Make no mistake: Body Worlds is not for the squeamish.
The human body is a fascinating thing. And if you’d like to know more about it, without studying for a medical degree, we’ve got just the thing for you. The groundbreaking Body Worlds exhibition, which has toured the globe since 1995, got a permanent home in Piccadilly Circus this October. If you’re not familiar with Body Worlds, this video should help clue you up:
Body Worlds is a museum of the human body, explored via a series of corpses and internal organs, all preserved in plastic. A little like Madame Tussauds, except gorier. Whilst the effect may look a little gruesome, it’s designed as a learning experience, showing the impact our lifestyles and diet have upon the human body, often in rather visceral ways.
I’d wager you aren’t going to touch a cigarette again after seeing the lungs of a lifelong smoker… They’ve also got animals, too, with the biggest plastinated body being that of an elephant. There’s also this impressive marriage of man and horse, which isn’t something you’re going to forget in a hurry.
Body Worlds is the work of German doctor Gunther van Hagens, who may be better known to UK audiences as the man who performed an autopsy live on Channel 4 back in 2002. Since it began touring in 1995, roughly 47 million people have been to a Body Worlds exhibit – you may even have seen it in Bond flick Casino Royale. Now, it becomes one of the more out-there London attractions, which is no bad thing.
The exhibition has set up in the former home of Ripley’s Believe It or Not, so the space has precedent as a repository of the unusual. It’s a more immersive experience than the travelling show, so expect to get up close and personal in the name of education. You can also sign yourself up for plastination upon your death, and live forever as a suspended corpse – if you fancy sticking around the exhibit for a little longer…
Location: The London Pavillion, 1 Piccadilly Circus, W1J 0DA. Nearest station is Piccadilly Circus. See it on Google Maps.
Opening hours: 9:30am-7pm (Sun to Thurs), 9:30am-9pm (Fri and Sat).
Entry: £24.50 for adults, £17.50 for kids.
More information: from their website.
Featured image: @body.worlds