BANV takes kids to see Body Worlds at Maryland Science Center

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BANV took the kids to see Gunther von HagensBody Worlds 2 at the Maryland Science Center today to keep them busy during this spring break from school. My 9-year-old enjoyed it quite a bit and my 5-year-old was a trooper. She kept her eyes closed in the beginning, but by the time she got near the end of the exhibit she decided it wasn’t scary and she particularly enjoyed the animals on display. I had been planning to send my son in with a friend and take my daughter to the Kids Room, which she loves. But I really wanted to see the Body Worlds exhibit. It’s not often that you get to really examine all those body parts that cause you pain from time to time. It’s one thing for my podiatrist to point to a drawing of the human foot and explain to me that my heel pain is actually caused by a strip of tissue that connects my heel to my toes. It’s quite another to actually see the plantar fascia on a human body preserved with polymers. We got to see what a lung ravaged by cancer looks like as well as what happens to the heart and surrounding tissues when someone has a heart attack.
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The most fascinating part was simply seeing just where all the organs tuck into the body beneath all that bone and muscle.
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Hagens’ method of displaying them in the form of athletic poses with parts of the muscle cut away to provide a window inside had a certain beauty to it. One particular body displayed in an X-shaped pose to show all of its different layers was rather awe inspiring. He did have babies included in the exhibit and I just couldn’t look at them. They were displayed around a corner that was easy to avoid and we did. The kids really liked the camel and horse. We could see some plants in the camel’s stomach, which he must have been eating. The exhibit really didn’t make us squeamish. It was kind of like when I dissected frogs in the seventh grade. After worrying about it for almost a year, when I actually did it, I found the frog’s formaldehyde-infused body felt like plastic. And that’s just how these bodies looked. I had to keep reminding myself that it was all real. The exhibit runs through Sept. 1.