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Arts and Entertainment

Body Worlds 3: Science, Art and a Religous Experience

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Body Worlds 3 & The Story of the Heart opened at the California Science Center last week, and LAist was there to take in the dramatic, creepy and fascinating look at the inner workings of the human body.

The former people now on display have undergone a process called "plastination," developed by German scientist and anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens. He stops decomposition, extracts all bodily fluids and fats, replaces them with resins and elastomers and then basically cures the body with light, heat or certain gases to make them rigid. (That way there's no ooze and smell like we see associated with dead bodies on CSI or Criminal Minds.)

The lines were long, and the exhibit rooms were way too hot, but despite all that, two hours spent staring at the intricacies of the body were worth it. If anything, the exhibit was a not-so-subtle reminder why you might want to keep your body in shape. We're talking about the black lung of a smoker vs. the pink looking lung of a nonsmoker -- or say, the profile body slice of an extremely obese man. Not pretty.

But what struck this LAist poster the most in this exhibit was the artistic beauty of the body's design. Yes, the faces were kind of creepy to look at, knowing that this was once a living, breathing person, but then thinking about the complicated the interconnected networks keeping us alive was just mind boggling. It's one of things that makes you wonder about how we all got here in the first place. A grand accident? Or an overall master plan by a higher power?

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Well, since Body Worlds 3 & The Story of the Heart runs through Sept. 7, so you have time for yourself to decide for yourself.

10 am-5 pm (M-Th) and 10 am-9pm (Fri-Sun) // The California Science Center // 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles // $11.50-$18.95.