Picture of a man at Pompeii goes viral because everyone has a filthy mind

@pompeii_parco_archeologico / Instagram

Around 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted, destroying most of what was the city of Pompeii.

The remains of around 1,500 people have since been discovered at the site, although the total number of dead from the huge natural disaster remains unknown.

Over the years, a number of images have circulated of those who were preserved, mostly thanks to the casting method first implemented by Giuseppe Fiorelli in 1864.

Many of these images feature families spending their last few moments together, or solitary figures attempting to escape the horror of the eruption.

However, a new image of a victim has gone viral, and not for a particularly historical reason.

It was first shared on the Pompeii Archaeological Park Instagram account, but the picture has since been circulated on Twitter, Reddit and 4 Chan.

It's probably because, well, er, he looks like he's enjoying himself a little too much. In the image, the man is lying on his back with his hand over his crotch.

Because the internet loves a good joke, a tweet featuring the reference to masturbation has been retweeted over 28,000 times, with of course, some interesting responses...

Did he just mishear?

Was he just being brave?

Holding on until the end?

Some are just calling him a legend saying he was doing what he loved in his last moments.

Others have a more innocent approach.

Was he actually masturbating?

It's fairly likely. Or he could have just had his body in that position perfectly innocently.

Most scientists and historians think the people of Pompeii died from extreme heat rather than suffocation, as temperatures reached 600 degrees Celcius.

This means they died instantaneously, and kept their positions.

Talking to the Daily DotVolcanologist Pier Paolo Petrone said:

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.

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.

More: This Japanese cartoon will prove if you have a dirty mind

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