Unnerving – yet utterly fascinating

 

Footballers, gymnasts and even a martial artist — various people we’d imagine we’ve all seen before. But for our senior Biology and PE studies students, they had a rare chance to get up close and personal with these individuals from a rather unique perspective.

Slightly unnerving — yet utterly fascinating — students had the chance to visit the Body Worlds Vital exhibition in the city at the start of the week. With it’s inaugural visit to New Zealand, this was an opportunity for them to learn about anatomy, physiology and health by viewing real human bodies! The specimens on display were preserved through Plastination, where the fluids and fats of the body have been extracted and replaced with resins and polymers, and the bodies are hardened with gas, heat or light. This allows the bodies to be sculpted into spectacular life-like poses, with students able to examine various bodies of leaping gymnasts, colliding sportsmen, a graceful Tai-Chi master and even a sliced in half swimmer, all frozen in time — and plastic. Further displays included over a hundred different real-life preserved organs, from brain slices and cross-sections of spinal discs to an insight of the body’s entire central nervous system, all of which provided a captivating inside-out view of the human body.

Before embarking on the trip, students were reminded of the sacredness and sanctity of the real life humans who donated their bodies for the sake of science. These are not man made exhibits, they are examples of God’s handiwork, the gift of science and the gift of life.

Manvis Wong