Saturday, December 02, 2006

The body electric

We went to "Bodies: The Exhibition" today in downtown Seattle. It's a controversial exhibit because it features actual dissected and skinned human bodies from China, and the bodies were unclaimed, not actually donated to science. That said, it's absolutely fascinating.

Most interesting to me:

--The blackened, horrible lungs of a smoker next to clean lungs. They actually put a box next to the smoker's lungs and asked people to consider throwing their cigarettes away, and it was about a quarter full.
--The uterus with an IUD in it
--The teratoma, complete with hair and teeth
--The skeleton holding hands with its own musculature

There was also a room of miscarried fetuses at various stages of development, some with birth defects. They offers an exit right before this room if you didn't want to go in there. I'm thinking that both pro-lifers and pro-choicers would find a way to use that room to their own advantage--the pro-lifers could point to the ones that look like babies, and the pro-choicers could point to the ones that look like just tissue.


Anonymous said...

I saw Body Worlds 2 in Cleveland last year. Intriguing and icky. I liked the one of the nerves, which I think looked like a bunch of strings draped over a skeleton.

I also made this photo my desktop wallpaper for a few weeks afterwards—which totally squicked out everyone else at work. Heh.

Anna's Mommy said...

Hi! I just attended Body Worlds exhibit in St Paul at the Science Museum. Our exhibit did not have a teratoma, but it did have a woman who was about 8 months pregnant at the time of her death and both her body and the baby's were on view. Very, very sad.

There were no protesters that I ever heard of at this exhibit, though a local columnist in the Strib went on and on about the exhibit "glorifying death" which I didn't agree with at all. I felt more alive after this exhibit, more humble about my body, more thankful for my health and to be alive and hopefully on my way to an uneventful death. I thought it was all very respectful.

One thing that was weird for me is that I went to the exhibit at about 10-11 p.m., which somehow seemed fitting. Right before the exhibit ended the hours were extended to go around the clock and those hours were indeed sold out. I think it would have been surreal to go to this exhibit and then into the light of the day. Just a thought.