People Are Convinced This Guy Died While Masturbating In Pompeii (He Didn't)

If you payed attention in history class (or at least read that one Magic Tree House book), then you know all about the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79, and how it buried the city of Pompeii in volcanic ash. The city was buried so quickly that the people and structures there were preserved. And, in many cases, we can see what position people were in when they died.
Now Pompeii is finding a whole new crowd of wannabe history buffs thanks to an image that went viral this past week: The photo shows someone who died in Pompeii and, as a tweet of the picture claims, it looks like a guy masturbating.
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As you'd probably expect, the tweet garnered plenty of masturbation jokes, such as, "He held on to the very end," and, "He died the HARD way."
Plenty of people seem to believe that this really is a guy who saw the volcano erupt and โ€” instead of running for the hills as everyone else in the city did โ€” decided he'd just have one last solo session.
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On the other hand, some are convinced the photo is a fake. But this one is very real: The photo shows an actual plaster cast of someone who died in Pompeii, photographed by archeology professor Massimo Osanna.
But that doesn't mean this person was actually masturbating when the volcano erupted. It turns out that his position is just a postmortem response to the heat.
"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," Pier Paolo Petrone, a volcano expert based in Italy, told the Daily Dot.
Many of the people who died in Pompeii look as if their bodies were twisted in strange positions because the heat of the ash made their muscles contract, Petrone told the Daily Dot.
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It's just an unfortunate coincidence that this guy's hand landed in a suggestive position. And thanks to that pose, he might just go down in history as "masturbating man."
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