‘Body World’ shows inside of human beings

Kyle Laughlin
Contributing writer

***image1***“Körperwelt” or “Body World” presents a fascinating look inside the body.
Located in Frankfurt-Fechenheim in the NAXOS-Event-Halle, the exhibition that runs until June 13, offers remarkable insight on how the body works and how the systems are interconnected.
Dr. Gunther von Hagens, the inventor of “Plastination” has been perfecting the process since 1977. Through a volunteer network of “donors” he has been ever increasing his “living” autopsies. Using a system of emulsifiers and polymers a hard or “formable” cadaver is preserved virtually indefinitely for display.
Although at first thought the idea of looking at actual people preserved may sound daunting, fascination and wonder quickly take over these feelings. Many of the displays are presented in a “natural” state, in order to highlight specific relationships between bones, muscles and internal organs during activities such as basketball playing and horseback riding.
Displays are not limited to human bodies; a number of animals are also on display. The most fascinating is the female gorilla, which highlights the similarities between the species.
Touring the exhibition lasts approximately two hours with the aid of an audio guide which guides visitors through the human skeleton, followed by the locomotive system, the digestive system, special nerve and vessel specimens and even the development of new life in the womb. There are special displays on organs and related systems with educational explanations of functions and common diseases.
Since the first exhibition in Mannheim in 1997 more than 14 million people worldwide have marveled at the fascinating insights of the human body. Körperwelt has become the single most successful touring exhibition worldwide.
The impact of visiting the exhibition has changed some people’s lives for the better.
“On average, nine percent of visitors quit smoking after seeing the damaging effects of cigarette smoking on the lungs,” said Professor Ernest-D. Lantermann from the University of Kassel, who conducted a poll. “Twenty-one percent are more willing to donate their organs to those who desperately need transplant operations. Thirty-three percent follow a healthier diet and partake in more physical activities.”
Public viewing of dissections of the human body ended in 200 A.D. Thanks to Dr. von Hagens, many people will have their first glimpse into the inner works of the human body.
Directions in English to the exhibition can be found on the event Web site: http://www.koerperwelten.com, but the easiest way is to use a map Web site to print out exact directions. Entrance is 12 EUR for adults and 6 EUR for children over 6. Until the end of May, military members pay 9 EUR. Audio guides in several languages, including English, are available for rent for 2.50 EUR.