Volcano Erupts but Dude Does Not

Because the internet is full of very, very mature adults, a photo of what appears to be the preserved body of a man masturbating during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 CE is going viral on Twitter, and also sparking plenty of very mature and intellectual conversation on Reddit, as well.

Take a look for yourself in the tweet below:

The photo first appeared on the internet when Italian archaeologist Massimo Osanna posted it to the Pompeii Archaeological Park Instagram account.

Soon after, the photo made its way to Twitter, and so did plenty of jokes about how the poor ol’ Pompeii man “died hard.”

According to most historians and scientists, it’s likely most of the citizens of Pompeii either died from inhaling poisonous fumes, or from having their organs cooked by fourth-degree burns. Many preserved bodies have their arms up, likely waving away fumes or trying to protect themselves from the scorching heat.

In an email from volcanologist Pier Paolo Petrone to The Daily Dot, Petrone says, “The individual in the photo is an adult man, killed by the hot pyroclastic surge (hot gas and ash cloud which killed most of the population living around Mount Vesuvius), with both arms and legs flexed due to the heat.”

Petrone further explained the man’s masturbatory death pose by noting how “most of the human victims found in Pompeii often show ‘strange’ position of arms and legs, due to the contraction of limbs as a consequence of the heat effect on their bodies after death occurred.”

And that’s all well and good, but it’s unlikely this show of facts and science is going to stop the internet jokes from circulating. At the end of the day, the scientists and historians and volcanologists can have their theories, and the internet will go on having theirs.

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