Oct 5, 2012

Bodies & Titanic Exhibits at Luxor

As Mike, Erin, and I headed south along the strip last week, we decided it would be cool to check out the exhibits inside of the famed Vegas pyramid, Luxor.  The downside was that pictures weren't allowed, which was kind of disappointing as other locations and museums were cool with it.  We still paid the double admission (sans the overpriced audio tour add-on) and checked out Bodies & Titanic.

We did Titanic first, which was a somewhat surreal experience.  It's kind of crazy to wrap your head around the fact that these artifacts were collected from the bottom of the ocean and were used by the passengers of that ship.  Things like notes or jewelry or shoes always get me, because it wakes you up to the reality of the tragedy and those who perished.  Shoes especially freak me out, because the only way you'd find a pair of shoes next to each other at the bottom of the ocean after all of that time is if someone had been wearing them all the way down.

It was a cool exhibit, and the real gem of the entire collection was the Big Piece.  It's a 26 foot long, 15 ton piece of the Titanic's hull that they brought up from the ocean floor and have hanging on display.  It had already broken off of the ship, and they raised it back in 1998 after a previous attempt in 1996.  As someone who has a great appreciation of history, I can't begin to explain just how cool that was to see.

We all got a boarding pass when we entered the exhibit that had a passenger's name listed on it. You were supposed to wait until the end of the tour to check the manifest list to see if your person lived or died. Mike and I were both first class men and we assumed the worst. Turned out we were right.

The Bodies exhibit was completely different, but an equally cool display. Featuring real bodies and organs, the experience is like an anatomy lesson that had us talking a lot about how our own bodies work. I immediately started talking about cannibalism and how stringy humans would be to eat, whereas Mike tried to make his knees crack after we had seen a cross section of what kneecaps looked like. 

Frankly, I had the same morbid curiosity with this exhibit as I had with Titanic, and wondered who these people were and what they might think of having all of their 'business' on display. I doubt they care at this point, but they probably didn't expect to be part of a tour. It was a cool show, but it's not really something I can describe.  You just have to see it to really appreciate how complex, fascinating, and bizarre, parts of the human body really are. 


Wendy said...

I'm so jealous right now! I love Titanic history, and I love anatomy. Those bodies exhibits are pretty cool, eh? I went to one here in the city a couple years back where all the bodies were preserved using the plastination technique developed by Gunther von Hagens. I bet it was absolutely incredible!

Editing Luke said...

It was really neat. All of the ligaments, nerve endings, muscles, etc. were really fascinating to see in context. It makes the human body seem both incredibly complex and overly simplistic for how much use we get from it.