The Wait is Over – New BODY WORLDS Exhibition Opens in Charlotte November 21

Discovery Place Science

By popular demand, world’s most visited exhibition returns to Discovery Place

CHARLOTTE —  On Saturday, November 21, 2015, Discovery Place will open the newest presentation of the groundbreaking anatomical exhibition Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life.

Back by popular demand, BODY WORLDS is the most visited traveling exhibition in the world, experienced by over 40 million people in more than 90 cities across America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The original exhibition,  dedicated to human anatomy, broke Discovery Place attendance records in 2007. More than 11,000 tickets have already been sold for Discovery Place’s newest showing of BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life. BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life will be on exhibition November 21, 2015 – May 1, 2016 

Presented by Novant Health, BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life shows the human body through all stages of development and life. Visitors will witness the body through time – as it changes, grows, matures and finally wanes. Inside the 11,000-square-foot exhibition, guests will discover more than 100 real human specimens specially curated for this exhibition. Highlighting optimum health and athleticism, 14 new full-body plastinates appear in various action and athletic poses featuring acrobats, hockey players, a baseball player and more.

 “In the seven years that have passed since Discovery Place first presented BODY WORLDS, the world has seen major health advancements like the first full-face transplant, bionic and 3D-printed limbs and the widespread adoption of anti-smoking laws around the US. Revolutionary changes like these alter the way we think about our health and can only be fully appreciated when we understand our bodies,”  said Discovery Place, Inc. president and CEO Catherine Wilson Horne. “We hope that all visitors of BODY WORLDS  & The Cycle of Life will gain new perspective on our bodies’ capabilities and how our every day life choices impact the overall health of our future selves.”

Developed by BODY WORLDS’ creative and conceptual designer, Dr. Angelina Whalley, the specimens displayed in BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life demonstrate the complexity, resilience and vulnerability of the human body in distress, disease and optimal health across the human lifespan.  In addition to an all-new collection of plastinated specimens, the new exhibition also features:

  • Centennial Village, a feature on the findings on geographic clusters around the world where the longest living people live—from Okinawa, Japan and Ovodda in Sardinia to the Hunza region of Pakistan.
  •  A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, a stunning look at conception and prenatal development. This area features a multimedia display on cell division and a remarkable collection of plastinated embryos and fetuses acquired from historical anatomical collections.
  • The Artists' Gaze, an exploration of the sight and visions of artists Claude Monet and Edgar Degas, who suffered from cataracts and retinal eye disease.

 “This innovative exhibit is an extraordinary opportunity for people to learn more about the complexities of the human body. That knowledge will help visitors have a better understanding of how to take care of themselves, promote health and enjoy wellness throughout their lives," said Tom Zweng, MD, chief medical officer for Novant Health. “Novant Health is partnering with our communities to help people live healthier lives and we are honored to bring this exhibit back to the area so we can increase awareness about improving physical and mental health."

All of the specimens featured in the exhibition are real human bodies that have been preserved through Plastination, a process that replaces the natural fluids with reactive plastics that are initially pliable, and then harden after curing. By hardening the plastic in the specimens, they may be permanently preserved in life-like poses, which illustrate how our bodies internally respond to everyday movements.

Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS exhibitions stem from an established body donation program that relies on donor consent. BODY WORLDS is the only anatomical exhibition that relies on the generosity of body donors – individuals who willed that, upon their death, their bodies could be used for educational purposes in the exhibition. There are more than 15,500 registered body donors to the Institute for Plastination. More than 1,200 donors are from the United States including 25 from North Carolina, six of whom live in Charlotte.

During the span of the exhibition, guests can explore specific health topics in greater depth with special monthly programs, activities and community partners like American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, American Heart & Stroke Association, American Lung Association, and more. Schedules will be announced at the beginning of each month.

Complete the BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life experience with The Human Body in IMAX. Witness the incredible story of life on the largest screen in the Carolinas in The Charlotte Observer IMAX® Dome Theatre.  Follow a family through a single day and discover in astonishing detail the ordinary miracles that keep our body running, from a tomato on its voyage to the biological blender of the stomach to a red blood cell cascading into the heart.  IMAX tickets are just $5 when purchased in combination with BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life tickets.

Ticket Information

Tickets to the exhibition will be for timed entries. Before making a purchase, visitors will be asked to select the date and time of their visit. Guests can purchase tickets:  online at discoveryplace.org, via phone at 704.372.6261 x300 or in person at Discovery Place.

 Admission to BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life is $24 for adults (14-59); $20 for children (2-13); $22 for seniors (60+) and students with ID, plus applicable sales tax. Children younger than 2 are free.  All tickets are for timed entry and include full-day admission to Discovery Place. Discounts are available for Discovery Place Members, Military personel with ID and for groups of 15 or more. Children age 13 and younger must be accompanied by a responsible adult while in Discovery Place.  Audio tours in English and Spanish are available for $5.

                Ticket times will be available during the following hours:

  • Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. (last ticket entry sold at 4:00 p.m.)

  • Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (last ticket entry sold at 5:00 p.m.)

  • Sunday, noon – 5:00 p.m. (last ticket entry sold at 5:00 p.m.)

 BODY WORLDS will close 90 minutes after the last ticket entry, and the rest of Discovery Place will close according to normal operating schedule. Visit discoveryplace.org for more details.

BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life is presented by Novant Health. Adams Outdoor, The Charlotte Observer and Channel 96.1 are media partners.

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This innovative exhibit is an extraordinary opportunity for people to learn more about the complexities of the human body. That knowledge will help visitors have a better understanding of how to take care of themselves, promote health and enjoy wellness throughout their lives. Novant Health is partnering with our communities to help people live healthier lives and we are honored to bring this exhibit back to the area so we can increase awareness about improving physical and mental health."
Tom Zweng, MD, chief medical officer of Novant Health

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