Body Worlds Invades Denver


Gabi Curry writes, Thump…

Thump, thump, thump, thump sounds the beating heart as you cross into the Body Worlds & The Story of the Heart exhibit (March 12 – July 28) at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Upon entering the display I was amazed by over 200 authentic human specimens that included entire bodies, as well as individual and cross sections of organs. “Plastination transform the body, an object of individual mourning, into the object of reverence, learning, enlightenment, and appreciation” (G√ľnter von Hagens). Dr. von Hagens developed plastination, a method of preserving the human body after death in 1977. The preserved bodies and organs were originally used in medical schools for the study of anatomy. In addition to full bodies in athletic poses that showcase how our bodies work in harmony there are individual organs and slices of body parts that are healthy and diseased. The most interesting part was a transparent slice of a smokers leg. I didn’t realize that smoking affects the entire body. With a smokers leg the arteries narrow and become clogged which can lead to amputation. The inside of the leg was black not a healthy pink. Body Worlds was established in 1983 when the body donation program was started. There are currently more than 11,000 donors to the Institute of Plastination – 1,000 are American – 42 from Colorado. Once a donation is made it takes 1500-3000 hours and most of a year to preserve a body. Over 29,000,000 people from throughout the world have viewed a Body Worlds exhibit. For the first time Body Worlds has added a theme that moves throughout the exhibit – the heart. The heart is the first organ to be formed and the last organ to stop working. Dr. Angeline Whalley, creative and conceptual designer of Body Worlds, shared that, “We are dependent on our heart and need our heart healthy and a heart centered life.” The goal of Body Worlds is to “Inspire people, on many different levels – physical, emotional, philosophical, and to leave to live with inspiration” (Dr. Angeline Whalley). Dr. Bridget Coughlin’s (DMNS Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Programs, Curator of Human Health) goal in the bringing the exhibit back to Denver is to “transform the community by learning the science of the human body. We will then be inspired to make healthy choices.” She knows that “no computer game or animation can match what this exhibit teaches.” Body Worlds offer “universal appeal because everyone has a body and we need to learn more about it.” This is an all-new exhibit. Visitors will discover how the heart nourishes, regulates, and sustains life and what the effects of a healthy and unhealthy lifestyle actually looks like in the body. Included also are more ‘clinical aspects’ such as an artificial heart, stents, pacemakers and transplanted hearts. To help people understand Body Worlds and answer questions over 500 volunteers have spent 20 hours in class learning about the exhibit. To learn more about Body Worlds and purchase tickets go to


  1. Now…
    Now, i really want to see it! I am gunna make my mom come. She works in the gift shop, but dosn’t get to see the exibit! YAY! you made it sound awsome, good report!

  2. Great story and quotes.
    Great story and quotes. My dad’s a cardiologist and would love this exhibit!

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