From Our Editors
An hour inside Body Worlds Vital exhibit can change the way people see themselves in the mirror. With 200 authentic human specimens, including individual organs, transparent slices, and whole bodies, the exhibit reveals our inner workings, from eyes and brains down to feet and toes. These bodies are frozen in time, many taking on athletic poses to emphasize key muscle groups, respiratory systems, and intricate blood vessels. To stay as true to life as possible, every specimen is different: some are healthy, some show damage from disease, and virtually none of them have the ability to shoot fireballs.
This unique insight into the human body is possible thanks to a technique called Plastination. In 1977, Dr. Gunther von Hagen invented the process, which removes skin and replaces degradable cells with hard resins and polymers—allowing every body system to come into view. The Institute for Plastination, the organization behind BODY WORLDS Vital, sources its specimens from more than 13,000 donors.