Saturday, June 23, 2018

Body Worlds Amsterdam

Yesterday afternoon we spent a few hours at Body Worlds.  I've read about plastination, but I've never seen an exhibit before. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed.  The six story exhibit focused on a different body system on each floor and each had numerous preserved specimens, called plastinates. Each level also explained how stress affected that particular system and included quotes on living a contented life.

Anyone who knows me, knows this kind of exhibit was right up my alley! It was amazing to see the different body systems. The kids and I noticed that the creators did a few things to keep the bodies looking more human (at least that's what we thought.) Although each full body typically had all of its skin removed, the creators left the eyebrows, eyelashes and lips in tact. 

The geek in me wished they explained more abut how the bodies were preserved. Luckily a quick trip to Wikipedia was all it took to fill me in.

Just in case your as curious as I was, it's a four step process:
  1. Bodies are preserved with formaldehyde so they are rigid and can be dissected.
  2. Next, they are placed into an acetone bath. Under extremely cold temperatures the acetone replaces the water in the cells.
  3. Then, the bodies are put in a bath of liquid polymer and placed in a vacuum. The decreased air pressure causes the acetone to boil off at a fairly low temperature. As the acetone leaves the cells, the polymer is pulled in filling the cells with liquid plastic.
  4. Finally, the plastic is cured so it hardens.
So very interesting...

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

We saw a smaller Body exhibit in Idaho a few years fascinating! Looks like you are have a wonderful Adventure!