Salt Lake’s The Leonardo has been the home of 100 inside-out animals for the last 4 months.
Body Worlds Animal Inside Out displayed ostriches to household pets to human specimens. It was a huge success among families said Communications Manager Jenie Skoy.
“The exhibit was an educational experience for families,” said Skoy. “Kids can learn a little bit more about the animals they love.”
Parents were first apprehensive to bring their children to the exhibit, but instead of bringing tears and terror the exhibit brought gasps of fascination said Skoy. A particular family favorite was the giant bull on display. The colossal bull was made of pure muscle. Leonardo employees frequently watched the bull to make sure children didn’t climb on top to take a ride.
Families could also see how their dog and cat looked inside out. Visitors could see the real similarities of animal bodies to human bodies.
“The exhibit was a great way to show people what’s underneath the skin, and how animals are similar to humans,” Skoy said. “Children loved it.”
Animal Inside Out wasn’t just for families, students made an appearance at the exhibit as well.
After seeing Body Worlds in 2008 on a high school field trip, Spencer Kelly a BYU student studying Russian, was intrigued when he saw an advertisement for the exhibit with an “inside out” giraffe on a billboard.
“At first I thought, whoa that’s weird, but then I thought it’s no different than looking at human bodies. I have to go,” Kelly said.
The exhibit showed the intricate details of animal bodies, including blood-red circulatory systems, thin sinew-like bones and thick muscles.
“My favorite part of the exhibit was seeing the blood vessels of different animals, there are so many,” Kelly said. “With just those, the form of each animal was visible, and I liked seeing how delicate the bodies were, even the huge animals were so carefully put together.”
Abby Murray, a student studying dental hygiene was nervous to see the “inside out” animals at first.
“I didn’t know if I would like looking at animal bodies that way,” Murray said. “But after seeing the bodies so put together just without the skin, I really liked it. It was very interesting and I would love to see more of this Body Worlds stuff.”
Dr. Gunther von Hagen, the creator of Body Worlds, created the process of preserving the bodies. The word “plastination” means to shape or to form, according to bodyworlds.com. Plastination makes it possible to preserve tissues and organs. The process is complex but the results are almost unbelievable.
Leonardo executive director Mary Tull announced the installment of Dr. von Hagen’s Body Worlds: The Original Exhibition of Real Human Bodies, in 2008. The exhibit showed the form and function of the human body. Six years later, Body Worlds came back with animals.
The animals proved to be just as intriguing as the human bodies and drew crowds just as big as the 360,000 that came to the first Body Worlds.
“We are pleased with the attendance results,” said Erika Callahan, The Leonardo’s Chief Marketing Officer.
Animal Inside Out closed on September 19, but Body Worlds lovers don’t have to wait too long to see more “plastinated” bodies.
Dr. Gunther Von Hagens Body Worlds and The Cycle of Life is opened in The Leonardo on September 27.
“Salt Lake City kept on asking when Body Worlds was going to come back,” Skoy said. “So we’re bringing a brand new exhibit to The Leonardo.”
The Cycle of Life features the process of aging in the human body.
“Visitors can see each stage of life and learn more about their own bodies when they see this exhibit,” Skoy said. “With the success of the first body worlds and Animal Inside Out, we feel like The Cycle of Life will be another hit.”