Vesuvius Killed the People of Pompeii in Just 17 Minutes, New Study Suggests

The ancient city of Pompeii destroyed in 79 AD when the volcano Mount Vesuvius erupted and thousands of people killed in the Herculaneum in and around the city. Now, a new study has proven that ash and gas were scattered, taking only 17 minutes to wipe out the wreckage. An estimated 2,000 people were not caught fleeing the lava, but suffocated to death by volcanic ash and giant clouds of gas – the wreckage that later covered their bodies preserved their postures and marked the beginning. The mystery will inspire researchers to go deeper into what really happened that day for a long time.

Herculaneum at the bottom of the volcano did not stand a chance. However, in Pompeii, 10 kilometers away, if the pyroclastic flow from the mountain lasts less than 17 minute, researchers have suggested a new study in a scientific report. 

Vesuvius Killed the People of Pompeii in Just 17 Minutes, New Study Suggests

The preservation of Pompeii victims – the plaster casts of indentation corpses left in the ashes – rather than the preserved corpses themselves – gives an idea of ​​how they died, and theories ranging from desperate to suffocating to death have no time to suffocate. The duration of the pyroclastic flow in the new study, – dense clouds of ash, gas and volcanic glass – reached the city how fast particles traveled. The researchers found in the model that the cloud temperature was 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit) higher, probably surrounding the city for 10-20 minutes after the eruption. Previous studies have shown that while their poses were going about their lives, they stopped short of steps that they did not suffocate but instead died of extreme heat, their bodies stunned by instantaneous stiffness in mortis and the temperature reached 300 degrees Celsius (570 ° F) one second killing people.

The new study found that clothing pieces survived and were not burned by pyroclastic density currents (PDCs), indicating a temperature below the melting point of fabrics such as silk and wool, which are 130°C and 150°C (130°F) and 302°F, respectively.) Fine ash from volcanic eruptions can travel long distances, and even small amounts of these particles suspended in the air can be very harmful to human health. According to the researchers, humans can survive in pure hot air at 200-250° C (392-482° F) for 2-5 minutes, but continuous hot fine ash greatly shortens that time. They said the time of exposure was key pointing to a previous study that found that people who had experienced the Merapi volcano in Java in 1994 and 2010 survived only a few minutes of exposure.