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This Photo Does Not Show A Guy Who Died While Masturbating During The Volcanic Eruption At Pompeii

"One last one for Harambe!"

Posted on July 5, 2017, at 7:07 a.m. ET

This viral tweet from @PersianRose1 claims to show a man who died while masturbating during the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the year 79.

The tweet set off a volcanic flow of wank jokes, which was kicked off by @PersianRose1 themselves:

Twitter / Via Twitter: @PersianRose1

"He held on till the very end.......great man."

Twitter / Via Twitter: @PersianRose1

Solid socialist joke there @FuturaStalkee.

"When she wanna evacuate but you tryna ejaculate."

Twitter / Via Twitter: @PersianRose1

"One last one for Harambe!"

Twitter / Via Twitter: @PersianRose1

OK settle down, everyone. As noted by the HoaxEye Twitter account, the photo does not show a man masturbating. It is, however, from Pompeii.

A color version of the image was shared in June on the verified Instagram account for the Pompeii Archeological Area. It posted the photo with the description, "Plaster cast of a victim of the eruption."

A few weeks later, a black and white version of the image was tweeted by @PersianRose1 with the false caption. It instantly began making the rounds. The viral photo Twitter account @HistoryFlick copied the tweet:

The image also made its way to Reddit.

Soon there was this hugely viral tweet from @andredoesthings that quoted the original:

Twitter / @andredoesthings / Via Twitter: @andredoesthings

It's earned over 187,000 retweets and more than 400,000 likes.

And once again, Mount Wanking Jokes erupted. "Buddy, there's a reason his friends called him Mount Vesuvius."


"I admire his commitment honestly. 'Fuck volcanoes, I'm getting off!'"


Completing the viral circle, one person copied the comment from @andredoesthings, posted it and the image to Instagram — and then tagged themselves as actually being at Pompeii.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.