Real Bodies: A family friendly exhibit that shows real effects of COVID-19

Real Bodies will be at the South Florida Center and Aquarium this month. Photo courtesy of Imagine Exhibitions.

By: Emily Christensen
Contributing Writer

On Sept. 28th, The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium is presenting a new blockbuster exhibit: Real Bodies.

“Real Bodies” goes beyond the skin to show the anatomy, culture and emotions of humanity through real preserved human bodies. The exhibit is appropriate for all ages as it hopes to encourage everyone to learn about the human body.

The featured exhibition shows the inner workings of a human body using actual human bodies that have been donated to science. The bodies have been preserved using a process called, polymer impregnating which replaces bodily fluids with liquid plastic, which is then hardened to create solid, durable anatomic specimen that will last indefinitely.

A look at the human heart and lungs. Photo courtesy of Imagine Exhibitions.

“The exhibition pushes boundaries while blending art, science and emotion,” said Kate Arrizza, president and CEO of the Science Center.

Each of the galleries digs into the beauty of the body while also stressing the importance of bodily care and maintenance. That alone truly connects the viewer’s emotions and feelings to the cutting edge science exhibit.

“Whether is it stress levels, whether it is working for 15 hours of the day, or whether it is the drinks that you have,” said Arizza. Everything you do has an effect on your body.

The gallery of love talks about how the heart and brain do different things when people are in love. The gallery of lungs emotionally impacts people by visually representing the negative effects of smoking. Another fascinating gallery shows what side of the brain people are using when they are being creative.

“Real Bodies” is especially relevant and timely due to a featured COVID-19 component which encourages visitors to lean about the virus’ impact on the human body. Considering COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory illness, the effect on the lungs is highlighted in the gallery. The exhibit also describes how the virus can cause severe damage to organs beyond the lungs such as the brain, heart, liver and kidney.

“We want visitors to come away with a better appreciation of how incredible your body is. From repairing itself, to the trauma it can endure, it is truly amazing,” said Arizza.

If visitors enjoy the exhibit there is also a five acre science trail outside. Within this spot, visitors can check out a demo at the amphitheater, have a picnic lunch, cool off in the splash pad or play a round of mini golf, of course while practicing social distancing.

Real Bodies looks at the human body.
Photo courtesy of Imagine Exhibitions.

“We are open. We are educating, and we are doing it safely,” said Arizza.

In order to uphold precautionary measures the science center is currently staying open at 25% capacity, while also requiring guest to stay on designated paths in order to uphold social distancing guidelines. To top it off, the museum provides sanitized button pushers which allows visitors to touch interactive exhibits and play without exposing themselves to the virus.

The Real Bodies exhibit is being presented by the Stiles-Nicholson Foundation. For more information on the South Florida Science Center And Aquarium visit