This brings a new meaning to ‘rubbing one out’ as a photo of a well preserved and encapsulated in the moment body from Pompeii is reaching out all across social media.
The photo, by Prof. Massimo Ossana, was revealed on the Pompeii Archaeological Park Instagram account. It inevitably made the jump to Twitter, however upon its arrival to the fiery social media platform hundreds of thousands of people were instantly cracking jokes at the eventful death of an anxious to finish man.
It certainly appears he was getting off as Vesuvius erupted (no pun intended). Mt. Vesuvius fulfilled it's own pleasure in 79 CE striking the man with its hot load making it appear as if the volcano victim was masturbating at the time of his death.
The most popular tweet about the Pompeii Masturbator has been retweeted 20,000 times, and the image is also now trending on social media platforms such as imageboards and forums.
Many are asking if the man actually did in fact ‘die hard’? It is certain that the volcano killed the citizens of Pompeii, however there are multiple theories as to how their lives came to an end.
The two top theories seen as if it would be a slim chance the man would be preserved in the act of jerking off however it's not impossible.
In one of the more believed theories surrounding how scientists believe the citizens of Pompeii died, the victims asphyxiated on the gases from the volcano, dying after just a few breaths.
However after more recent studies the newest hypothesis suggests they may have been killed by thermal shock which in turn their organs were essentially cooked by deep fourth-degree burns.
Several of the found victims were frozen in what's known as the “pugilistic pose,” with their hands in the air in what would appear to be self-defense. Initially, this was thought to be a reaction to suffocation, but more recent theories suggest the pose was caused by the extreme heat.
Volcanologist Pier Paolo Petrone has studied the Vesuvius victims for over 25 years. As one of the authors and researchers of a 2010 study of the bodies, published in PloS One, he implicated that the advanced thermal shock explanation makes the most sense, and his research may help explain the way the “masturbator” is posed.
“There is no way to demonstrate any ‘masturbating man,’ and it is out of place to discuss such an affirmation (I hope a joke, however bad) of some young time waster,” Dr. Petrone said via email.
“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 continued to drive in the theories that the high temperatures caused the bodied to spasm outward leaving the pose, saying that, “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.”
So if you tend to follow his theory, if the dead man was about to release his load as the fourth wave of the eruption devastated Pompeii, the immense temperatures of close to 500 degrees Fahrenheit likely would have contracted his muscles then in turn bent his limbs.
So even if he's forever in a time capsule of a masturbatory pose, it likely occurred post-mortem, not at the time of death as he would have died near instantly.