Myth of the Human Body

P1090474After our friend Gia’s very convincing endorsement earlier this year, Yza had always wanted to visit The Myth of the Human Body exhibit. We just couldn’t find the time to do it. Fortunately, my sister was in town last weekend. This gave us an excuse to finally go. Funny how we usually only get to visit places close to where we are when we have visitors to tour around. So that rainy Sunday, Y&E, with Nica, Kuya Renwick and Donna had a very educational afternoon.

The Myth of the Human Body is an exhibit from Korea which features real human body parts with the intent of giving the audience a quick review of the human anatomy and at the same time, show people what an unhealthy life can do to your precious body parts.

There are only 2 designated areas where photos can be taken – at  the entrance and at the exit. Within the premises of the exhibit, taking of photos is strictly not allowed.


Since we couldn’t take photos of the exhibits, I grabbed some specimen photos from Richard Romano (of the Digital Photographer forum) to give you an idea of what to expect.

The tour started in an introductory room with a few bodies arranged and positioned to resemble athletes. These bodies have their skin stripped off. As far as I can remember, there was a soccer player doing a bicycle kick, a basketball player dribbling, a goalkeeper diving for the ball, an archer holding the bow and a discus thrower about to turn.

Photos by Richard Romano

In the corner of the room, there was a wall and a video explaining the process of how these bodies and body parts were preserved. The process is called Plastination. According to our tour guide, these are bodies of Chinese men and women who, prior to their death, have generously agreed to donate their bodies to science. The plastinated bodies in this exhibit have been preserved for more than 30 years.

Photo from

The succeeding exhibit halls were named after Greek gods, representing the different bodily systems. They named the halls after Greek gods because just as the gods were immortal (in a way), so are these plastinated bodies. Plastination can preserve bodies for up to a hundred years!

HERCULES - Muscular / Skeletal System: Hercules is a demi-god well known for his strength.This hall highlights the different muscles and bones in the body.

Key learning: It takes 43 muscles to frown but only 17 muscles to smile. So smile.

POSEIDON – Respiratory System: Poseidon is the god of the sea. Because we humans need powerful lungs to survive the seas, this hall emphasizes on the lungs and other parts of our respiratory system. In this exhibit, we came to realize how different lungs look like depending on the environment they’re in. We also saw what lungs looked like on the onset of cancer, up until the final stages. It was sad and scary to see that the normal set of lungs for us city-dwellers was a gray pair. The only people with perfect lungs are those who live up in the mountains, away from the pollution and second hand smoke.

Key learning: Stop smoking not for your sake but for the sake of the people around you. Second-hand smoking does more damage to the lungs.

DIONYSUS – Digestive System: Dionysus is the god of wine. This hall highlights the pathway where food passes through from the moment it is swallowed, all the way until it reaches your toilet. Specimens of the stomach and the intestine and other parts of the digestive system were on display.

Key learning: Drinking red wine regularly while you are still young will help increase your life for 10 years, probably more.

Key learning: It has just been recently discovered that the appendix has a function, and not just an accessory body part. It stores lactobacilli (the stuff you find in Yakult, Chamyto and the likes) for consumption of the body which are normally washed out right after drinking water.

HADES – Circulatory System: Hades is the god of the underworld.  Just as blood symbolizes life, this exhibit focuses on the human circulatory system, the heart and the pathways of blood. Here, we met the “Red Man.” –Hello, Red Man! – Unlike other specimens that take 6 months to plastinate, this one took about 2 years before it was completed. It must be tedious work, separating all the blood vessels/veins/arteries and rearranging them just like how it’s done in our bodies.

Goodbye, Red Man… Crying face

Key learning: If you really want to commit suicide, do not slash your wrists like emo people. It may take from 24 to 48 hours before you actually die so this is not really the best option, unless you just want to grab some attention.

Key learning: You know you have a healthy heart if you see a perfect diamond space when you press your thumbnails together.

EROS – Reproductive System: Of course, who else than Eros, the god of love could better represent the reproductive system? Here, we saw lots and lots of pikoys and peepees – ranging from the normal to the ones with cancer. It was during this part of the tour wherein we had a little film-showing detailing how a child is formed. It shows the evolution from a sperm cell up until the fetus is ready to see the world. It also allows you to experience how it feels like to be inside a mother’s womb, which was pretty cool and informative.

Key learning: Always remember that we are all champions. Out of the 500,000 sperm cells, we were the ones that survived all odds and reached that egg cell.

Key learning: A man’s testicles need to be asymmetrical so there is no friction, thus, no heat to kill the precious sperm cells.

ZEUS – Brain / Nervous System: Zeus is the god of all gods. This hall focuses on the brain and the nervous system, the god of all gods of the human body parts. Saw lots of brain specimens here, including a “sliced brain” (a brain cut into 3 cross-sections).

Key learning: The more folds the brain have, the more intelligent the person is. Just like Pareng Berting Einstein who was found out to have used 12% of his brain vs. an average person who just uses 5% of the total brain capacity.

ARTEMIS – Fetal System: Artemis is the goddess of fertility. The Artemis hall focuses on the stages of fetal growth. We saw fetuses that looked like little aliens in bottles in every stage of development. They were red and blue with big eyes. The most amazing specimen for us was the pregnant woman who died with the baby she was carrying.

Photo by Richard Romano

At the end of the exhibit, there was a hall where souvenir pictures can be taken.


The Myth of the Human Body Exhibit is open daily from 10:30AM to 8:30PM and is located at the Neobabylon Bldg 9 Bayani Road AFPOVAI, Taguig City. I’m sure you won’t miss the building with all the huge sculptures.


This was supposed to be until April 17, 2011 only but was recently extended until December 4, 2011. Entrance fee is at Php350.00 and can be bought on the spot.

We highly suggest everyone, not just students, to visit this exhibit. It’s an artistic and fun way to learn the human anatomy. This might be the nudge you need to start living a healthy life.



The Myth of the Human Body was very interesting from beginning to end. As a child, I enjoyed learning about the human body in school because at home, my mom, who’s a doctor, explained it really well to me. Seeing all those things we learned about - in the flesh (literally!) - was really cool. I wish I could have seen this back when I was a kid. There were kids on the tour with us and they seemed to absorb every piece of information the tour guide gave. (Overheard a couple of kids reprimand their dad about his drinking habits when the tour guide was showing us this deteriorated specimen of a liver.)

Some people warned us that the images might be too disturbing and gross, but when we got there, we were mostly in awe. Okay, so we saw a few disturbing specimens like: 1.) a woman who’s abdomen is sliced open and is carrying her innards with both her arms, 2.) a woman sliced into 3 vertical cross sections with tiny lotus feet, 3.) rows and rows of fetuses in various stages of development – from the tiniest ones to normal ones, to babies with abnormalities, 4.) a man carrying his own skin (which has been removed from his body) as if it were some piece of cloth, 5.) a pregnant woman with her belly open to show the dead baby inside her (this particular woman died in childbirth prior to plastination).

Photos by Richard Romano

Despite those images, the whole exhibit in itself was a much-needed refresher on human anatomy as well as a glaring reminder that we really need to take care of our bodies. Nothing like seeing actual body parts in the worst conditions to make you want to take care of yourself.

The tour guide was okay, though he talked a bit too fast. He did memorize his spiels well and was funny at the right moments. The group of college girls we toured with loved his punch lines and couldn’t stop giggling.

It’s difficult to explain everything we saw because there was a lot. You really have to see it for yourself. So before the exhibit closes this December, please do yourself a favor and go check it out. You’ll come out with much more respect and love for the bodies that God blessed us with. Smile