30 April 2013 by Kate Turkington

Your body – the inside story

Body Worlds, one of the most talked-about exhibitions in the world, is now in Johannesburg. If you want to know what makes your body tick, then this is the place to go.

The high jumper

Okay, so more than 35-million people in over 70 cities got to see this amazing exhibition before I did, but it was well worth the wait.

I now know where my pancreas and liver are, and why the hamstring muscle I tore when walking with lions a few weeks ago is still sore (it’s a very big muscle). I marvelled at the intricacies of the human brain; goggled at the sheer length of all those intestines and pipes that are squashed into our guts; and resolved to drink more red wine.

The saxophone player

Body Worlds and the Cycle of Life is on at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown, Johannesburg, until the end of June, so make sure you don’t miss it.

Take the kids, take granny, take anybody who is interested in how the human body works, and prepare to be amazed. It’s a humbling experience when you see just how marvellous, resilient and vulnerable our mortal coils really are.

Scientist and physician Dr Gunther von Hagens invented Plastination – a way of preserving real bodies that allows you to see right inside a human body. And don’t think there were latter-day body snatchers at work – all the bodies were bequeathed to Body Worlds by donors in the interests of scientific education.

Physician Dr Angelina Whalley created the conceptual plan and design of the exhibition, which is aesthetically pleasing yet doesn’t pull punches.

Pick up an audio guide (not for the kids as the commentary tends to become a little technical at times), or just read the well-written signs and fascinating wall plaques.

I marvelled at the intricacies of the human brain; goggled at the sheer length of all those intestines and pipes that are squashed into our guts; and resolved to drink more red wine.

Did you know that a shrew lives life in the fast lane? Its little heart beats 1 000 times a minute, while an elephant’s beats only 30 (mind you, shrews only live for two years, while an elephant makes 70). Or were you aware that there are clusters of active, vigorous centenarians in many parts of the world?

The red wine? It’s been scientifically proven that moderate amounts of red wine – plus a healthy diet and exercise – contribute to long life.

Now, where’s that corkscrew...

PS – if you’re a smoker or have one in your family, go and look at a pair of healthy lungs as opposed to those of a 20-a-day smoker. You’ll give up smoking on the spot.

Jumping...

Category: Attractions

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