About the Exhibit
What is BODY WORLDS?
BODY WORLDS are first-of-their-kind exhibitions through which guests learn about anatomy, physiology, and health by viewing real human bodies, using an extraordinary process called Plastination, a groundbreaking method for specimen preservation invented by Dr. Gunther von Hagens in 1977. To date, more than 32 million people around the world have viewed the BODY WORLDS exhibits.
What is the focus of BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life?
BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life has a special focus on the human life cycle and aging, and features more than 200 plastinates–specimens preserved through plastination, the scientific process invented by Dr. von Hagens. Highlights include a look at conception and growth during prenatal development; how the brain evolves from infancy, to childhood to adolescence; and how vision changes from birth to later in life.
The exhibit is also now a great complement to our new permanent exhibit YOU! The Experience, which currently contains 18 plastinated specimens and delves into all aspects of human health and wellness.
Will this exhibit have any of the same plastinates as the past two BODY WORLDS exhibits at MSI?
Out of approximately 200 individual specimens in The Cycle of Life, only a few plastinates have appeared in the two previous exhibits. This exhibit contains many new specimens, as well as the new focus on the life cycle and aging process. Not to mention, there's also a plastinated ostrich.
About BODY WORLDS
Why use real human bodies instead of constructed models?
Real human bodies show the details of disease, physiology and anatomy that cannot be shown with real models. Real specimens also allow guests to understand how each body has its own unique features, even on the inside. Finally, we have learned at the Museum with our prenatal and body slices exhibits that our guests are drawn to real specimens in a way that they are not to plastic models.
Is the exhibit appropriate for children?
That’s up to parents but our experience showed us that kids of a variety of ages react positively to BODY WORLDS exhibits by making great observations and asking really thoughtful questions. So that you're aware, a few panels in BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life do briefly discuss human sexuality as part of the life cycle and human experience.
Due to the sensitive nature of this exhibit, and to ensure an enriching experience for everyone, children 13 and under must be accompanied by a responsible adult, parent, guardian or school chaperone.
Where did the specimens come from?
The specimens in this exhibit are from body donors, individuals who during their lifetime bequeathed that upon their death, their bodies could be used in this exhibition. All of the donors wanted to contribute to the medical enlightenment of laypeople. BODY WORLDS runs the only body donation program of all the anatomical exhibitions currently touring. The identities, ages and causes of death are not given because the exhibit focuses on the nature of our physical being, not on providing personal information.
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