Cellphone radiation not a problem for this guy

plastinated.jpg The plastinated body of a man is pictured during an exhibition preview at Naturhistorisches Museum (Natural History Museum) in Vienna, last year. Photo: Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader.


  1. These kinds of “bodyworks” or whatever you call em, exhibitions are starting to really bother me. Of course, it is excellent to show in some realism, how the human body is put together for people’s edification.
    But this seems a tad exploitative and show-biz-y to me. Do you think this guy (or his family, friends, loved ones) really agreed that his corpse should be displayed exactly like this?

    I have my doubts.

    1. Actually, “All whole body plastinates exhibited in Body Worlds come from donors who gave informed consent via a unique body donation program” and “To date, more than 9,000 individuals have pledged to donate their bodies to the Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg, in Germany.”

      Gunther von Hagens, the anatomist who developed the exhibition, has gone to great pains to make sure the project is ethical and respectful. That’s not to say there isn’t controversy, but it’s not with the donors or their next of kin.

      1. “That’s not to say there isn’t controversy, but it’s not with the donors or their next of kin”. — I’m not sure that’s entirely the case.

        From the Institute of Plastination website:

        “If your relatives are not in favor of your body donation, it is advisable to have your signature witnessed by an attorney on both forms”.

        Also: “Plastinated specimens, especially whole-body plastinates, are occasionally interpreted as anatomical works of art. I agree that my body can be used for an anatomical work of art”.

        see: http://www.koerperspende.de/en/body_donation/faq.html

        So it is entirely possible that there could be issues with donors next of kin.

        Personally I’m not squeamish and don’t have problems with seeing human anatomy graphically displayed. I have actually visited a Body Worlds exhibition and yes, I found it instructive and fascinating for the most part, I did come away with the impression that some of the “poses” were gratuitously “arty” for arts sake. Just my opinion.

      2. Uh, yeah, beacuse if von Hagens says that “All whole body plastinates exhibited in Body Worlds come from donors who gave informed consent via a unique body donation program” that certainly makes it so. No reason to doubt him, he IS a respected CEO of a giganormus profit-creating company after all. That a very large amount of the corpses come from China or other “democracy-callanged” places is just because there is a lot of people who live there, so off course a lot of people also die there. Of natual causes.

        And it’s not like we could use those 9000+ pledged donors for things like, say organ transplants, instead of pumping them full with plastic and selling them expensively to private collectors. That would just be silly.

        All that beeing said, there is a fair chance, statistically speaking, that this gentleman worked at Foxconn Technology when still alive. So, even if it wasn’t the radiation that caused his demise, it could still very well be cell-phone related.

        I don’t mind looking at him though. It doesn’t squick me out at all. In fact, through my fist world eyes, he almost looks like a trophy

  2. I’ve had the opportunity to see these plastinated figures nearby (in both Charlotte and Raleigh, NC) but I never did. And I’ll admit, I balked at the prospect… maybe “blanched” is the better word.

    I see the phrase “uncanny valley” often used here on BB and elsewhere. But I don’t seem to have any problem viewing very human-like robots, nor extraordinarily detailed violent acts done to human bodies in horror films. (Because, I’m guessing, I always know they are fictional.)

    But these plastinated bodies freak me RIGHT the hell OUT. I know, rationally, that no human flesh is actually on display. But knowing that an actual human body was used as a MOLD in which to pump stablizing/sculptural chemical compounds… is enough to give me screaming heebie-jeebies.

    1. Nothing really to add here. Just that I love it whenever someone says “heebie-jeebies”. One of my favorite expressions ever.

      Also it reminds me of an old Far Side cartoon. You can easily imagine the picture…

      The caption was: “After 25 years of working in the reptile house at the zoo, Bob has a cumulative attack of the willies”.


    2. Interesting. I have it the other way around. I don’t like horror at all because I can’t understand the people who come up with that stuff and make the movies, and I don’t like seeing people suffer. But I do like to marvel at the beauty of the human body. I’d rather go to an anatomy museum than an exposition like the one shown here though.

    3. Actually, quite a lot of human flesh is on display- plastination isn’t casting, it’s replacing water and fat with plastics to preserve the more substantial, fleshier bits.

  3. Oh, Rob, it would have been kind of you to save the photo for after the jump.

    I took my mate to one of these exhibits when it was in Detroit. It was one of our first dates. He enjoyed it quite a bit, I couldn’t look at anything and was pretty ef’in nauseous by the time we got to the stretched out, sliced up body. Nearly hurled my empty stomach right there.

    Suffice it to say, I’m not a physician. If it’s not an emergency, you can count on me to pass out or puke. If it is an emergency, then I’m Joanny-on-the-spot until the emergency is over. Then I pass out or puke.

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