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FAQs

  • What is BODY WORLDS?
    BODY WORLDS is the first exhibition of its kind to inform the visitor about anatomy, physiology and health by viewing REAL HUMAN BODIES. The specimens on display were preserved through Plastination, the preservation process invented by physician and anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens in 1977, while he was working as at the University of Heidelberg. Since the beginning of the exhibition series in Japan in 1995, more than 46 million visitors in more than 120 cities in America, Europe, Asia and Africa have seen it.

    BODY WORLDS is the world's most successful travelling health and wellbeing exhibition. An awe-inspiring journey through the human body, celebrating its complexity, beauty and potential.
  • What is BODY WORLDS Vital?
    BODY WORLDS Vital presents a special collection of specimens designed to show visitors the basics of human health and wellness. The museum quality exhibition includes whole-body plastinates, a large arrangement of individual organs, arterial and organ configurations and translucent slices that give a complete picture of how the body works.

    BODY WORLDS Vital tells the fascinating story of how best to fight life-threatening diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart ailments, through healthy choices and lifestyle changes.

    The exhibition inspires visitors to assert themselves and to claim responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.
  • What is the goal of the exhibition?
    BODY WORLDS Vital aims to educate the public about the inner workings of the human body and shows the effects of poor health, good health and lifestyle choices. Through the specimens on display, visitors will gain profound insights into the structure and function of healthy and unhealthy bodies in a way that is not possible anywhere else on such a comprehensive scale. It is also presented to motivate visitors to learn more about the science of anatomy and physiology. It’s a very beautiful and awe-inspiring exhibition.
  • Who should see BODY WORLDS?
    Anyone interested in learning what makes your body work should see BODY WORLDS. More than 45 million visitors of all ages have visited the exhibition around the globe. Given the nature of the BODY WORLDS exhibits, we advise parents, guardians or school staff to read all the information on our website to decide whether it is appropriate for the children in their care. As a guideline, we suggest that BODY WORLDS is of particular interest to children aged 8 and over and adults of all ages. This is for guidance only - you know your children best. All children in attendance to BODY WORLDS must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Where else has BODY WORLDS been exhibited?
    BODY WORLDS exhibitions have been displayed in America, Europe, Asia and Africa. This is the first time that BODY WORLDS Vital is travelling to Australasia.

    There are numerous BODY WORLDS exhibitions. While all of the BODY WORLDS exhibitions focus on general anatomy revealed through Plastination, each exhibition is currently being shown with dedicated themes — on cardiology and the heart (BODY WORLDS & The Story of the Heart), human development, longevity and aging (BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life), the body´s capability and vitality (BODY WORLDS Vital), and the story of the human body in the 21st century (BODY WORLDS: Pulse). There is also the influence that ‘happiness’ has on our health (BODY WORLDS: The Happiness Project) and the prescription for a healthy life (BODY WORLDS RX), and finally ANIMAL INSIDE OUT, which uncovers the inner structure of different animals in intricate detail, from frogs, domestic animals, livestock to adult gorillas, giraffes and elephants.

    If you would like to know in which cities the exhibitions will be on display next, please go to the official BODY WORLDS website, www.bodyworlds.com where you will find an overview of past and future exhibition venues.
  • Why is it important for the public to see these exhibits?
    The organisers of BODY WORLDS believe that when people understand more about how the body works and how it can break down, we are more likely to make better health and wellbeing choices. We hope the exhibition inspires you to join the many millions of previous visitors to BODY WORLDS who are now actively making positive changes to their lifestyle and eagerly learning more about the science of anatomy and physiology.
  • Would I not be able to learn just as much from books or models of the human anatomy?
    The use of authentic specimens allows a thorough examination and study of disease, physiology and anatomy that you cannot find in models, textbooks, or photos. In addition, the exhibition allows visitors to understand that each and every body has its own unique features, even on the inside. The experience in other cities has clearly demonstrated that real specimens fascinate exhibition visitors in a way that models cannot.
  • What is Plastination?
    Plastination is a unique process invented by Dr. Gunther von Hagens in 1977 to preserve specimens for medical education. Plastination is a method of extracting bodily fluids and fat from specimens, and replacing them with reactive resins and polymers. This enables visitors to actually see inside the human body, learn how it works and how it can be affected by disease.

