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The exhibition

The goal of the two physicians and exhibition creators, Dr Angelina Whalley and Dr Gunther von Hagens, is to provide preventive health education in a clear way. With their popular scientific and practical exhibitions, they want to introduce the human body and its functions to a broad lay audience and to show the effects of unhealthy lifestyles.

  • Strengthening your sense of your own health.
  • Motivating you to be more aware of your own body.
  • Showing the possibilities and limitations of the body.
  • Addressing the question of the meaning of life.
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An(unprecedented)success

With more than 50 million visitors, BODY WORLDS is one of the most successful exhibitions in the world. It has been touring the globe since 1995 and has made guest appearances in more than 140 cities in Europe, Africa, America and Asia.

The Creators
With their BODY WORLDS exhibitions, curator Dr Angelina Whalley and plastinator Dr Gunther von Hagens provide comprehensive education on preventive medicine. Dr Gunther von Hagens' ground-breaking invention of plastination and the combination of the diverse passions of the two physicians have created unique exhibitions that invite every visitor to reflect and consider their own bodies in depth.

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What does BODY WORLDS show?

Each BODY WORLDS exhibition displays around 160 to 200 real human specimens, including a variety of impressive whole-body plastinates as well as individual organs, blood vessel configurations and transparent longitudinal and cross-sections of the body. They provide a comprehensive insight into the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Organ functions as well as common diseases are explained in an easy-to-understand way in a direct comparison of healthy and diseased organs. They illustrate the long-term effects of diseases and addictive habits such as smoking or alcohol consumption or, for example, the mechanics of artificial knee and hip joints.

For instance, a healthy lung demonstrates the visible consequences of smoking when compared to a smoker’s lung. Whole-body plastics in real-life poses, on the other hand, illustrate how compactly muscles, nerves and organs are positioned in our body and how precisely the individual systems and structures inside our bodies are coordinated.

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Visitor reaction

Independent visitor surveys in several exhibitions show the positive effects of the exhibition on the visitors:

  • 87% of visitors said they now know more about the human body.
  • 56% have become "more thoughtful about life and death".
  • 79% were "full of respect for the miracle of the body".
  • 68% left the exhibition with valuable incentives for a healthier lifestyle in the future.
  • 47% said they appreciated their bodies more than before after the exhibition.

Personal consequences resulting from an exhibition visit:

  • 68% said they would pay more attention to their physical health in the future.
  • 23% were more willing to donate organs after their visit to the exhibition than before.
  • 22% could imagine donating their bodies for plastination after their death.
  • 32% also said they agreed more than before that "their corpse should be autopsied for further clarification on the cause of death".
  • 74% want to deal with their experiences and experiences in the exhibition for a longer period of time.

Even six months after the end of the exhibition in Vienna in 1998, the visitors surveyed stated that they had maintained the changes in their lifestyles:

  • 9% smoked less and consumed less alcohol.
  • 33% have since eaten healthier.
  • 25% have done more sport.
  • 14% have become more aware of their bodies.

The surveys were developed by Prof. Dr Ernst-D. Lantermann, Psychological Institute of the University of Kassel.