A body frozen in time, playing chess or dribbling a basketball. How about riding an exercise bike? “Our Body: The Universe Within” uses cadavers to demonstrate human anatomy. The exhibit runs through Aug. 26 at Omaha’s Capitol District.
The 15 cadavers, each donated for the research, were preserved through a process known as “plastination,” which replaces a body’s water and fat with plastics. Once hardened, it creates a model that can last indefinitely. Each body has been positioned in a position that represents a body’s movement.
The models showcase examples of the human body’s internal systems, such as cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular, as well as digestive. Each main system is broken down into specific areas. Displays featuring skulls, lungs, hearts and brains provide examples of the organs in various stages of development and health.
I was intrigued by the exhibit featuring a body seated, anticipating his next move on a chess board. This exhibit highlighted the head and nervous systems, showcasing how the brain communicates to the rest of the body to maintain a seating position, moving an arm and hand to complete the chess move.
Da Vinci conducted human dissections
One body has been dissected into inch-thick pieces from head to toe to highlight its make-up. The exhibit noted that the artist Leonardo Da Vinci was allowed to conduct human dissections, even though the laws at that time required a physician to do it. He would use the results as inspiration for art pieces.
In addition to the bodies, exhibits featuring a variety of organs examined the appearance of them through various stages of life. Skulls show progression from childhood to adult. Lungs compare healthy ones to cancerous lungs.
While “Our Body” doesn’t have an age limit for visiting the exhibit, we recommend parents consider the maturity level of children. Some displays probably aren’t suited for some ages, as they include fetuses preserved in various stages of growth.
We found the exhibit enlightening and educational. We recommend visiting the exhibit, which is open 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily through July 31.
For further information and admission costs, please visit www.ourbodyomaha.com.