Bodies Exhibit Essay

1054 Words Apr 18th, 2008 5 Pages
The Bodies Exhibition at the South Street Seaport in New York City is one of several exhibitions of its kind around the world that was first displayed on August 20, 2005 in Tampa, Florida. Similar exhibitions are showing in Vienna, Madrid, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Cincinnati, Santiago, Prague, Branson, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Las Vegas, Fort Lauderdale, Hartford, and Washington D.C. The exhibit is unique, consisting of real human bodies in various forms of disembowelment. Each body system was addressed in its own individual exhibit, starting with the skeletal system and progressing through the muscular, nervous, circulatory, digestive, respiratory, urinary, and reproductive systems plus an exhibit on fetal development. Healthy and diseased …show more content…
Through a little research on the internet, a website called “Bodies Revealed” informed me of the process used to preserve the bodies, which is known as “polymer preservation.” The bodies that are used first are embalmed according to standard procedures and perfused with a preserving agent to prevent the normal tissue decay that takes place after death. After the body is embalmed, a trained dissector prepares it, or a part of it, according to predetermined guidelines. Because of the degree of difficulty involved in dissecting a full body specimen, it can take several months to complete. If the dissector is working with individual organs, they can be prepared much more quickly. After the dissection is complete, the specimens are thoroughly rinsed in cold running water, which removes as much of the preserving agent as possible. Rinsing a full-body specimen can take up to one week to finish. After the rinsing, the specimen is ready to be dehydrated. They dehydrate the specimens by placing it in acetone, which acts to replace all of the tissue water present in the specimen. The specimen is then impregnated with a mixture of liquid silicone polymer and a crosslinker. The polymer hardens during a curing process, which leaves a dry, odorless specimen that doesn’t decompose. I had the