By Tim Binnall
Scientists studying the remains of victims of the infamous eruption of Mount Vesuvius discovered that one unfortunate man had his brain turned to glass from the intense heat of the event. The gruesome find was reportedly made as researchers were examining some of the bodies left behind the blast that occurred in 79 AD and spotted a shiny black substance inside the skull of one particular individual. When the material was extracted and studied, it was found to contain proteins associated with brain tissue.
Since the skull of the man was the only place where the substance was found, scientists concluded that the material was, in fact, his brain and that it had become glass following the Vesuvius blast. The horrifying transformation, they postulated, was made possible by jaw-dropping heat which swept over the victim's location, which was determined to be around 968 degrees Fahrenheit based on an analysis of nearby wood. Rapid cooling of the air following the eruption, they theorize, caused the man's melted brain to quickly crystallize into glass by way of a scientific process known as vitrification.
In what is undoubtedly a small consolation for the man, he almost certainly did not experience the nightmarish moment when his brain liquified and then turned to glass, since the enormous amount of ash, debris, and superheated gas that was spewed from the volcano would have killed him in a matter of seconds. Remarkably, despite the site being studied extensively over the years, the discovery is the first time that a vitrified brain of a Vesuvius victim has ever been found.