Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Body Worlds 3 at the California Science Center

You know what's morbid and fascinating? Looking at bodies that have been dissected and preserved.

Yeah. That's science.

Awkward joking aside, there is something truly fascinating about the Bodyworlds 3 Exhibit, now in it's final weeks at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. The project has caused quite a bit of controversy in it's unique approach to exploring human anatomy, because the figures that are presented in acrobatic poses, with skin stripped away, and muscles peeled back, were once living breathing human figures.

The result is a sobering type of reverant quiet in the crowd. These modern mummies, humans who have donated themselves for the right to live forever in their display cases, bring the human body to life in a way that I haven't quite experienced since my half hearted foray into anatomy in high school.

There are milimeter thick translucent slices of entire human bodies, bloated black lungs putrified with smoke and cancer, still born fetuses who, even in death, stretch out tiny fingers to the awed audience. A flayed acrobat displays his organs proudly, lifted over his head on one hand.

It's both morbid and celebratory, this in-your-face exploration of the body, and definately worth seeing.

Random fact - did you know that dying of a broken heart isn't just a phrase, but an actual medical marvel? It is actually possible to die of a broken heart.

I know. It scared the hell out of me too.

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