Date night, the ever-elusive event that everyone seems to struggle to find new ideas for. Where to go? What to do? And sometimes, who to go with? Then winter comes, adding an extra challenge as we try desperately to find something to do that is both fun and will keep us warm on these cold days. Whether it’s your first date or you have been married for years, the struggle can be the same. Personally, originality is a major point for me. After all, who wants to continuously do the same thing over and over. How many movie or coffee dates can one have before losing one’s mind in the monotony. However, there are some fabulous options, you just have to look a little.
Ten years ago, I had the privilege of experiencing a date night at the Body Worlds exhibit at the Telus World of Science. Naturally, when Body Worlds, Animal Inside Out came to Edmonton I jumped at the chance to experience it again. Much like the original Body Worlds exhibit, Animal Inside Out takes guests on an anatomical adventure.
There is a variety of species to view, all of which are preserved through the process of plastination. Plastination is defined in the dictionary as the preservation of body parts through a process that replaces water and fat with various enduring plastics. This process was invented by Dr. Gunther von Hagens, a German anatomist. Through plastination, we get the chance to experience what only doctors and scientist often do: the opportunity to see just how amazing bodies truly are.
Walking down the hallway to the exhibit you begin to get a feeling of what’s to come. Once inside there are rooms filled with the organs and bodies of different species frozen in time. You can see everything from sharks to giraffes and even a couple of humans. Tables scattered along the exhibit give you examples of the difference of size, shape, and texture of organs in different species.
Each specimen carries its own lesson. While one teaches you about the vein system, the next might show you the nervous system or bone structure. Every item is labelled with explanations and information on what you are looking at. People can be heard discussing what they see and children “Ooo” and “Aaah” at the novelty of it all. You can even take photographs as long as no flash photography is used and at the end of the exhibit the “piece de resistance,” a full-sized giraffe specimen in all its glory, bids you farewell.
All in all, this exhibit is both a great date night option and a great family event. All are welcomed and there is plenty to learn. One thing is for sure, whether or not anatomy is your thing, you can guarantee you won’t be bored and will learn plenty about the marvel of life. An added bonus of the exhibit being at the Telus World of Science is that once you purchase a ticket you will also have access to the rest of the events going on. Perhaps you can take a stroll through some of the other science-filled galleries, explore space, or visit The Zeidler Dome, where you can experience and learn about the aurora borealis. Whatever choice you make, you can be certain there are hours of date fun to be had. The Animal Inside Out exhibit will be on through March 31 and tickets can be purchased at the Telus World of Science or online.
Photography by Claudia Steele.