With the movie Pompeii exploding into theaters, you'll be exposed to a lot of myths about the volcanic eruption at Mt. Vesuvius that buried a whole Roman town. The biggest myth of all is that the citizens of Pompeii never knew the blast was coming. They did. And many had already evacuated.
In real life, Pompeii was an ancient Roman resort town built at the base of the volcano Mt. Vesuvius. Its citizens were killed instantly in 79 AD by a blast of superheated gas from an eruption, and their city was perfectly preserved by the thick rain of ash that followed. Archaeologists excavated the town over the past century, discovering beautifully-preserved examples of Roman art and architecture.