There are no casual observers at the much-hyped Bodies: The Exhibition
, one of Arlington’s latest attractions. The exhibit features real, preserved human bodies, displayed in various states of dissection. The process used to preserve the bodies effectively converts specific tissues into plastic, preventing decay and allowing for exhibits to show the isolated systems of the body, like just the muscles and skeleton, up close and in open air. It may be a little gross -- but at least it's not smelly.
While the exhibition is executed tastefully, it’s hard not to feel a sense of voyeurism while gawking at the dismantled, and often artistically positioned, bodies. Of particular note are the disembodied genitals, the plastic embedded fetuses, and the single piece of human skin, laid flat in a glass case, eerily reminiscent of a tanned bear hide.
Despite the morbid nature of Bodies
, the educational value is top-notch, providing ambitious visitors with a two-hour crash course in human anatomy. The exhibition is a “must-see" for those who are interested in science and health, and a “can’t-look-away" for those who are just along for the ride.Bodies: The Exhibition
Washington D.C. Exhibition at the Dome in Rosslyn
1101 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington VA (map)
Hours: Sunday-Wednesday 10AM-7PM, Thursday-Saturday 10AM-10PM
Dates: April 13, 2007 to October 28, 2007
Admission: Adult $26.50, Child $18, Senior $21 (Audio $6 extra)
Special Considerations: Some specimens have exposed genitalia, and there's an alternate route for people who are upset by the "fetal development" exhibit.