Last Thursday I had an opportunity to go to Bodies… The Exhibition at the Niagara Exhibition Centre with my 5-year-old son. Back in February we had seen the BodyWorlds exhibit at the Ontario Science Centre. I was definitely curious to see how the two exhibits were different. I have scanned the promotional leaflet, and you can view it here: 2010 Bodies The Exhibition
As could be expected from a Thursday at around dinner time at the beginning of June, there weren’t very many people there. There were only around 7-10 cars in the parking lot. I’m not complaining about that, as it was nice to be able to view things without feeling like someone was waiting for you.
If you haven’t seen either exhibit, there are many bodies on display in various poses. There is a plastination process used that keeps the bodies preserved, but still lets you see “inside” them. The picture below is a great example. It shows a body posing. You can see the muscles and bones. In this specific example, it is also show various medical prostheses.
The building itself was done up very well. I drive by that place every day, and wondered how it would look. The exhibit is of high quality, and fits well in the building. The only complaint I have is about the unpaved parking lot. On the day I went, it rained, and there were very large puddles that I had to walk around.
The various bodies show things such as:
- various diseases
- how systems such as the central nervous, skeletal, musculature and more work
- how your body has balance and strength
- fetal development (with fetuses as small as just a few weeks)
There were a few exhibits that particularly stood out for me:
- There was an example of a brain with hydrocephalus. It looked to be from a child
- The sections that showed how the circulatory system worked were neat. They have arms and legs that look like arms and legs, but the arms and legs aren’t there. All you see are the many arteries filled with blood. Cool!
- There is one display with a clean healthy lung and then a very dirty smoker’s lung. Between the two of them is a container that you can drop your cigarettes in.
- As shown in the picture above, the body showing the various medical prostheses and surgical tools was neat
The largest exhibit is the transverse and sagittal body sections. This is the display where you see the cross section of the body at different locations.
There were several students walking around the exhibits ready to answer any questions you have. We spoke with a nice young woman who was going to be a nurse. She also happened to be the person who helped us at the touch booth. There you can hold part of a human brain, a baboon brain, a heart, and a pelvic bone.
My son was not bothered at all by anything that he saw. He giggled (not unexpectedly) at the “butt cracks” and “privates” that he could see, but the displays are very tastefully done. I wouldn’t be embarrassed or concerned about taking anyone to the exhibit.
As you would expect, there is a small gift shop area that you walk through when you are done. They actually had some pretty nice stuff. My favourites were the line of Giant Microbes by Drew Oliver. These are small stuffed animals, except they aren’t animals. They are in the shape of various cells or diseases. It might sound odd, but they are quite cute. My son really wanted to get one.
There were also other fun things such as shirts, books, pens (made out of plastic bones), stress balls (in the shape of various organs), and Frozen Smiles ice trays. The prices all seemed quite reasonable.
I wish I could show you pictures of the exhibits, but unfortunately, there is no photography allowed inside.
I was fascinated by the BodyWorlds exhibit, and I was still fascinated by this Bodies… The Exhibition exhibit. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t much difference between the two of them, but it was still enjoyable to visit. If you have never seen such an exhibit, or haven’t been in a while, you should definitely check it out.