Bodies: The Exhibition

Some of you might be hesitant to go see this exhibit thinking it is macabre to look at preserved human cadavers. You could not be more wrong. Yes, these are real human bodies, but instead of being creepy they are wondrous. Many of the intricacies and wonders of the human body are revealed and explained to us through this unique opportunity to get up close (and inside) and personal with the human body.

The exhibit, which has traveled the world through cities like New York, Quebec, London, Barcelona, and Prague, includes skeletons, cadavers, muscles, organs, lungs, and arteries. There are even images projected on the walls which are artistic representations of the cells and tissues in the body.

We start off with an examination of the skeleton and bones. Humans are vertebrates, as are all mammals, which means we have a spinal column. Interesting facts are written on cards in front of the articles in the exhibit. For example, in this section we learn that babies have 300 bones and adults only have 206 because as we mature some bones fuse together.

Bone is made up of hard minerals and are constructed and maintained by bone cells. We are shown how complex the human hand is and read that the hands, because of how sensitive and dextrous they are, require a large blood supply, which is why when you cut your hand it bleeds so much.

An entire skeleton greets you upon entrance into the first room. You get views of intervertebral discs, vertebrae, sternum, sacrum, scapula maxillae, spinal column, and the bones of the hand.

The next section involves the muscular system of the body. There are over 600 muscles that cover almost the entire body. Our muscles perform such functions as movement, posture, protection, and body heat. Every movement you make and every function your body performs from breathing to digesting food to running involves muscles. The body contains both voluntary (muscles which we consciously control) and involuntary (muscles which just seem to work on their own) muscles.

Entire human muscular systems and the different parts are beautifully preserved and displayed like you have never seen them. It is guaranteed to amaze you. You get to see the deltoid, biceps brachit, gluteus maximus, and quadriceps femoris.

Next up is the nervous system and an explanation of how it controls all of the vital functions of the body. Besides parts like the pituitary gland and the thyroid gland, we learn that the brain is the most important part of the nervous system. For the average human the brain weighs around 3 pounds and it made up of billions of nerve cells. You can tell that this body part is paramount as it requires 20% of the body's total blood supply.

After the brain the heart is another important part of the body. It is so vital because each minute every drop of blood in the body travels through the heart. It is so vital that if the flow of blood is interrupted or slowed down it results in heart muscle dying and if this happens then a heart attack ensues. The heart pumps blood to the rest of the body through the 100,000 miles of blood vessels in the adult human body.

Besides showing us the human body and educating us about how it works the exhibit also shows us what happens to the body when you mistreat it. Smoking, overeating, drinking heavily, and diseases like cancer can ravage the body. Nothing illustrates that point to us more clearly than the sections on how breast cancer ravages women's bodies and how smoking blackens then damages lungs.

Finally, the human (male and female) reproductive systems are explained. Facts such as that women are born with every egg they are ever going to produce already in their bodies are disseminated. Even after seeing all this up close it will still be a wonder to you that combined they are able to create a human life. There seems to be almost no limit to what our bodies can do.

Most of us, though we live everyday of our existence with our bodies, have no idea what exists or goes on underneath our skin. The exhibit, which takes about 90 minutes to go through, with its dissected human bodies is like a laboratory full of visual and written cues about the complexity of the body. Bodies: The Exhibition should be of interest to people of all ages as there is always something to learn about the human body. It is presented in such a unique way that you cannot help but leave the exhibit with plenty of new information and even more wonder.

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