Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Getting to know your body

You know how it goes – you head up to Dublin for a Hen Party, eat drink and be merry and then wake up the next morning dehydrated, tired, carrying a few bruises and head off to see the controversial Human Bodies Exhibition!
The exhibition is advertised on every radio station and paper in the country it had it's world premier in Dublin – and that amounts of promotion deserves some attention. Also a dream lasts only 2 seconds? That had to be investigated!

The Human Bodies Exhibition, The Ambassador, Dublin
Photo from thejournal.ie

We strolled into The Ambassador after 12.20pm, paid the hefty €20 only to be met with an almighty stuffy crowd. We had to queue to see every single exhibit and as there are over 200 full and partial human body specimens – that is a lot of queuing.

The Ambassador was split into different sections of the body. We started with a basic skeletal system and added layers in each room – muscular, nervous, circulatory, digestive, respiratory and urinary. Towards the end there was a separate foetal development section and one especially to show the effects of disease on the organs.

Oh yeah so the exhibition is made up for REAL HUMAN BODIES.
But that never really effected me – it may be because my head wasn't exactly clear from the night before. But I was detached from the “realness” of it all.

Capillaries galore.
Photo http://www.thejournal.ie/  

The specimens featured in The Human Body Exhibition were donated in accordance with Chinese law to the Dalian Hoffen Biotechnique Laboratory which engages in research and innovation of the Plastination technique, and produces, preserves and provides specimens to medical schools and the general public for educational purposes. The laboratory uses the Plastination technique to preserve the specimens.

In each room you get a fact sheet, with information about what is on display and some fun facts which really are interesting and help with the queuing aspect.

The foetal development section was the most striking aspect for me. From four weeks to 12 you see the development of the foetus. This was truly amazing. The image of the 12 week foetus was astounding. I could have stared at it for hours, I kept looking at it and touching my stomach – imagine that grows inside you! Imagine that was once you! At 12 weeks you could see fingers toes, a nose, ribs ...

12 week old foetus
Photo: http://www.thejournal.ie/
Also another section which seemed to take everyone's interest was the one which showed cancer, diseases and damage to internal organs. Seeing the effects of smoke and obesity was shocking. The difference between a healthy lung and a smokers one really hit home. You could see breast, stomach, liver, lung cancer on display. Black spots are not good let me tell you that!

So is it worth a visit? Yes it is, it could certainly change the way you use your body.

Some of the interesting facts that have stayed with me:

  • The first physical movement of the fetus occurs at 11 weeks – it can yawn!
  • Your ankle carries x1.5 times your weight when you walk and x8 times your body weight when you run!
  • Obesity can affect your hearing. And exercising can help your memory.
  • Your tongue is the strongest muscle in your body
  • The longer a man's left ring finger is the less chance he has of getting a heart attack.
  • Smoking effects almost every organ in your body – but alcohol and drugs seem to only effect your liver!
  • Over exercising can lead to fertility problems.
  • The average dram lasts only 2-3 seconds and the average person has at least 7 dreams a night.
  • You will die from a lack of sleep before you die from a lack of food.

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