By Kristine McKenzie
A sign near the entrance of Bodies...The Exhibition says "The study of human anatomy operates on the principle 'to see is to know.'" If that's true, people who see this exhibit will walk out with some major knowledge of the human body. The exhibit showcases 21 whole-body specimens as well as more than 260 organs and partial body specimens.
The exhibit, which is not for the squeamish, features real human bodies preserved through a process called polymer preservation, in which all body tissue water has been replaced with silicone rubber.
Bodies...The Exhibition is basically an educational walk through each of the major systems of the human body. Each body part is on display with an explanation of what it does and why it's so amazing. There are also numerous fun facts about the human body posted around the exhibit such as the fact that the tongue is made up of 16 individual muscles. And yes, there is a tongue on display.
The exhibit starts out with the skeletal system, showing cartilage, muscle and everything from the tiniest bones of the ear to large knee joints.
Next are the muscular and nervous systems, which features several brain specimens, including an example of a brain that has suffered a stroke. Here you'll learn that human brain activity produces enough electrical energy to power a 10-watt lightbulb.
There are 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the body and the exhibit clearly shows all of the arteries and veins in the circulatory system.
While the main purpose of Bodies...The Exhibition is to educate people about how the human body works, some of the displays also show what happens when the body doesn't work so well. The respiratory system exhibit includes lungs blackened from smoking and features a box for patrons to immediately throw away their cigarettes. In the digestive system exhibit, there is an example of cirrhosis of the liver.
Although this exhibit is definitely not for everyone, anyone interested in medicine, biology or just curious about seeing how the human body works and what's going on inside their own, will be fascinated by it.