At London's Natural History Museum, the zoological counterpart to anatomist Gunther von Hagens' Body Worlds exhibit opens Friday, April 6. This plastinated menagerie is Animal Inside Out, a collection of one-hundred preserved animals with their skin peeled way back.
It is inevitable that some ne'er-do-wells will arrive at this exhibit stoned out of their gourds, only to be later escorted from the museum in fetal positions. Here's the rundown on Hagens' plastination process:
It involves extracting all water and fatty tissues from the specimen and replacing them with polymers in a vacuum. The plastination process stops the decay of dead bodies and prepares specimens for scientific and medical education. It is an odourless form of preservation and lasts a long time [...] None of the animals in the exhibition have been killed for the purposes of plastination. The Museum has undertaken due diligence to ensure that all the specimens comply with best collections practice.
Among the naked fauna on display at Animal Inside Out are a porbeagle shark made entirely out of capillaries, a giant squid, a foal's digestive tract, a giraffe sliced up like cold cuts, and an elephant with its musculature completely exposed.