Popular Science

Mount Vesuvius murdered its victims in more brutal ways than we thought

Boiling blood and exploding skulls.
human remains at pompeii

Our visions of Pompeii's destruction just got a little more gruesome.

For nearly two millennia, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius has served as a stark reminder that nature is capable of some serious violence. The helpless residents of Pompeii and Herculaneum were inundated by volcanic horror, bludgeoned by hot ash avalanches that asphyxiated them while preserving their bodies for centuries afterward, within an unforgettable necropolis. At least, that’s what we always assumed. It turns out, many people probably died in ways that were more grizzly than we imagined.

In findings late last month, researchers from

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