It's a hypothetical question that everybody gets asked at some point – what would you do if you found out you have only hours left to live?
The answer to that is, of course, panic. When a false missile alert went off last week in Hawaii, people rushed for storm drains and shelters as you'd expect.
I would like to propose a new hypothetical question: What do you do when you find out you actually don't have just hours to live, and everything is in fact fine?
Well, that too has been answered. It turns out the answer to that question is "furiously masturbate".
Pornhub has released data showing that from the minute the missile alert went out, traffic to their website dropped by almost 80 percent in Hawaii. Of course, there were still people who decided to plow on through (or else they hadn't seen the alert due to being, ahem, "occupied") but there was a huge drop-off, far below their usual traffic levels for a Saturday.
This isn't that surprising. Thinking you're about to be killed by a missile isn't, as far as we know, a kink.
What came next, however, was unexpected. When the second message went out – the one that told them it was a false alert and they weren't going to die after all – there was a huge surge in traffic to the website.
Pornhub released this handy chart showing its traffic levels during the whole shenanigans.
At 8:45am local time, the correction was issued and you can see traffic crawl back up. By 9:01am there was a sudden spike, just when people had time to return from their storm drains and get comfortable. At the peak of its traffic, the site was seeing 50 percent more hits than on an average, non-missiley, Saturday.
The Internet porn giant has no data on why there was this sudden rush of people doing the five dog dance, of course. It could be a celebratory "I'm alive, and oh look – so are my genitals!" or purely a way to relieve stress, we'll probably never know.
This isn't the only interesting data revealed by Pornhub, who regularly release interesting tidbits. A few weeks ago, it shared data showing that people stopped touching themselves long enough to watch the Great American Eclipse.
Which is nice.