3. What are the symptoms of cutaneous larvae migrans?

Symptoms of cutaneous larvae migrans include itchy, raised red tracks or lines on the skin that may appear to be moving.

4. How does one acquire cutaneous larvae migrans?

Cutaneous larvae migrans is acquired by walking barefoot on soil or sand contaminated with hookworm larvae.

5. Can cutaneous larvae migrans be transmitted from person to person?

No, cutaneous larvae migrans cannot be transmitted from person to person.

6. Is cutaneous larvae migrans a serious medical condition?

Cutaneous larvae migrans is generally considered a mild condition that resolves on its own without treatment within a few weeks.

7. What can be done to relieve the itching caused by cutaneous larvae migrans?

To relieve itching caused by cutaneous larvae migrans, over-the-counter anti-itch creams or oral antihistamines can be used.

8. Are there any preventive measures to avoid getting cutaneous larvae migrans?

To prevent cutaneous larvae migrans, it is important to avoid walking barefoot in areas known to be infested with hookworm larvae, such as sandy beaches or contaminated soil.

9. Can cutaneous larvae migrans occur in other parts of the body?

Yes, cutaneous larvae migrans can occur in other parts of the body besides the back, such as the feet, hands, buttocks, or thighs.

10. When should one seek medical attention for cutaneous larvae migrans?

Medical attention should be sought if the symptoms of cutaneous larvae migrans persist or worsen, or if there are signs of infection, such as increased redness, swelling, or pus.