    After the bodies are shaped into lifelike poses, they are hardened with gas, heat or light. The plastinates show how our bodies move in everyday life, as well as during athletic activities. For more information on this process please visit our Plastination page.
  • Are the specimens real human bodies?
    Yes, the specimens in BODY WORLDS are real human bodies, preserved though a groundbreaking method of preservation called Plastination. Plastinated specimens are dry and odourless and retain their natural structure. In fact, they are identical to their pre-preservation state down to the microscopic level. Specimens on display originate from the Institute of Plastination’s body donor program. To find out more about the BODY WORLDS donor program please visit www.bodyworlds.com
  • Where do the bodies come from?
    The specimens in the BODY WORLDS exhibition come from the Institute for Plastination’s body-donor program. Dr. Gunther von Hagens established the body donation program in 1983, shortly after he invented Plastination. The program is now managed by Dr. von Hagens’ Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg, Germany. All donors are adults who gave their consent, during their lifetimes, to use their bodies for Plastination and specifically for the BODY WORLDS exhibits. Independent ethicists have reviewed the Institute for Plastination’s donor program and protocols and verified that the specimens were properly donated for the purpose of public exhibition. To find out more about the BODY WORLDS donor program please visit www.bodyworlds.com
  • Will we know who the plastinates are or how they died?
    As agreed upon by the body donors, the identities and cause of death are not disclosed. The exhibition focuses on the nature of our bodies, not on disclosure of donor personal information. For more information on the BODY WORLDS donor program please visit www.bodyworlds.com
  • Will I be able to touch any of the plastinates?
    While you will be able to get very close to the plastinates, as a rule, visitors are not allowed to touch the plastinates.
  • What do they look like?
    BODY WORLDS plastinates are as life-like as possible through current preservation techniques. The specimens show the intricacies of the human body from within. They look the same as you or I would if our muscles and tissues were visible!
  • I’ve heard about other body exhibits, why is this one different from the others?
    BODY WORLDS is the original public anatomical exhibition by Dr. Gunther von Hagens and the only exhibition associated with a body donation program. Specimens on display at this exhibition were properly acquired through an official body donations program - where consent of the body donor extends to public exhibition.

    Dr. von Hagens invented Plastination in 1977 and has since been refining and further perfecting the process. The result being BODY WORLDS exhibitions are unparalleled in their overall quality and refinement.
  • Why are the specimens in various poses?
    The plastinates are posed to emphasize certain systems of the body. Athletic poses highlight specific muscle groups in the body, and organs may be arranged so that visitors can see their relationships to the rest of the body.
  • Why aren’t they wearing clothes?
    The plastinates are posed without clothing and skin to provide the best educational opportunity for visitors to see the inside of the human body.
  • Are they life size?
    Since the specimens come from human donors, they are fully life size. Everything is to scale.
  • Is the exhibition suitable for children?
    More than 46 million people, including young children and school groups have viewed the BODY WORLDS exhibitions around the world. As a guideline, we suggest that BODY WORLDS Vital is of particular interest to children aged 8 and over, and adults of all ages. This is for guidance only - you know your children best. We advise that all children are accompanied by an adult.

    If you are considering bringing children or school groups to BODY WORLDS Vital, please refer to our online guides which have been developed to help you make the most of your visit. Also check the other frequently asked questions in this section.
  • Is there an audio tour?
    Audio Guides are offered for an additional fee. The audio tours are designed for laypersons. There are no personally guided tours through the exhibition at this time (except where organised school group tours may be guided through by Life Education Trust educators).
  • What educational materials is BODY WORLDS providing?
    Most teachers will prefer to prepare their students for their BODY WORLDS experience with the Educator materials we have made available for download on our Visitor Information Schools page. To make the best of school tours we strongly encourage teachers to review all guides provided on this website and to contact Life Education Trust educators to discuss other customised curriculum and educational materials available.

    We will be offering preview opportunities in the opening weeks of the exhibition for teachers to see the exhibition free of charge.
  • How long can I stay inside the exhibition?
    We generally recommend allowing yourself about between one to two hours to visit the exhibition - within opening hours. The length of time will vary on how long each visitor wishes to examine each specimen and read the information. An audio tour will add to your time in the exhibition. Please note that once you leave the exhibition, re-entry is not permitted under the same ticket.
  • Can you take photographs or film in the exhibitions?
    In certain areas of the gallery, still photography using small hand-held devices may be permitted for personal use, please check onsite for details.
  • Are food and drinks allowed inside the exhibit?
    No, sorry. No food or drinks are allowed inside the exhibition.
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