Body Worlds Vital expo springs to life in Calgary

Dead and naked bodies are scattered throughout the Telus Spark Science Centre as the Body Worlds Vital exhibit visits Calgary for the first time in six years. This year the central theme is the health of our bodies. “The exhibition presents the leading health concerns of contemporary times, the causes of these conditions and diseases and ways to prevent or manage them,” according to the Telus Spark website.

How do they preserve actual human bodies you might ask? Why, through a process called Plastination, invented by Gunther von Hagens, the man who also founded Body Worlds.

Plastination preserves bodies in their former glory. The first step is to halt decomposition. The body is preserved by the injection of formalin (a clear, colorless, watery solution) into the arteries and other parts of the body. Then bodily fluids and fats are extracted and the body is saturated with substances similar to silicon rubber. Finally, each body is staged and cured with light and heat.

Showings include staged athletes, food consumption among different cultures, fetal development and much more.

The showcase will be alive and running from now until May 31, 2016 at the Telus Spark Science Centre.

Thumbnail by Hannah Willinger

ljohn@cjournal.cahwillinger@cjournal.ca

The editor responsible for this article is Dan Ball, dball@cjournal.ca