Notes on the Bodies Exhibit in Atlanta

My trip to the Bodies Exhibit.

I went to the Bodies Exhibit today. It’s something I’ve wanted to check out for a while. Being a total body nerd, it was interesting. I definitely liked checking out all the muscles and really getting a good look at them. Here are some of my notes…


– The skeletal bones are 4-5 times stronger than mild steel (which is what’s used for structural steel). But bones only account for 14% of the body weight.

– Bone marrow creates 2.5 million red blood cells a second.

– This was a quote when talking about inter vertebral discs: “As we age, our discs become less hydrated, causing us to lose height.” This is relevant to our work, specifically GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® training. The inter vertebral discs have no blood flow to them. They only receive any fluid nutrition through a process called “imbibition”. Think of the discs like sponges. They need to be pumped in order to get fluids in and out of them. Gyrtonic and Gyrokinesis training are both excellent for moving the vertebrae which means they are both great for keeping the discs well hydrated.

– When looking at the display with this pelvis & hips, you can really see how dense the articular capsule around the hip joint is and that it winds laterally. I had learned in Orthopedic Massage school that as this ligament tightens as we grow older, it causes bow leggedness, which creates less support for the body weight. It was cool to really see that.

– I found it really interesting that the sacrum that was exhibited separately from the pelvis was clearly structurally malformed. The right side was shorter than the left by a good half an inch, which is quite a lot when you’re talking about the connection of the spine to the hips.

Babies have 300 bones but adults only have 206. What, what, what??

– The auditory ossicles (the inner ear bones) are TINY!


– I was really wowed by how long the sartorius is (shown at right). I knew it is the longest muscle in the human body but actually seeing it was something else.

– The urinary bladder is really very small when empty.

– I thought it was interesting how the thoraco-lumbar fascia (wraps along the bottom of the spine into the pelvis) interweaves with the ilio-tibial band, right down to the lateral collateral ligament and into the distal patellar ligament. One big train, as Tom Myers would say.

– The muscles that move the hand and fingers are mostly in the forearm and only the tendons go all the way to the attachments in the hand. Never really thought about it. But it makes sense. It keeps the size of the hands manageable and allows the hand to stay dexterous. They said that if the muscles were in the hand, the hand would be the size of a boxing glove.

– I had no idea “hippocampus” translates to “seahorse monster”. Neat.

– Cerebral Spinal Fluid is regenerated every 6 hours. Good news for Luol Deng! (player for the Chicago Bulls who got a spinal tap to check for meningitis but his spinal tap leaked CSF! Yikes.)

– The human body contains… ready for it… 100,000 MILES of blood vessels. Kinda makes me feel all icky inside.

– Lastly, the bodies for the bodies exhibit all came from China. From what I saw, almost every single one of the specimens were people who smoked. They  have a display that very specifically shows healthy lungs versus a smoker’s lungs. So when you see other displays and see how black they lungs are, it’s kinda freaky. Especially the display with cross sections of the body. All the tissues look normal and healthy until you see the lungs. BLACK BLACK BLACK. So nasty.

So if you get a chance to see the Bodies Exhibit, I do recommend going. It was definitely educational and you might be fascinated by something that I didn’t really pay much mind. And you might not be so fascinated by the sartorius muscle!

HomeHealthy ExtrasNotes on the Bodies Exhibit


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