“Death for the people of Pompeii was not instantaneous. The first breath inhales hot gas, and ash causes the lungs to fill with fluid. It’s like swallowing fire. The second breath mixes the ash with the fluid, creating a wet cement in the lungs and windpipe. The third breath thickens the cement, causing the victims to gasp for breath and suffocate. Would they have known they were dying? From their death throes, it seems almost certain.”

— Pompeii: The Last Day

Can you imagine? I can’t.

But I couldn’t let the day pass without taking note–on August 24th AD 79, Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried Pompeii.


Wiki: Mount Vesuvius
Wiki: Pompeii
Pliny the Younger’s account of the eruption
Buy Pompeii: The Last Day*

* seriously, you should. It is amazing.