Sunday, January 11, 2009
Ed and I went to the Body Worlds exhibition at the Leonardo last night. It was worth the time and effort and money it cost. It was simply fascinating. The only bad thing was that we had a hour and 45 minute wait to get in. They started us in a line in the basement where it wound back and forth and back and forth and then woo wee, we got to go upstairs ....to more line!! It wound back and forth and back and forth and then we got to go upstairs again....to more line, but this time it was only a 15 minute line!
They scanned our ticket and we took a few steps and then we stopped and picked up the earphones that we had paid for and finally headed into the exhibition. It was fascinating, interesting, educational and beautiful. The full body skeletons (with and without musculature) were simply a work of art. There have been complaints that it was an abuse of the dead bodies but the people that signed up to have their bodies plasticized knew exactly what they were signing up for. The sheer amount of education alone would be worth going for. I am sure that doctors all over the world have learned much by touring through the exhibits.
The most beautiful thing were the sheer lacy exhibits of the arterial system that was shown throughout the whole exhibit. Imagine if you will a deep rich red lacy 'hand' - all the bone and tissue and skin have been removed leaving only the actual arteries getting smaller and smaller and smaller, more and more delicate.
Jamie had mentioned that she would have been upset by the babies - and actually that display was the most unreal. They simply looked like dolls - plastic dolls. None of them were cut open or taken apart (thank heavens) to show the different parts of their bodies like the full sized plastinated bodies were. Simply 'dolls' at different levels of maturity before birth - 16 weeks, 22 weeks, etc. The fascinating part of that display was the glass tubes showing them at 8 days - twelve days, 18 days etc. Finally at nine weeks you could see the full baby - about 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch long - you could see the eyes and face and mouth - the hands and fingers, the legs and toes. So truly amazing and yet so little.
I am so glad that we went. I learned so much - for instance the adrenal gland that sits atop the kidneys - what arteriosclerosis looks like, what cigarette smoke does to the lungs. I learned that someone can literally die of a broken heart and why!! I learned that the heart is such a miraculous organ.
I am thankful for the chance I had to see inside of the human body. Most of us will never get a chance to see it.
It was worth the wait!