Boiling Blood, Exploding Skulls

(PLoS One)

Health Editor’s Note:  This is a place that we have not visited. We really wanted to. We arrived at 3:30 one day and they were already closed.  It made no difference to the Italians that we traveled all the way from the U.S. and would have very much liked/loved to have experienced this awesome historical/archaeological site.  When you are traveling by car and making your own schedule as it comes, things like this can happen, especially before we had the everlasting phone with us which would have instantaneously given the closing times.  Time before the smart phone, when you actually navigated with a map….anyway, there is a great deal of information about Mt. Vesuvius, Herculaneum, and Pompeii online.  It is not often that you can experience an actual cataclysmic occurrence and have daily life frozen in time. Life was frozen in time…..Carol 

Mount Vesuvius Boiled Its Victims’ Blood and Caused Their Skulls to Explode

by Jason Daley / 2018

In 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius erupted, blanketing the nearby Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum in hot ash and preserving the casualties in lifelike poses. And as awful as being smothered by ash may be, a new study suggests that suffocation wasn’t the cause of death for many victims.

Archaeologists have found that some people perished in a pyroclastic surge, a wave of superheated gas and hot ash that literally boiled their blood and caused their skulls to explode, reports Neel V. Patel at Popular Science.

The evidence comes from boat houses in Herculaneum, a seaside resort town for wealthy Romans about 11 miles from Pompeii. In the 1980s and 1990s, archaeologists began uncovering the remains of several hundred people who had huddled in the shelters at the water’s edge to wait out the eruption. For hours the volcano, which had not erupted for hundreds of years, shot ash and chunks of pumice into the air, causing many people to evacuate or to seek shelter in solid structures. But it appears that a flow of superheated gas rolled down the mountainside at hundreds of miles per hour and blindsided the people in the waterfront chambers.

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