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[twitter]The Body Worlds exhibit lands at the Telus World of Science in Edmonton this month. I had a chance to see it in Calgary in 2010, and these are some photos and thoughts from that visit:

The perspective the display gives you on yourself is inspiring.

Dr Angelina Whalley, von Hagen’s wife, has seen first hand how millions have been moved by the exhibit and says “they realize how wonderfully the body is made up and how fragile it is. It really changes people’s minds. They often leave saying “I have a completely different view of myself and I won’t take my body for granted as I did.”

That’s exactly how I felt. I can’t take this magical machine for granted.


I paused and lingered with each exhibit, staring intently at the way tiny nerve fibres pierce each muscle. I examined intently the way the body is mapped and wired and how each piece fits to work with another while making room for something else.

I peeked inside and around and wandered behind each body form to get a complete view of exactly how everything works.

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Originally I was invited to view the exhibit as a parent and someone who could give perspective as to whether it was suitable for children.

Dr Whalley remembers a 9 year old boy viewing the smoker and non smoker lungs side by side and immediately jumped at his father when he saw how black the smoker’s lung had become.

“Daddy daddy did you see that? I want you to stop smoking! I don’t want you to look like that!”, she recalled him saying.

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Thinking about the profound effect that sample can have on children, she added “I’m sure he will never ever touch a cigarette in his life.”

Zacharie is nearly 3 and has a wild imagination. He is just developing a sense of fear to the point where some episodes of The Backyardigans upset him. I very often give him the benefit of the doubt and will probably take him to view the exhibit, but will make sure there’s an easy out in case he needs to leave.

Tickets for Body Worlds are legendarily in high demand.

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– This new version of the groundbreaking anatomical exhibition series allows visitors to witness the body living through time—as it changes, grows, matures, and finally wanes.

– The exhibition features 20 full-body plastinates in various action poses and more than 200 real human specimens.

– See individual organs and systems as well as full-body plastinates in various action poses, including hockey players, a baseball player, a ballet dancer, ice skaters, a woman executing a yoga pose, and more.

The Artists’ Gaze is a part of the exhibition exploring the sight and visions of artists Claude Monet and Edgar Degas who suffered from cataracts and retinal eye disease.

Centennial Village is a part of the exhibition examining geographic clusters around the world where the longest living people live and the common traits and lifestyle practices that are worthy of attention.

– Additional highlights include multimedia displays showing the physical effects of aging and plastinated specimens showing the effects of the aging process in our bodies.

– The exhibition celebrates life in all stages, including childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age.

Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life opens at The Telus World of Science in Edmonton on May 18, 2013.

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