See Dead People. At the BODIES Exhibition

I remember a group of us sneaking out of Biology class in college to take a peek at the cadavers in the next classroom. It only took the sight of one tagged big toe before I felt light headed, nauseous and had to escape…quickly. Apparently, I’m a wimp when it comes to dead people. This is why I agreed to see BODIES Exhibition at the Luxor in Las Vegas. To redeem myself.

The Bodies Exhibition in Las Vegas, Nevada

The Bodies Exhibition has over 200 human bodies and specimens.

The specimens at the exhibit are preserved using a process called polymer preservation where silicone rubber is used to permanently preserve the human tissue. The process can take anywhere from a week to a full year, depending on the size of the part. I was pretty sure, that because of this, they wouldn’t have the same sour smell of my prior cadaver experience.

But, I purposely hadn’t eaten lunch prior to my arrival. Just in case. 

The Bodies Exhibition in Las Vegas, Nevada

We were greeted by several full-body specimens, a glimpse into our muscular system. I was too fascinated to be nauseous. Phew. It is said the muscular system is like the engine that drives our bodies, contracting to move blood vessels, bones and even food. If there was any doubt, seeing the intricacy of each form removed it. It is the engine.

The Bodies Exhibition in Las Vegas, Nevada

Each of the, seemingly countless, areas highlighted a different system; muscular, skeletal, nervous, respiratory, digestive, urinary, etc. It was easy to be overwhelmed, and feel light-headed, just by discovering the complexity of our bodies.

Not only were there full-bodies at the Bodies Exhibition to look at, but just about every part of the human body was meticulously dissected. Even the tiniest bone in the body, the stirrup found in the ear, was represented. It is about 1/10th of an inch long. Tiny.

I was particularly fascinated with viewing the differences between a smokers and non-smokers lungs. The normal flesh color had turned to that of ash. I was happy at the thought that my lungs must still be a fleshy pigment.

The Bodies Exhibition in Las Vegas, Nevada

Though you can not touch the displays there was an opportunity to hold a lung and, of course, I did.

The Bodies Exhibition was an exploration of the human body rather than being the creepiness of “seeing dead people”. For that I am grateful. And my stomach is too.

Have you seen the BODIES exhibition?  

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22 thoughts on “See Dead People. At the BODIES Exhibition”

  1. That's cool. I think I would have enjoyed the exhibition. Crazy about how the lungs of non-smokers vs. smokers looked. I'm glad there's some fleshy pigment to mine. :)

  2. The Bodies exhibitions are absolutely incredible. They're works of art and sometimes I forget I'm looking at actual human bodies when I'm examining them. Because of the vibrant colors and the very purposeful anatomical displays, I think they're much easier to stomach than say, a cadaver lab.

  3. Wow! No, I've never seen this exhibition, but I too was fascinated by it when I heard about it. :-) I went to a DaVinci exhibit where his drawings of the human body were displayed, though, and that was mesmerizing. :-)

  4. Ick! BODIES came to Cincy a little bit ago, but I didn't go. My adventures dissecting cats in high school was enough for me for a lifetime! What did the lung feel like?

  5. We got to see the Bodies exhibition in Rotterdam a little while back. My husband found it interesting albeit a little creepy. I was totally mesmerised. I'm fascinated by these amazing things called our "body". Perfect machines that are self-healing, when given the right circumstances (and fuel). 

  6. I went to Bodyworlds (the original one) about 6 years ago and it was even better than Bodies (my sister actually worked for Bodies when they were in San Diego so I got free tix).  I remember they had one guy with all his skin removed and he was holding all his skin in his hand.  Then a guy playing chess with his brain in his hand. There was also a pregnant person with her dead fetus in her stomach.   I also love the capillaries exhibit.

    I dissected cats too. I have photos of me holding up my severely dissected cat.   Then in college I took human anatomy and our test questions were found on the cadavers…like they would have a little flag that said question 6 on a muscle on the cadaver and we would have to write down what it was.    I'm a science geek, so it's all fun for me.  :)

    • The body holding his own skin would creep me out! I can’t believe you dissected cats too. Probably, because I graduated school many…many years ago we were only doing frogs at the time.

  7. I've seen the exhibit twice.  I have to admit that the first time, I started getting really warm when my brain realized what I was looking at.  I had to kind of tune out and pretend they weren't real to get through the whole exhibit.  Plus it was at the old Fulton Fish Market in NYC and the first few rooms smelled fishy, didn't help the situation. The second time was better.

    • It was a pretty amazing exhibit. The human body is incredible! I agree that, with so much detail, you forgot that they were real people.


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Hey Bucket Listers!
I'm Annette.

I’m a goal obsessed mid-lifer, traveler, experience collector, fear crusher, digital marketer and author with big bucket list dreams. Let's Connect!


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