Gunther von Hagen has the scariest art/science exhibit currently touring the world. Twice. His Bodyworlds exposition attracted so many visitors over the years that a second tour, Bodyworlds 2, was added. One Bodyworlds exhibit is currently in Philadelphia until April 23, 2006. Bodyworlds 2 is in Toronto until February 26, 2006. More than 17 million visitors worldwide have currently visited one of the exhibits.
Gunther von Hagen invented “plastination” in 1977. This technique replaces body fluids with plastic, and enabled him to preserve and model human bodies. His models hold dynamic poses, allowing you to see organs and tissues from a unique angle, and more clearly than in a text book or from a static model. While these bodies in “action” might make you forget that you’re looking at real human bodies, other displays clearly remind you of this, for example plastified smoker’s lungs versus non-smoker’s lungs, or models showing different stages of pregnancy.
All models were once living people. Two hundred specimens have been used in the exhibitions, but more donors are still sought. If you’re not creeped out by the thought of being plastfied and displayed after death, you can sign up to be a donor through the Bodyworlds website.