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A man-made passage, located deep within the Winden caves in both Adam's and Eva's world, was the means through which individuals could travel through a wormhole, or Einstein-Rosen bridge. In both worlds, it connects three points in time, each separated by thirty-three years (to span sixty-six years in total). In Adam's world, the wormhole connects the years 1953, 1986, and 2019 (and later 1954, 1987, and 2020 when it is reopened). In Eva's world, it connects 1986, 2019, and 2052. It is accessed via a man-made door and tunnel that forks into two when the passage is activated, allowing for travel to the two other time periods from the starting point.



The origins of the wormhole appear to be at least twofold. They depend on the perspective one considers the creation of the wormhole in the two worlds.

June 21, 1986[]

The grand origin of the wormhole seems to lie outside of the two worlds entirely. As deduced by Claudia Tiedemann of Adam's world during her years of research and exploration of both worlds, there was in fact an original world prior to the emergence of the parallel worlds. In that world, the clockmaker H.G. Tannhaus lost his son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter in a car accident. In his inconsolable grief, he built a time machine to try to turn back time and save his family. When he activated his invention, however, it destroyed his world and in the process split it into two parallel worlds in which time travel exists. It is at this moment on June 21, 1986, that the wormhole opens for the first time in both worlds.[1]

However, the truth of the original world is unknown to all but Claudia for much of the history of the time loop. From the perspective of each world, there appears to be a more local point of origin for the wormhole. As Jonas Kahnwald explains to H.G. Tannhaus in 1986, the incident at the nuclear power plant earlier that year released a blast of energy, which in turn opened the wormhole connecting the three periods of 1953, 1986, and 2019.[2] After Jonas explains how the portable time machine repeats the process of creating a wormhole for the sake of time travel (with the same thirty-three-year limitation), Tannhaus speculates that the exact process is as follows: A Higgs field is generated; this increases the mass of the Cs-137 (a byproduct of the incident and also the fuel for the time machine); an electromagnetic impulse then causes it to implode into a wormhole.[3]

June 21, 1921 (Adam's world)[]

Although the direct effects of the wormhole will not become apparent until June 21, 1953 (thirty-three years before its opening in 1986), its influence is felt across time, and many are aware of its existence long before it first opens. The earliest point in time when there are people with knowledge of the passage is 1888, to which Jonas Kahnwald and the teenagers Bartosz Tiedemann, Magnus Nielsen, and Franziska Doppler travel from 2020 to escape the apocalypse.[4] It is uncertain whether the teenagers were familiar with the passage at that point in time (Bartosz is possible, since he was introduced to time travel, and given the portable time machine, by Noah),[5] but Jonas had had a long and painful history with the passage. He would eventually act on this history, in part to ensure it all happened again.

Stuck in the past, Jonas becomes more jaded, cynical, and destructive. He eventually takes up leadership of the time travel cult Sic Mundus and adopts the name Adam.[5][6] It is under Adam's orders that Bartosz and his son Hanno excavate a tunnel in the caves that will one day be used as the passage. On June 21, 1921, Bartosz and Hanno finish the tunnel. That same day, Hanno kills his father. The tunnel is complete, but the passage is not to open for another thirty-two years.[7]


June 21, 1953 (Adam's world)[]

In Adam's world, the wormhole opens for the first time. It is seemingly triggered in part by both Tannhaus's invention in the original world and the incident at the nuclear power plant on June 21, 1986. From this point forward, travel between 1953, 1986, and 2019 is possible.[2][1]

June 21, 1986[]

The wormhole opens for the first time in both worlds.[1] The immediate cause appears to be an incident at the nuclear power plant in both worlds, an event actually triggered at the command of Eva, the elderly Martha Nielsen of her world.[8] In Eva's world, the wormhole connects only to future points in time; 1953 is therefore inaccessible.[1][9]

Autumn 1986[]

In Adam's world, Helge Doppler uses the passage to travel from 1986 to 1953 and 2019. Under the orders of Noah, he kidnaps children, takes them through the passage to 1986, and then uses them to test the time machine chair in the bunker on the Doppler cabin property.[10] Similar crimes transpire in Eva's world at the hands of its Helge Doppler, though 1953 is never a part of the equation. Therefore, when Erik Obendorf and Yasin Friese are kidnapped from 2019, they are never sent to 1953.

