What does the green beetle in 1899 mean?

1899 is the series everyone’s raving about. It follows a steamship (Kerberos) filled with a group of European immigrants on a voyage from London to New York. The passengers on board the ship are all running from something and hope that they can start new lives once they land in America. But their trip takes an unexpected turn when they come across another ship (Prometheus) that’s been missing for four months. Suddenly, the passengers find themselves entangled in the biggest mystery of their lives.

Spoilers from 1899 ahead!

When Maura, Eyk, and several other crewmen first step foot on the Prometheus, they notice how everything is in disarray. The ship is deserted, and the telegraph is destroyed. While Eyk finds his deceased daughter’s ribbon, Maura sees a green beetle on the ground. The beetle leads Maura to a cabinet containing a little boy (Fflyn Edwards) inside and then disappears. While all this is happening, a mysterious character named Daniel (Aneurin Barnard) has swum from the Prometheus to the Kerberos.

But this isn’t the last we see of the emerald green beetle. Daniel, the little boy, and even Maura are shown using it for various reasons throughout the season. So, what does the beetle do? What does it mean? Find out the answers to these questions below!

What does the green beetle in 1899 do?

The green beetle is used to lead specific passengers to areas around the Kerberos. It also opens doors. The beetle makes its first appearance when it leads Maura to the little boy in the cabinet on the Prometheus. Daniel uses it later to lure Ada to the main deck on the Kerberos. Eyk finds it on the ground, and it leads him to a shaft located under his bed on the Kerberos. During one scene, it leads the boy and Maura to Eyk’s location on the ship. Daniel, the boy, and Maura also use it to open doors on the ship. For example, Maura and the boy use the beetle to open a secret passageway in a tiled shaft under her bed.

What does the green beetle in 1899 mean?

So, the green beetle is not real. It’s a part of a simulation that Maura and Daniel created to keep their dying son Elliot alive. In episode 8, there’s a flashback to Maura and Elliot having a picnic when Elliot runs up to his mom with a green beetle. He names the beetle Alfred and then tries to put it in a case to keep it, but Maura tells him to let it go. The purpose of this scene was to explain why the beetle was included in the simulation. Elliot liked the green beetle, so Maura decided to add it to her and Daniel’s simulation to make him happy.

1899 is now streaming on Netflix.