The Bodyworlds exhibition in London has over 200 real human bodies, preserved using a special plastination technique.
A visit to the Bodyworlds exhibition will take you on a journey round the inside of the human body, looking at the different functions of each body part. It’s a great way to learn about the workings of the human body and the effects of our lifestyle on it.
Note: In respect for the individuals who have donated their bodies no photography of the plastinates is allowed.
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What is the Bodyworlds exhibition?
The Bodyworlds exhibition allows visitors to discover what happens to their bodies beneath the human skin.
Dr Gunther van Hagens has developed this lengthy process of plastination, using bodies that have been donated for educational reasons. At the end of the tour, you can see a video of his team in action preparing the bodies.
The process replaces their body fluids with a sort of silicone rubber. By the end of the treatment, you can see every anatomical detail of the human body, for instance the veins, muscles and organs. These treated bodies are the plastinates.
The Bodyworlds exhibition itself is divided up into sections, each focusing on a different part of the body. In each room the exhibits are positioned to show the function of that particular body part. For instance, there is a section on respiration, where you can see how your lungs work.
The tour is accompanied by an audio tour and you can point your audio equipment at any exhibit to find out more information. There are also videos in each area.
We signed the children up for the “Bodyworlds Junior Doctors” programme. This educational programme takes place every Sunday from 14:30 and is aimed at 8-12-year olds. The children dressed up as real doctors, with a white doctor’s coat, a stethoscope and a clipboard.
They then went around the exhibition with a trainee doctor, who made all the information more accessible to their age group. In addition, they got to have a go at some practical activities, such as resuscitation and taking your blood pressure.
Although we paid more for this, I think it was well worth it. There is a lot of information in the exhibition and this made it easier for them to absorb it.
Why would you go to the Bodyworlds exhibition?
The Bodyworlds exhibition is unique and really quite fascinating. You get a real insight into what the insides of our bodies would look like with no skin.
There is also a lot of health advice and information about lifestyle choices. It gives reminders about what happens during the ageing process if we are not using our brains or exercising.
There is also guidance on what happens if we don’t use our bodies as intended. For instance, they have the lungs of a heavy smoker and a non-smoker.
You can also do a body composition test, which will analyse key factors such as your body fat, fluid intake and muscle composition. Happily, I got a green light.
The Bodyworlds exhibition motivated me to make some lifestyle changes, though whether I put this into practice remains to be seen!
Planning your journey
Bodyworlds is in the centre of the West End of London in Piccadilly Circus. The nearest tube station is Piccadilly Circus. You can check out train times here.
Planning your visit
The Bodyworlds Exhibition is open every day of the year from 10:00 to 19:00.
Lockers are available at a cost of £2.
It is cheaper to pre-book online. A family ticket costs £70.