November 5/6, 2019/2052 (Eva's world)[]

Having traveled to Eva's world, the young Jonas leads the alternate Martha into the caves and through the passage. They emerge on the other side in a post-apocalyptic 2052, where they are greeted by the middle-aged self of Martha. They take the passage back to 2019 later that day.[9][11]

November 8, 2019 (Adam's world)[]

Following instructions left to him by his older self, Jonas finds the passage in the caves. Opening the door, he is met by a powerful gust of wind that continues until he enters and the door shuts behind him. The usually dead-end tunnel now forks into two directions. Jonas takes the right tunnel and travels to 1986. There he meets his mother as a young girl, Hannah Krüger.[12]

November 8, 2019/1986 (Eva's world)[]

On the same day that Jonas uses the passage for the first time in his world, the apocalypse draws nearer in Eva's world. After Chief of Police Ulrich Nielsen releases the elderly Helge Doppler from detention following the latter's confession of murder, he follows Helge into the caves, just as his alternate self does in Adam's world.[8] Ulrich takes the passage to 1986, where he meets a middle-aged Helge at his cabin. Realizing who he is speaking to (the man who murdered his brother), Ulrich attacks Helge and bashes his face with a rock, permanently scarring his left eye. The older Helge catches up with him and bludgeons him with a crowbar.[1]

November 9, 1986/2019 (Adam's world)[]

After spending the night and day in 1986, Jonas takes the passage back to 2019.[10]

November 10/11, 2019/1986/1953 (Adam's world)[]

Bound to his fate, Ulrich Nielsen of Adam's world follows the elderly Helge Doppler into the caves.[10] While Helge takes the left tunnel to 1986 to try to convince his younger self to stop helping Noah, Ulrich takes the wrong turn and ends up in 1953. There he meets the nine-year-old Helge Doppler, whom he attacks with a rock.[2] Ulrich is arrested in 1953 and spends the rest of his life in that period.[13][14]

November 12, 1986 (Adam's world)[]

The middle-aged Jonas returns to the passage after getting the newly-made portable time machine from H.G. Tannhaus. He has been assured by Claudia that this time, unlike last time, he will succeed in destroying the wormhole once and for all.[3] When he activates the machine inside the tunnel, however, he merely closes the wormhole.[7] Unbeknownst to Jonas, this act is actually responsible for perpetuating the existence of the wormhole. As Claudia's alternate self explains to her, this process leaves behind a cesium residue (from the Cs-137 used to power the machine) before the cesium has fully decayed. This, coupled with the fallout of the incident and Jonas's later reopening of the passage, allows the cesium to expand exponentially forever, thus maintaining the wormhole and time travel made possible by Cs-137.[14]

June 27, 1987/2020 (Adam's world)[]

The young Jonas collects the middle-aged Claudia from her home after she accidentally kills her father and takes her to the caves. They are going to reopen the passage as part of Jonas and the older Claudia's plan to break the loop. When Jonas activates the machine, past and future reconnect, and the passage reopens.[4] This process, however, only further ensures the wormhole's continued existence (as the older Claudia would have known the whole time).[14]

On this day in 2020, Katharina Nielsen, who has been scouring the caves in search of her lost son Mikkel, follows a trail of "time particles" left behind by Jonas and Claudia toward the passage. She takes the passage to 1987. This usage contributes to the triggering of the apocalypse.[4]

2021 (Adam's world)[]

