There is an exhibit at the Museum of Idaho in Idaho Falls, Idaho called BODIES….The Exhibition. Saturday we traveled down there to meet family and view the exhibit. In high school I took an advanced biology class and got to go to the University of Utah cadaver lab. I was amazed at how different each body part looked in comparison to the book, but unfortunately we only got to view a few parts. Well since then I have always had a fascination with how amazing the human body is, I decided that my daughters birthday was a great excuse to get out of town and view the exhibit. There where three kids, my parents, my 18 year old brother, my husband, and I. Tickets at that location are $10 for adults, $8 for kids, and a family is $30. Honestly in comparison to tickets at other locations ($35 for an adult) well worth it (I still think it’s worth it at $35). We arrived just after noon and had almost no wait, there where people there but not so many you couldn’t see anything, but when we left just after 2:00 there was a line heading out the door and down the block, so you may want to buy tickets ahead of time or go on an “off” day.
One of the first exhibits you find is a muscle figure and a skeleton holding hand, what was so fascinating to me is the fact it is ONE person, muscles on one side and skeleton on the other. I must say I was amazed at the time that goes into each exhibit, it really is art. They use a polymer preservation process to preserve each body, so there is NO smell. Each individual organ can take a week to complete this process and a whole body can take up to a year.
There are several location that are hosting an exhibit currently, Atlanta GA, Las Vegas NV, New York NY, Tulsa OK, and Idaho Falls ID. I’m not sure if each show is slightly different but I know there are a few photos online that I did not see at the Idaho Falls location, mainly the pregnant woman (honestly I’m a little thankful, I think I may have cried about that one). One of my favorite exhibits was a display case that showed our ENTIRE vascular system, every vein and artery in a human body, I was fascinated at the complexity of each system and how they go together to function as a unit.
My next favorite exhibit was actual an entire room, which you can choose not to view, it was the fetus room (ALL the fetuses on display where stillborn or miscarried naturally, according to all the info I could find). I have gone through three pregnancies and read probably a dozen books about what your baby looks like at each stage of development, but I was left speechless once I walked into that room. I had such a flood of emotions, part of me wanted to cry because they where real babies that never got to be held and loved, part of me wanted to smile because you could clearly see that they where babies from almost the start (one was sucking on it’s fingers), part of me wanted to drag any woman contemplating an abortion directly to that room and show them what they where getting rid of, and part of me was absolutely fascinated that my body could create such an amazing miracle. My kids LOVED seeing the babies, they enjoyed knowing that at some point in my tummy that is what they looked like, even my two year old (who was some what board with everything else) was mesmerized by the babies.
There was a fantastic teaching display about the effects of smoking on your lungs. Great “teach you child your point of view” moment. There was also an amazing display of a body cut into thin slices and displayed in order. You could see the organs layer by layer, I thought it was quite interesting. Another display that I found interesting was a hand that they had taken the skin off of so you could see all the tendons. It's so amazing how if a muscle pulls that tendon, your finger moves, the human hand is so very complex, yet so simple.
Overall great exhibits, well worth the money, great educational tool to help reinforce anatomy. More useful for older kids and adults but all four kids there enjoyed it. Also worth mentioning ALL the anatomy is there, all reproductive organs are there and hanging out (if you know what I mean), my daughter I think was a little uncomfortable with that part of the exhibits but it didn't faze my brother or son. So just for information if seeing privates is totally taboo, DO NOT go see the exhibit. If that doesn’t bother you, BODIES….The Exhibition should definitely be on your must see list.