On Sunday, I celebrated Mother’s Day by taking my Mom to the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Tampa to see the Body Worlds and the Story of the Heart exhibit. Having seen photos, I knew it would be interesting and well, kinda cool, but I wasn’t expecting to be blown away.
I was totally blown away.
I seriously recommend seeing this exhibit should it come your way. Florida residents, you have only until the end of June and then it’s gone. San Diego you have until October and Berlin and London until August. Go! It’s worth the price, I promise.
If you aren’t familiar with Body Worlds it is an exhibit consisting of entire human bodies, sans skin and or organs and positioned so you can see muscle and skeletal systems, sometimes with sections flayed open to look further inside. It’s like a 3d anatomy book made of real human bodies. In addition, there are preserved organs and organ systems and these awesome transparent body slices on display. Everything is authentic and thus unique, unlike a mere model. The way each body is positioned and well, sliced open is incredibly artistic, educational and rather beautiful.
The process of plastination, patented and created by Body Worlds founder Dr. Gunther von Hagen, is responsible for preserving the specimens and allowing them to be displayed in this unique way. They are able to remove fats and skin and anything else they want to remove and preserve what they want visible, position and pose the body and then harden it into a permanent anatomical sculpture. Learn more about plastination here.
Anyway, it was a great way to spend Mother’s Day. MOSI gave mom’s a free pass (much to my pocket’s delight), so perhaps they will do the same for Father’s Day. It’ll save you a small fortune, so if you are a Dad or think your father might dig it, you might want to look into that. I got the pass that included the IMAX theater and the little planetarium, both which were nice, but nothing compared to the exhibit. Another way to save is to see Body Worlds After Dark where you pay around 19 bucks if you go after 5 or 6 pm.
I couldn’t take pictures, so I had to scour all over to make up some little photo montage’s of the actual exhibit I saw as there are around 4 of them. Here you go…
First is the ‘Star Warrior’ – one of my favorite whole body plastinates. He’s sort of winking at you which makes me giggle and I love the stipey panels of skin left on. Also pictured are transparent slices of human hands and a figure skating female plastinate. Awesome.
Next up are more plastinates to wow you….
Okay, the rooster was there, but not the bunny, unless I missed it. But, it’s my favorite! The plastination process is applied on only the blood vessel system and the rest of the body is melted off in acid, leaving this incredible intricate web of red. Check it out…
The mother and child camel plastinates were perhaps the most jaw dropping, what with the size of the beautiful beasts and the method of leaving some skin and hair sections in tact, exposing muscle and skeleton in other sections and in yet other areas, opening it up all the way to show organs. You could see the sheafs of grain in her belly and stuff. Not to mention the head and neck are vertically severed to display three slices and each slice is positioned to suggest movement. It’s as though the creature is grazing or dipping down for a drink, except she’s doing it with only one slice of her head at a time.
Finally a photo of our hero Gunther von Hagens who is a doctor, scientist, inventor, educator and yes, an artist whose medium just so happens to be cadavers.
I’m glad I didn’t let my mother’s looming tumor surgery prevent me from taking her out for a day of fun with dead bodies and organs. We even got to see tumors and smoker’s lungs and all sorts of interesting abnormalities. The black lungs would have been a downer had I not quit just over two weeks ago. (Yay, me!) Anyway, she’s crazy about science and can sit and watch surgeries on t.v. (not me), so it was the perfect outing. I hope you enjoyed the photos and will be sure to go see the real thing if you get the opportunity.
Haiku time. You can base them on this week’s comic, as usual, or use the exhibit topic and/or photos for inspiration. I’m certainly not fussy.