Following the apocalypse, the passage is closed again and the way to the tunnel is blocked by rubble. A young Noah and Elisabeth Doppler, who survived the apocalypse together, work to clear the way to the door. One day, they uncover it. For years Noah recounts to Elisabeth the account of the prophecy, that one day the passage will reopen and they will be led to paradise.[15]

June 21, 2053 (Adam's world)[]

Nearly thirty-three years after the apocalypse, Elisabeth remains faithful that the passage will reopen and paradise will come. This event is foretold to happen on June 27, six days from then.[7] However, this paradise never does come. Six days later, the apocalypse happens again in 2020, the passage closes again, and the young Elisabeth emerges from the bunker predetermined to cling to false hope.[4]


The wormhole is accessed via a heavy metal door deep within Winden caves. In Adam's world, the door is marked with a triquetra and the Latin phrase "Sic Mundus Creatus Est", which translates to "Thus the world was created" in English.[12] In Eva's world, the door says "Erit Lux", or "Let there be light".[9] In both worlds, these phrases are references to the time travel cults that built the physical passage.

Once the door is opened, it leads to a man-made "passage" that forks into two paths, which is likely an affect of the wormhole (when the wormhole is inactive, the tunnel is simply a dead end), allowing for travel to two other time periods from the starting point.

  • In Adam's world, the wormhole connects 1953, 1986, and 2019 (and later 1954, 1987, and 2020). Starting from 2019, the left path leads to 1953 while the right one leads to 1986.
  • In Eva's world, the wormhole connects 1986, 2019, and 2052.

Analysis of origins[]

Although Jonas and Tannhaus's explanation (that the wormhole was created in a blast from the incident at the power plant) is somewhat sound from the point of view of these individuals, it is unclear whether Jonas's claim is rather a lie fed to him by Claudia, who long wished to keep the true origin of the knot hidden. It is further brought into question when Eva's world is considered as well. In that world, the passage seems to have first opened in 2019 and then branched out thirty-three years in each direction, as it does in Adam's world but in 1986. If this is the correct interpretation of how the wormhole functions (i.e., there is the "central" time period in which it opened, and it branches out symmetrically from there), then the connection between the incident and the wormhole, in Eva's world, seems weaker.

However, this same question remains if the origin is indeed Tannhaus's invention in the original world, since he first activates that on June 21, 1986, as well. It may simply be that the effects of that activation and of the incident in Eva's world are more "lopsided", i.e., the wormhole does open in 1986, but the time periods to which it connects are spread out "ahead" of it rather than to each side. In this sense, the three time periods that end up becoming connected may be in fact arbitrary, and the three that are "selected" in each world are predetermined by what connections are necessary for the perpetuation of the loop.


The official Netflix site indicates 3 doors, but this may be incorrect.[16] When the passage is closed, it is a single door and the tunnel/passage is a dead-end beyond the door. This is seen when Jonas tries to return home from 1921 via the cave.[5] Also, just before Jonas and Claudia re-open the passage in 1987.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Dark Season 3 Episode 8: "The Paradise"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Dark Season 1 Episode 8: "As You Sow, so You Shall Reap"
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dark Season 1 Episode 10: "Alpha and Omega"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Dark Season 2 Episode 8: "Endings and Beginnings"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Dark Season 2 Episode 4: "The Travelers"
  6. Dark Season 3 Episode 2: "The Survivors"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Dark Season 2 Episode 1: "Beginnings and Endings"
  8. 8.0 8.1 Dark Season 3 Episode 6: "Light and Shadow"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Dark Season 3 Episode 3: "Adam and Eva"
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Dark Season 1 Episode 7: "Crossroads"
  11. Dark Season 3 Episode 4: "The Origin"
  12. 12.0 12.1 Dark Season 1 Episode 6: "Sic Mundus Creatus Est"
  13. Dark Season 1 Episode 9: "Everything Is Now"
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Dark Season 3 Episode 5: "Life and Death"
  15. Dark Season 3 Episode 7: "Between the Time"
  16. "Winden Caves" on Netflix Dark Website.[1]