Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 26 February |
Saint of the Day: St. Paula of St. Joseph Calasanz
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

VIDEO What was it like to witness the last 24 hours of Pompeii?

POMPEII,MOUNT VESUVIUS,VOLCANO

Zero One Animation | YouTube

Zelda Caldwell - published on 06/04/18

An animated imagining of what victims of the AD 79 eruption of Mt. Vesuvius were fleeing from

The photograph of the skeleton of the unfortunate soul who managed to flee from Pompeii during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius only to be decapitated by a giant slab of rock has become an internet meme.

News that he was a Roman merchant carrying a “treasure trove” of silver and bronze coins lends even more pathos to this tableau, confirming what we should already know – “you can’t take it with you” and “Vanity of vanities, all things are vanity!

Besides inspiring us to think about the precariousness of life, and the futility of man’s attempts to steer his own course, the image brings out the rubbernecker in us. What happened there, we wonder? What was Pompeii like on August 24, 79? What was this poor guy fleeing from? How did that giant slab of rock become airborne?

This digital animation depicting “A Day in Pompeii,” created by the Australian studio Zero One in 2009, and using historical data on the volcanic eruption, shows what it was like to witness one of the most destructive natural disasters in history.

Created for an exhibition on Pompeii at the Melbourne Museum, the 7-minute long immersive video shows the view from a villa overlooking the city and Mt. Vesuvius, giving us a vivid and terrifying sense of what the citizens of that city experienced in the last 24 hours of Pompeii. The exhibition was the most popular in Australia’s history, running over four months and attracting 325,000 visitors.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
2
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
3
MADONNA
V. M. Traverso
The 9 oldest images of Mary
4
SEARCHNG PURSE
Cerith Gardiner
12 Things every Catholic woman should have in her purse
5
RECONSTRUCTED CHRIST
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
6
Jacques Fesch
Brother Silas Henderson, SDS
Meet the Death Row prisoner who discovered a ...
7
CELEBRITY MARRIAGES
Cerith Gardiner
10 Celebrities whose marriages have stood the test of time
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.