A travel and lifestyle blog

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Bodyworlds exhibition - Not for the faint-hearted

I visited the bodyworlds exhibition and it was amazing so I thought I would share it; It's quite hard to visit because it travels round different countries and never comes anywhere near me so I thought other people might be in the same boat. Just a bit of a disclaimer, I personally found it really interesting but I can completely appreciate it not being for you. These are real bodies donated for medical science. If it isn't for you then don't scroll any further, I've put some **** where it starts so you can avoid it.

I don't think I can make it anymore obvious so there we go.

It's beginning here...


The exhibition was amazing. It was produced by Dr. Gunther von Hagens and his wife Dr. Angelina Whalley. von Hagens - known for using plastination to preserve bodies. At this exhibition you can see them in various position and states (i.e. just muscles or nerves etc.). It was so incredible and informative and I left with a very healthy view on mortality.  I was a bit nervous it might be really morbid and depressing but I couldn't have been more wrong; The whole theme was around the cycle of life and living while you can and it was quite positive and had lots of tips on extending your life which I thought was good.

I've covered this in a post because the exhibition tours, I've wanted to see it for ages and never been in the right place - I thought perhaps other people would feel the same.

I also want to just point out that everyone was taking pictures and it wasn't disrespectful and if I felt it was...I wouldn't have done it. There's nothing identifiable about any person, it's just bodies.

Anyway back to the exhibition. It's laid out quite gradually with you initially seeing bones, organs and the brain before you see full human specimens on display. The very first thing you see when you walk in is a poem on the cycle of life and the whole exhibition follows this cycle.

For me, I found a display on the brain the most interesting. I suffer from migranes (very occasionally now but it used to be a lot a couple of years ago) and I honestly was so shocked to find out there was such a physical change in the brain during a migrane; the top left is the brain before and the other slides show a migrane occuring.

I definitely will not feel guilty in the future about cancelling plans when I have one because there is such a massive change. No wonder they hurt so much haha.

(Here the skeleton and then the skeleton with just the blood vessels)

There was also a video on Alzheimers and Demetia that was really useful because I've previously met people suffering (different partner's elderly relatives through the years) and it definitely made me feel much more empathetic to understand some of what they were going through. I'm not going to try and describe it because I will mess it up, so for those you interested, here's a great video by TED-Ed.

The full specimens were laid out in all sort of ways, some interacting with objects (cycling/playing tennis) or with each other or in poses like running or standing but essentially all for the same purpose - to demonstrate the different muscles and body parts.

I really enjoyed the exhibition but I can completely understand it not being for everyone. I found some parts a bit OTT myself but my partner didn't feel the same so I think it's just a matter of preference. There was a dancer holding organs up while balancing and for me it was a bit too far but I think that's because I do gymnastics so it felt a bit too 'real' if that makes sense?! That being said, I think the exhibition is a brilliant thing, it was really eye-opening and I would really recommend it. I would love to see the animal worlds one so fingers crossed the stars align and I can pop to Finland/Milwaukee. 

For anyone interested heres the exhibition website for Bodyworlds (there's one in California, Germany and the one I went to in Geneva).

For Animals inside out click here.



  1. I experienced a Bodyworld's exhibition in Amsterdam a few years ago, and I found so fascinating! Crazy to think that they were once live people that donated their bodies for education. Pretty incredible really! XX


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