in ,

Was this man masturbating when Mount Vesuvius erupted?

Credits: Pompeii Archaeological Park

You may have come across this man’s image on social media, or even seen him on site, among the Pompeii ruins. The image has caused a stir for a rather unusual reason: many internet users believe him to have been masturbating at the moment he was petrified in lava by Mount Vesuvius. 

It was the night of the 24th to the 25th August in the year 79BC when Mount Vesuvius erupted. Within ten hours, the cities of Herculanum and Pompeii were completely devastated by what is still to this day one of the most significant natural disasters ever documented by man. Among the numerous victims petrified, one in particular has recently attracted attention. Professor Massimo Ossana, currently supervisor of excavations in Pompeii, recently posted pictures of the mold of a man lying on his back, with his right hand on his crotch. The photo quickly went viral, with internet users suggesting that the man was having a little private “alone time” when disaster struck.

Numerous tweets  have been published about the person now nicknamed “The Pompeii Masturbator”, with comments such as “A good day to die hard, Bruce Willis.”

So can we imagine for a moment that this man was really in the middle of masturbating at the moment of the disaster? Yes, we can. But was it really the case? The answer is no, according to volcano expert Pier Paolo Petrone. Interviewed by The Daily Dot, the researcher claims that the position of the hands was “certainly post-mortem”.

“The majority of victims were found in strange positions due to the contraction of the limbs due to the heat on the bodies after death“, he explains. “This was an adult male who was killed by fiery clouds (a mix of hot gas and ash clouds which killed the majority of people in the surrounding areas) with his arms and legs bent because of the heat.”

Related articles:

Gentlemen: masturbate regularly – it’s good for your health!

Death by masturbation: doctor speaks out

Sperm donation: this ‘fun’ machine could automatically extract semen!