This post contains several images from Body Worlds: Pulse exhibit that are graphic but of a medical nature.
I was invited to take a look at the Body Worlds: Pulse exhibit at the California Science Center for Men’s Health Month this summer.
This was my first time going to see any of the Body Worlds exhibits, but I had heard about it. I really never thought about going to see an exhibit quite like this, only because I’m not that much into seeing bodies and organs in that manner. I get a bit squeamish by stuff like that. All this coming from someone that had to do dissections in college for his science major too.
Once I arrived at the exhibit and started to explore the different galleries and displays, I was very much intrigued by it all. I found many of the displays really interesting and studied some of them for quite a few minutes. The plastinated bodies and specimens on display had very informative descriptions about the things you were looking at, such as its function, problems and ways to keep healthy.
Body Worlds: Pulse is contained on the 1st and 3rd floor of the Science Center. It is a pretty large exhibit that focuses on six main systems of the human body: the nervous system, the cardiovascular system, the locomotive system, the respiratory system, the digestive system and reproductive system. At the end of the exhibit on the 1st floor, you will be given a ticket that you use to enter the rest of the exhibit on the 3rd floor.
The Skin Man display had a skinless male body, with the muscle tissues exposed, holding his own skin. If you look closely at the skin itself, you can the pores, wrinkles and even some of the fine body hair on it.
The Kneeling Skeleton kinda freaked me out a bit, because of the way it was posed and the heart in its hands. It focused on the body’s joints and how they can deteriorate as early as in the mid-thirties of one’s life.
The Tai Chi Man had areas of the body that were exposed to show what metal joint replacements inside the human body look like.
Acrobatic Couple with Lifted Woman focused on the muscles just below the skin. This was pretty interesting to see how the muscles are flexed when in an active position.
A couple of arm and leg parts were on display, dissected to some degree, to show each purpose, function and their position on the bone.
There was a series of Frontal Brain Slices and full body network of nerve fibers in the area that dealt with the brain and nervous system. In addition to that, there was the results of an experiment that had to do with “Do more choices make us happier?” using chocolates
One of the things that I found most interesting here was the Stroke or Brain Slice with Hemorrhage.
The Walker display had to do with stress and how it affects the body. The body on this one had been split open from the top of the head all the way down to the mid-torso, exposing the brain, heart, arteries and lung area.
In the area that had to do with circulation and the heart, there were some pretty interesting displays. Some of them were the heart with Heart Attack, Enlarged Heart, Smoker’s Leg and Hardened Arteries.
The Emerging Skeleton was portrayed in a way that has a historical background. During the plague epidemic in the Middle Ages, when death often was portrayed by dancing, people believed that corpses left their graves at night. Although death happens when the heart stops beating and the brain shuts down, there is still living bacteria that help with the decay process in dead bodies.
The Swimmer display has a body that has been split in half with the inner organs still in their original positions. Each half contains the organs that are normally positioned in that half of the body.
Football-Gladiators shows an example of muscle strength and endurance from youth into adulthood.
The whole Smoker’s Lungs displays were pretty shocking. I kinda remember my time in health class during my youth and the teacher would discuss and show slides on the effects of smoking on your lungs. I don’t smoke, but have some friends that do, after seeing these lungs on display I would be grossed out if I did smoke. Since my father passed away recently from being diagnosed with Lung Cancer, I was really interested in the Smoker’s Lungs with Cancer.
Limber Gymnast with Organs display had the body posed, balanced atop three balls while holding it’s organs in the air. This represents the juggling act our lives take on and the demands it takes to maintain it. The back of the body is opened up to reveal a hollow cavity where the organs belong.
Stomach Ulcer was something I saw that I imagined quite differently, seems to really burn a hole through the stomach, and never really thought how Liver Damage would look like.
So amazing to see that the intestines are so long and all of that is really fitting in the human body, along with all the other organs.
Never knew that 1 in 25,000 people are born with reversed organs. It is a rare anatomical variation, known as situs inversus. The organs in the chest and abdominal cavities are reversed mirror-image of a normal person. This anatomical variation does not cause any disorders.
Walking Elder with Cane and The Yoga Lady displays show how the muscles and body look through age and flexibility. The Elder shows decreased muscle mass and curving of the spine from age, while Yoga Lady shows the flexibility of the body when it is maintained through activity.
There is this one area of the exhibit that deals with prenatal birth and there is a warning sign before you enter this area. You can choose to bypass this exhibit through a separated walkway on the side. I did take a peek into this part of the exhibit and it does contain human embryos, fetuses in different stages of pregnancy and a pregnant woman.
I did take a look at the Woman Bearing Life display, which had a pregnant woman and a fetus in the 5th month of her pregnancy.
Part of the last area of the Body Worlds: Pulse exhibit deals with sexual reproduction. There is one display that pictures are not allowed due to the nature of the subject matter, two bodies are posed in a very sexual position. This display is in a small, walled off and can be bypassed. Also, some of the organs on display in this area are reproductive organs.
The Kneeling Lady and Ice Hockey Players displays reveal how the muscles and organs look during activity. Keeping yourself active can make the muscles stronger and healthy.
At the very end of the exhibit is an interactive display called, “Before I Die.” There multiple pink strings with note cards attached to them. The cards have the words “Before I die I want to” printed on them with a blank area below it, that contains a personal message from other people. These messages are some of the things that matter the most to those people and are meant to inspire those that read them.
This exhibit was much more than what I thought it would be. Not just plastinated bodies on display, but very informative exhibits. I really liked the sign displays that highlighted certain health problems. They not only included facts, percentages and risks, but also warning signs and things you could do to help prevent them. These sign displays included:
• 2nd Hand Smoke
• Adult Obesity
• Kids Obesity
• Eating Disorders
There is also a small area that you can sit and watch a video on the process it takes to create the plastinated bodies. I think it was something like 15-20 minutes long and gives you some insight on the technique and time it takes to create them.
I never saw the James Bond movie, Casino Royale, so I was not familiar with this display. But apparently this one with three people playing cards at a table was in the movie.
Body Worlds: Pulse is quite fascinating, intriguing with some interactive areas placed in between all the displays. Highly recommend seeing it when you get a chance. It runs through February 20, 2018 at the California Science Center, but may not be suitable for some children. An adult must accompany children 12 years old and younger. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit californiasciencecenter.org.