My Review of “Bodies, The Exhibition”


Last night, a buddy of mine and I went to check out “Bodies, The Exhibition.”  This is an exhibit which displays real, human bodies, that have been preserved, and opened up to show the elements of the body that few ever get to see.

As soon as I found out that the exhibit was coming to Winnipeg, I was excited to go check it out.  I was also apprehensive about how gross or disgusting it might be as I could never be a doctor.  I don’t faint at the sight of blood or when getting a needle, but I’d rather look away at a gaping wound.  I mistakenly watched as my son was circumsized and although I didn’t collapse, my knees did get weak.  I had that vision in my head for months afterwards. So let me put your mind at ease.  I didn’t find the displays gross or disgusting at all.  I found them to be intriguing and I learned a lot on my visit.

The exhibit spans two floors of the MTS Centre Exhibition Hall (at 311 Portage Avenue).  The displays are spaced far enough apart so that there’s no crowding but not so far that the rooms look empty.  The area is kept dark with bright spotlights on each display. The rooms have dark walls with diagrams projected onto some of them. Bright white text also adorns some walls with extra information.  When you book your tickets, you have to indicate your arrival time. Only a certain amount of people can enter the exhibit at a time, leaving plenty of room to freely walk around and survey the specimens.

In all, there are about 10 full human bodies on display.  The skin has been removed and in some instances, the bodies have been sawed in half, showing what’s inside. On one body, prosthetics have been inserted so you can see what a knee and hip replacement look like, plates on the skull as well as a number of other devices.

To complement the full body displays, countless “under glass” displays are also present.  Each display is accompanied by a signboard giving more information of what you’re seeing.  Additionally, you may purchase an audio guide for $5.00 which allows you to punch in the number of the display, put it to your ear and listen to more information about what you’re seeing.

The displays themselves are fascinating!  They encourage you to take a good close look (but don’t touch!).  Ever since I left the exhibit, I tend to look at people differently, almost as if I can see beneath their skin and see their organs, bones, veins, muscles and tendons.

There was a display about the digestive system and it showed the entire structure from mouth and tongue, down to the esophagus, to the stomach, small intestine, large intestine, colon and anus – all intact, pinned up on a wall.  Attached to the large intestine was the appendix. I had no idea it was a little worm-like organ.

One of the more famous displays is the difference between healthy lungs and the lungs of a smoker.  The healthy lungs are big, full and white while the lungs of the smoker are much smaller, deflated and black. Between the two displays is a container into which you can dispose of your cigarettes should you choose to quit smoking right there and then.  Many packages of smokes filled the container. If this display doesn’t show you first hand what you, smokers, are doing to your lungs, then I don’t know what will.

I never took biology in school as I wasn’t interested going the biological route with my studies, but after seeing this exhibit, it sure opened up my eyes as to just how much there is to learn.  No wonder doctors must be schooled for years. You will see a number of young adults wandering around the exhibition in white lab coats.  These are medical students and are there to answer any questions you may have.

One thing I forgot to ask of the medical students is if the eyes on the bodies are indeed real or if they were artificial.  I suspect they were real and that’s the creepy part.  If you go, please ask this question and post a comment here.

I highly recommend that you check this out before it’s gone.  Tickets for an adult are $18.45 on week days and $22.45 on weekends (plus GST). I also recommend getting the audio tour for an extra $5.00.

Their website ( indicates that kids are encouraged to check out the displays as well.  Use your discretion for deciding on how old your children should be before exposing this exhibit to them. Check the website for more information.

This exhibit is in Winnipeg until Sunday, January 9, 2011.  Get your tickets today!


About brianwawryk
PMP and Prince2 certified project manager.

4 Responses to My Review of “Bodies, The Exhibition”

  1. eddy says:

    Just to answer your question – I asked, the eyes are supposedly the only fake part, they can’t preserve the eyes

  2. jeff gunn says:

    hi. just asking to to go to and scroll through the photos at the top until you get to the 9th photo. there is a link to a pdf there that i think you should read & please peruse through the whole site & perhaps your enthusiastic review will have a change of heart.

  3. Eboni says:

    Thanks for this fascinating article! I missed the exhibit when it came to NY and wondered how it was. I could never be a doctor either, but there are so many things we don’t know about our own bodies. Great post!

    • Danelle Pleas says:

      I look so forward to going to the exhibit one day! It is a definite goal of mine. I am currently finishing an anatomy class and was disappointed to learn we would not be going to view any cadavers. I am so intrigued by the human body. Everything within us has a function/ a purpose. I have learned, if anything, to really listen to my body. This sounds cliche, I’m sure, but our bodies do let us know when it is time to eat, drink, exercise and rest. I always get discouraged when the doctors won’t let me see my own X-rays. I want to know what the inside of me looks like too! I am happy that you found your visit enlightening. Thank you for sharing with us! Take care.

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