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GRPM – Bodies Revealed

Bodies Revealed
Bodies Revealed

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is currently hosting the critically acclaimed exhibit ‘Bodies Revealed’.  The exhibit arrived in November and will be in town until the 1st of May, and I suggest that you go have a look.  This exhibit is amazing, a little creepy at times, but amazing none the less.

Grand Rapids Public Museum
Grand Rapids Public Museum - photo by Gene Parker

You walk into the exhibit and are greeted by a video giving you a quick break down of the systems in the human body and a preview of some of the exhibits features.  Walking down the hall you can read about scientists who studied the body throughout time, and learn what knowledge they contributed to the science.  After walking through the hall you enter a large room with your first sight being a body… Yes it is an actual body, skin striped away, revealing only muscle and fat tissue.

The first room focuses on your muscular system and nervous system.  A great feature of the exhibit is that you can see a completely healthy organ right next to a diseased one.  An example of this is a healthy brain next to a brain with Alzheimer.  These types of dichotomies really put disease into perspective.  Later in the exhibit they focus on the lungs and smoking, that was an eye-opener for sure.

Here is how the Bodies Revealed Website describes the exhibit:

BODIES REVEALED lets visitors of all ages explore deep within the human body in a way that informs but doesn’t overwhelm.

As the visitor moves from gallery to gallery, the exhibition uses 14 full body human specimens and over 200 organs to tell the story of the miraculous systems at work within each of us every second of our existence. Rooted in the historical precedent set by such great anatomists as Vesalius and da Vinci, each full body specimen is dissected to best reveal the function of a complete anatomical system and to show that system’s relationship to the body as a whole. The full body specimens are complimented by presentation cases of related individual organs, both healthy and diseased, that provided an even more detailed look into the elements that comprise each system.

Our bodies are our most important possession. They are intricately developed machines; more complex and wondrous than all the computers and gadgetry we surround ourselves with today. Yet many of us do not know what makes us tick—how we function, what we need to survive, what destroys us, what revives us. Bodies Revealed, made possible through the process of Polymer Preservation, is an attempt to remedy that lack of knowledge by presenting to the lay public material that was previously only available to the medical profession: a three-dimensional tour of the human body.

Countless visitors have remarked that the knowledge gained from the experience has provided them with a new connection to their own bodies. Others claim a new reverence for life and a desire to take a more preventative approach to their health care. To quote writer and philosopher John Conger whose words are displayed in the exhibition, “Without the body, the wisdom of the larger self cannot be known.”

About the Polymer Preservation Process

The Polymer preservation process is a revolutionary technique in which human tissue is permanently preserved using liquid silicone rubber. This prevents the natural decay process, making specimens available for study for an indefinite time period. Polymer preservation provides a closer look at the skeletal, muscular, nervous, respiratory, digestive, urinary, reproductive, endocrine and circulatory systems by unveiling the mysteries of the human anatomy. The end product of the Polymer Preservation process is a dry, odorless specimen that resists decomposition thus allowing its user to create a unique collection of permanently preserved human specimen for public exhibition.

It may not be for the squeamish, but if you can handle it, Bodies Revealed is a true learning experience!

For more information on Bodies revealed Click Here

And for more information on the Grand Rapids Public Museum Click Here

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