Exactly one person has been officially recognized by the government of Japan as having survived both nuclear bombings — one Tsutomu Yamaguchi. He was on a business trip in Hiroshima when Little Boy detonated almost two miles away from him, and though he suffered burns and ruptured eardrums, he felt himself healthy enough to return to work in Nagasaki a few days later. He was explaining his injuries to his skeptical supervisor when Fat Man went off, coincidentally about the same distance away as his first brush with the atom.
Subsequently, he’d on occasion be referred to as the unluckiest man in the world.
But wait: he was uninjured from the second bomb, and later in life he became a staunch advocate of nuclear disarmament. Yamaguchi died in 2010, of stomach cancer (apparently unrelated to his radiation exposure) at the age of 93.
And, besides, he is not this man:
These are the remains of a man found at Pompeii, cause of death relatively obvious. Nuclear weapons are terrifying in their destructive power, but volcanoes have them beat in terms of thermal energy — the Pompeii eruption probably was 100,000 times more energetic than Little Boy and Fat Man. Still, if you’re fortunate and fast and take cover, you might end up surviving.
This man might have been fast and he might have taken cover, but thousand-pound hunks of stone hurled by a volcano do not care about either of those things, as he found out.
Survived Vesuvius but died in Pompeii. And now, 2,000 years later, the ultimate indignity: for whatever this guy did in his life, for whoever he loved and whatever he believed in, his legacy to the future is that he is now a meme. If his luck ever changes, it’ll flame out in a week, but like volcanoes or bombs, the initial explosion is just the beginning.