Body Worlds
Posted by Irina Yastrebova on Saturday, October 11, 2008 11:19 AM
Edmonton is hosting the Gunther von Hagens' exhibition - Body Worlds. I went to see it on Friday. Real people donated their bodies to be preserved and displayed for educational purposes. All muscles and tissues revealed. If you ever hear of Body Worlds coming to your city go and see it. You will find it fascinating and you will probably be surprised at how things look in real life compare to the image in your head.
My surprises were:
    Ilio-tibial band is thin but very wide, almost 2 inches and looks very strong like a belt
  • Our brain is smaller than I thought. For some reason I imagined it bigger and more impressive :)
  • The deep multifidus muscles are very deep, there are so many layers of muscles and tissue!
  • Our lumbar vertebras are big and thick. However, most of the bodies had so bad postures. Rounded shoulders and flat chests were everywhere. Lumbar region had either extra lordosis or no lordosis what so ever.
  • Aorta is huge, almost an inch in diameter and it gets even bigger with problems such as blood clots. Blot clot was enormous, simply enormous. I had no idea our body can sustain such damage and only fails when it gets so out of hand.
  • Development of a fetus is fascinating. Baby grows so fast. 6 weeks it has everything, head, body, tiny hands and legs, fingers, etc.
  • Lungs are so squishy, smaller than I thought and very white when there is no blood in them. Horse's lungs are enormous. Lungs of a smoker are dark grayish-blue not white. They were very easy to recognize on different bodies.
  • Nerves are big and think especially main ones. For example, the one that causes sciatica, 1 cm wide. No wonder it pinches from distortions in lumbar spine where it is branching from the spinal cord.
  • A horse is beautiful, rearing on hind legs. The horse and it's rider do not have any skin, all muscles are revealed and some parts opened to see insides. Horse's neck vertebras are huge, third and fourth vertebra at least 15 cm in length. Bottom of the thoracic vertebra (where rider sits) is actually convex like a bridge. In actual size human brain is just slightly bigger then horse's brain :))
As you can see from the previous description this exhibition is unusual. Some people may find such display creepy or inappropriate. My husband had hard time seeing all these skinless bodies. I didn't see it that way. For me, it was an amazing window inside our body which is very hard to find unless you are a doctor. The bodies are preserved very well and I didn't find it upsetting. Seeing our bodies like that created two opposite emotions in me. One - we are so fragile and alike, because without skin it is impossible to tell who the person is, what nationality or skin color. Second - reverence at ability of our body to adapt and fight and live through so much.
For more information on Body Worlds click here
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My blog is about teaching, riding and training. I share what is important to me in my work with horses and riders. The writing helps me to think things over and have a better understanding of training ideas and priciples.
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