Body Worlds opens at the Portland Science Center today. This fascinating exhibit first opened in Japan in 1995, showcasing the human body under the skin. So you might be wondering...Is this for real? We answer your 5 most frequently asked questions about the Body Worlds exhibit with the help of Portland Science Center.

1. Are they real human bodies?

Real human bodies show the details of disease, physiology and anatomy that cannot be shown with models. They also allow us to understand how each body has its own unique features, even on the inside.

2. Where do the bodies come from?

All donors are adults who gave their consent, during their lifetimes, to use their bodies for Plastination and specifically for the BODY WORLDS exhibits. Independent ethicists have reviewed the Institute for Plastination’s donor program and protocols and have verified that the specimens were properly donated for the purpose of public exhibition.

3. Is this exhibit good for all ages?

The Portland Science Center's creator, Joe Gold, say this exhibit is ideal for ages 5th grade and up. However, he recommends having a conversation with your kids about what they'll see in the exhibit. These bodies are real and showcase the real anatomy of the human body.

4. How are the bodies created?

A process called Plastination creates the specimens in BODY WORLDS. This is where the fluids in the body are replaced with plastics such as silicone rubber, polymers, and resins to permanently preserve specimens.

5. Do the bodies smell?

Plastinated specimens are dry and odorless and retain their natural structure – in fact, they are identical to their pre­preservation state down to the microscopic level.

See Body Worlds starting today at the Portland Science Center. Buy tickets at the door or visit the website below.

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