New York Body Worlds:Pulse Exhibit Celebrates Life Through Death

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Death is almost taboo in western culture. We rarely discuss it, have trouble coping with it, and almost never physically come face to face with the dead.

Body Worlds: Pulse focuses on the impact the 21st century has on our lives, and more specifically, the stresses of living in a large urbanized city like New York.


Our brains are over stimulated by technology, we have too many options, and we are surrounded by stressful public transportation and overly polluted skies.

Dr. Angelina Whalley, the Conceptual Planner and Creative Designer of Body Worlds, explained that ‘Pulse’ isn’t so much about death as it is about remembering how to balance the stresses of daily life, leading to a longer, happier existence.   


Angelina also happens to be the wife of the man who made it all possible, Gunther von Hagens, who invented the process he calls plastination in 1977.

The plastination process replaces a body’s water and fat with certain plastics and resin, leaving behind a specimen that is odorless, pliable, and unable to decay.

The overall procedure is tedious and time consuming, taking over a year to prepare, and over 1,500 man hours to complete.  


People have been donating their bodies to the Institute of Plastination since 1983, and since then, they have received over 13,000 eager anonymous donors.


Body Worlds reels in millions of visitors a year, but the truth of the matter is, the exhibit is centered on the display of human corpses, and the exhibit has always had its critics.


Body Worlds: Pulse will be on display at Discovery Times Square in New York City until January 5th, 2014.