A volcanic eruption brings death to all living things in many ways, and now scientists have learned about one more. The source of knowledge was the remains of the inhabitants of the city of Herculaneum, which was destroyed during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. He is often remembered in connection with the death of the luxurious cultural center of Pompeii, but in these two places people died in completely different ways.
Pompeii was located on the coast, almost 20 km from Vesuvius, while Herculaneum stood at the very foot, in the path of the pyroclastic flow. A mixture of gases heated to hundreds of degrees, drops of lava and ash hit the city at a speed of 500-700 km / h, instantly heating everything around. This process lasted a few seconds, then the stream went further, to the sea, so a lot of artifacts have been preserved in Herculaneum - unlike Pompeii, where everything was piled up and burned with red-hot heavy ash.
Scientists have dubbed what happened to the inhabitants of Herculaneum "flash cremation." The extreme heat evaporated the liquid from their bodies faster than soft tissues began to carbonize, the blood in the vessels literally boiled, which was accompanied by the effects of an explosion. So, for example, many skulls were found with characteristic breaks and cracks, which were literally pierced from the inside by vapor pressure, into which the brain fluid turned.
In principle, there was no chance of surviving in such conditions, but most of those people were unlikely to suffer. Most likely, they just had time to understand that something terrible had happened, and then died in a matter of moments. And the fate of Herculaneum navsed went down in world history.