At first glance, the unfortunate individual pictured above would very much appear to be cleaning his personal rifle in the midst of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius many fucking years ago. Hell, even on the
second fiftieth glance, it still looks like he made sure to go out while doing the one good thing life has consistently offered humans.
But was this so-called "Pompeii Masturbator" actually, you know, masturbating? Was he even in Pompeii? The original photo was taken by Professor Massimo Ossana and first popped up on Instagram back in June, with the caption noting that the individual in the photo was a "victim of the eruption" and making no mention of any perceived engagement in the masturbatory arts.
"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," Dr. Pier Paolo Petrone, a volcanologist, told the Daily Dot Monday. Furthermore, as the Dot explains, even if the man had been doing that thing everyone thinks he was doing at the time of eruption, the pose we're left with in this photo would only have happened after the heat bent his limbs.
With science having spoken on the matter, everyone immediately halted all jokes about the photo. That's a lie. Enjoy some below:
Great work, fellow humans.