This weekend, our kids were at the lake with their cousins, so Denise and I had some time to ourselves. Besides trying to figure out what to do with ourselves (it’s amazing how unbusy a busy schedule becomes when the kids are gone), we decided to go visit the Bodies Revealed exhibit. The exhibit has been at Kansas City’s Union Station all summer, and this was our last chance to see it.
If you aren’t familiar with Bodies Revealed, it is an exhibit of real human bodies on display. They are “unclaimed” Chinese bodies that have been “plasticized” to preserve them. The display is meant to be an educational experience to learn about our bodies.
Of course, an exhibition like this is sure to attract controversy, and it (along with others like it) certainly have. A quick check of Wikipedia shows several references to those opposing the display. There is some question about where the bodies really came from. Some speculate that they may be the bodies of executed Chinese prisoners.
For us, we were more curious than anything. We’ve heard about it, thought it would be interested, and since we had nothing else to do, we decided to go.
The tickets were $24 each, not cheap by any means. We had to wait about an hour and a half before we could enter, as they try to control the crowds going into the display. Once we were finally allowed to enter, it wasn’t long before we were ready to leave.
It’s not that we found it offensive or morbid or disgusting. We were just… bored. The first room showed us a skeleton, muscles and some bones. Then we saw the spinal cord and the nervous system. We then got to see the lungs and heart. The next room taught us a little too much about the reproductive system. A “special” room was next with a sign that allowed us to skip it if we felt it was necessary. This room showed us how babies develop. There were several fetuses at various stages of life, as well as the body of a pregnant woman with her womb cut open so we could see the baby inside.
Sprinkled around the exhibit were bodies arranged in various poses. One was throwing a baseball, another swinging a bat. There were a few bodies that were sliced like a ham and encased in plastic.
We zipped through it in about a half hour. We came out just feeling a little, disappointed I think. The bodies just didn’t really look real. I’m not sure if I just don’t have enough compassion to feel bad for these people who are on display, or if I don’t have the morals to be offended by the idea of a company profiting on the public gawking a dead people. It was just… ho hum for us.
We certainly could have found something better to do with that $48.