Bodies Revealed

Well, aside from watching my best friend have a C-Section and seeing her guts come piling out of her body – I probably did one of the most disturbing things ever today. I don’t know, maybe most people won’t think it’s disturbing. At any rate, I went through the Bodies Revealed exhibit.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) there were no pictures allowed inside the exhibit, but if you need more, a quick google image search comes up with a lot of pictures from the exhibit.

Bodies Revealed is literally just that – real human bodies that have been preserved and dissected to showcase anatomy. My best friend (the one with the guts) has been wanting to go to this exhibit for a few weeks now. I, on the other hand, was apprehensive about going. I just felt weird-looking at what were once living people, on display for all the world to see (and that does include everything, if you know what I mean).

All the same, the exhibit was set up respectfully to showcase the human body. My husband was under the impression it was art, and that is not the case really. It’s more like a museum, of the human body. Just about everything there could be was dissected and on display – and that did include lungs with cancer, and emphysema (with a box beside them for people to dispose of their tobacco products), a brain that had suffered a stroke, and any number of other things along those lines. They even had fetuses from a couple of weeks old to over 20 weeks. (There was a sign warning about that section, and they were the result of miscarriages, unfortunately. I found that section so sad.)

Honestly, I’m really conflicted by the whole thing. It was all set up to be educational, showing different parts of the body, what their function is, what can happen if they get cancer or in the case of the liver – fatty, but every time I’d start to really get interested in whatever it was I was learning, my mind would go back to the fact that these were real people.

It didn’t help that my best friend’s son (the one who came out when I was watching her guts) kept calling them zombies. “Look at that zombie!” – Oh dear the looks we got…He’s my kind of kid!


Well, I did learn one thing today – we don’t yawn because our brain needs oxygen. Turns out, we have no idea why we yawn!


13 thoughts on “Bodies Revealed

    • It’s not really supposed to be art. It WAS too creepy though. But the exhibit was scientific, it was supposed to be educational. I could tell there were students in there taking notes too, they were drawing diagrams. It really looked like something you’d read in an anatomy text book, but in real life. They had the bodies posed in ways to show muscle relationship with bones, and there were plaques all over the walls explaining things (like what the heart does, how it does it and things like that). I think this is all stuff that anatomy students get in classes (like with cadvers) but all out for the rest of the world. Still I’m not sure about the whole thing, it was all just so creepy.

      • Nooo don’t be sorry! Smile 🙂 I thought it was supposed to be artistic too, until I went through it. They did had bodies like riding a bike, holding a baseball bat, crouching , they said it was to show the relationship between muscles, tendons, and bones. Art or science, it was all a bit creepy (They even had a woman who was pregnant, with the fetus in her belly – how sad 😦 ) I went reading on Wikipedia and it said that the Chinese police donated the bodies who died in prison and didn’t have family – which also seems odd to me. I was under the impression that they were people who had donated their bodies to science or something, but turns out they hadn’t actually done that, so I feel pretty weird about the whole thing now.

  1. Whew, I don’t think I could have handled it either Laura. I do find it interesting that we don’t know why we yawn. I wonder how long it’ll take for us to figure that one out! 🙂

  2. Definitely not art, it’s science and I don’t blame you for having a tough time forgetting these were people with friends, family, who lived a life. I have to admit, though, I laughed out loud when you mentioned the box for disposing tobacco products next to the lungs riddled with cancer.

    I am squeamish to a point. I took a Biology course in high school where we had to dissect housecats. Yes, it bothered me to no end as I’m a cat lover. I couldn’t separate it enough in my head. That’s when I knew I’d never make a good vet.

    I do like the concept of anatomy/physiology/biology. I think I’d find the exhibit interesting if I could get beyond the emotional aspects.

    Cool post.

    • I wasn’t expecting the box, and it was clear so you could see the packs of cigs and dip and stuff that people had thrown in there. Someone threw candy down in it though and it was hard to convince the kids they couldn’t have it.

      It was pretty cool, seeing what a stroke-brain looks like and stuff. But there were probably about 15 or so full bodies, eeeeesh . I’d start to think “oooohh cool!” and then immediately remember that they were real.

      I never had to go through the cat in school, but the advanced anatomy class in high school did, and I remember every year when they’d get to that part of the class the whole science wing would smell to high heaven so bad! I did have to go through the frog and that was too much for me. I’m just too squeamish for that stuff!

  3. I’ve been to the exhibit as well. Probably not the same since it’s been a few years ago since it was in my city however I agree, there were some major mixed feeling some of the not so positive looking at something which was once a living human being. Great post

    • It might be the same one, I think it travels around. I know when I was in Vegas in 2010 they had the exhibit, or at least one really similar. Thanks for commenting 😀

  4. I really loved this exhibit in NYC. It was such a unique opportunity to see what the inside of my body looks like. Fascinating. Though I understand the eery factor of knowing these were once living breathing people. Could be my grandma up there. Yeah, that doesn’t settle so good. I just hope these people knew they would become exhibits after they died and were comfortable with that happening. Otherwise, it would fall into seriously wrong.

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