Jokes Erupt Over “Masturbating Man” Preserved At Pompeii

Jokes Erupt Over "Masturbating Man" Preserved At Pompeii

Death Becomes Him

July 21th, 2017 – Archeologists are scratching their heads and perhaps blushing after a recent discovery around one of the world’s most famous ruins. The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD famously laid waste to the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, killing more than a thousand people and now 2,000 years later the town is in the news for an eruption of a different sort.

Twitter was overflowing with posts about one Pompeii citizen who appeared to exit laughing or at least smiling. The adult male was found lying on his back with his hands over his crotch suggesting to many that he was in the midst of an act of self-love when the deadly explosion buried his hometown under 30 feet of volcanic ash.

While the internet, naturally, had a wealth of cheeky theories about the why and wherefore of this Italian’s last moments, there are some who offer a more scientifically plausible, and more family friendly, explanation. The Daily Dot interviewed volcanologist Pier Paolo Petrone, a researcher with 25 years of expertise, who had this to say in terms of clarifying the order of events:

“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.”

After insisting that the man’s hands likely wound up in that position post-mortem and seemingly determined to spoil as much of the internet’s fun as scientifically possible Petrone added:

“There is no way to demonstrate any ‘masturbating man’ and it is out of place to discuss such an affirmation of some young time waster.”

The formerly twice lost ancient city is renowned for the plaster casts made from the preserved remains of Pompeii’s last residents. Millions of tourists visit the World Heritage Site every year hoping to glimpse depictions of the final embrace of families unaware of or resigned to their fates or the panicked flight of fleeing victims.

Jokes Erupt Over "Masturbating Man" Preserved At Pompeii

Whatever the truth, the Internet has erected a fitting tribute to the legacy of one very committed Pompeian.

What are your theories on the “masturbating man?” Should people keep having a little fun with the photo or stick with history?

Tell the world how you feel!


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