- "There are waters in Nanda Parbat. They've permitted Ra's to live for over a hundred years. And in rare instances, told in legend, those waters have been used to restore the dead to life."
- —Malcolm Merlyn[src]
The Lazarus Pit, historically known as the Fountain of Youth, is a pool of regenerative waters that allowed the user to heal themselves of any wounds, or even prevent aging to a certain extent. The only known pool was owned by Ra's al Ghul before his death, by his predecessors, and lastly by Malcolm Merlyn, and is located within its chamber in Nanda Parbat. This pool in Nanda Parbat has since been destroyed by Nyssa al Ghul as revenge for Malcolm using the Pit to revive Sara Lance without her soul. However, Malcolm later learned of the existence of three other pits.
The pit was once found by Al-Khidr, later being chronicled in the religious text, the Quran. Later in history, in the 5th century BC, the historian Herodotus first wrote about the fountain, the first of many to do so. Nineteen centuries later, the explorer Juan Ponce de León went in search of the fountain, but to no avail.
In late 2014, Nyssa arrived back to inform her father of Malcolm Merlyn's being alive. As she arrived, he stepped out of the fountain from bathing and was clothed.
The following year, after Oliver Queen survived Ra's' stabbing him, he took him to the Lazarus Pit to explain what would be in store for him if he took his place as Ra's al Ghul. Later, after Ra's cut himself on Nyssa's blade, he healed the wound in the pool.
After being stabbed by Ra's, Thea was taken to the hospital by Oliver, where the doctors were unable to restore her back to normal health as she was put on life support. Malcolm and Oliver agreed to take Thea to Nanda Parbat, where she was healed in a ceremony with the Pit. Upon being submerged in the water, she gained temporary enhanced strength and agility, as well as animalistic aggression. The second she woke under the water, she tore away the ropes on her hands and feet and out of the hands of Diggle, Maseo, Oliver, and Malcolm, with inhuman ease and speed. She angrily screamed as she leaped at least 30 feet from the bottom of the pit and kicked Oliver down. She then proceeded to land on the floor in a cat-like manner and pounce on Oliver, only to be pulled off by the League members present, as she had seemingly lost her enhanced abilities upon leaving the water, though not her mindless aggression, and was injected with a sedative that neutralized her.
Malcolm used the pit to resurrect Sara Lance. After a disgusted Nyssa was forced to watch, Nyssa destroyed the pit, preventing Malcolm from using it any further. After this loss, Malcolm went into deep research to discover more such water, forming the Thanatos Guild and with their help discovered the existence of three other pools scattered across the world.
Powers and abilities
- Longevity: The Lazarus Pit has the ability to delay a person's aging, allowing them to retain their health, physical prowess, and youthful appearance throughout this usage and likewise enables them to extend their lifespan at least for hundreds of years.
- Healing: The water also is able to instantaneously heal all the user's previous wounds with no lingering signs; to which it can also restore one who is close to death.
- Resurrection: The waters can even resurrect the dead, but only the body, while the soul stays apart from the body. This leaves the resurrected person a mindlessly aggressive animal, prone to violence and killing.
- Enhanced physical conditioning: Usage of the water also increases one's physical abilities to superhuman levels, as the disoriented Thea was seen jumping 30 feet into the air after her submergence and pounced on Oliver with ease. However, this effect appears to be temporary.
Those who are resurrected in the Lazarus Pit gain a feral bloodlust.
Despite the pit's immense restorative powers, it is not without limits and drawbacks. Apparently, the pit gradually loses its potency on an individual after an unknown number of repeated uses—each use is less effective than the last. In addition, usage of the pit can have a negative effect on the user's mental state, causing heightened aggression. When used on the dying, the revived person becomes mindlessly violent for a short period, after which they become disoriented, even having their memories mixed up.
According to Malcolm Merlyn, this mental state happens because the Lazarus Pit contains traces of the souls of every person who has ever bathed in its waters. Those revived near or from death become so consumed by these negative effects that they become bloodthirsty once excited in battle. By giving into this impulse and killing, the person's bloodlust will subside for about a month. The longer a person goes without satisfying this bloodlust in any form, the more easily enraged into a psychotic frenzy the person becomes, as Thea demonstrated when she viciously pummeled a man who bothered her. Only by killing the one who hurt them before entering the pit will the person be truly released from their bloodlust. In addition, if the bloodlust is not satiated in any form for a prolonged period of time, the restored life will begin to fade, leaving the person weaker and sickly before ultimately dying from a reemergence of the very injury that leads to the person's demise.
This bloodlust is even worse for one who was resurrected. While physically their being is restored, their soul remains missing, leaving them mindless savages with only fragmented memories and mental capacities to their former self, making their insanity and desire for murder all the more consuming. Only with a mystical restitutionism to recover the mindless reanimated's soul can allow for their true and complete resurrection, restoring them to as they were and without the need for killing, though the desire can still appear.
The only known way to permanently remove both the desire and need for killing is to be injected with a mysterious elixir called the Lotus. There is a way to destroy the Lazarus Pit's waters. Nyssa's father, Ra's al Ghul, found a way to destroy it in case the waters ever fall into the wrong hands, of which Nyssa clearly knew, as she destroyed the Pit in Nanda Parbat after it was used to bring Sara back to life.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Arrow: The Dark Archer
- "Betrayal" (flashback; Ashkiri temple)
- "Sacrifice" (mentioned)
- "Vengeance" (flashback; Ashkiri temple)
- "Reckoning" (mentioned)
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, there is more than one Lazarus Pit as they are located all over the world, like its DC comics version, in the Arrowverse, the Lazarus Pit's waters allow a person to live far beyond there normal lifespan. However, the waters lose their potency after a number of centuries and begin to weaken their effects.
- In the DC comics, Nyssa Raatko discovered a way to make the Lazarus Pit's effects last indefinitely.