Our Body: The Universe Within

Coming to Johnson City, Tennessee is a world-renowned exhibition that is all about the human body. This limited time, one of a kind display consists of actual human bodies and organs. “Our Body: The Universe Within” is at the Hands On! Museum now until August 2nd. Millions in select cities have seen this display across the nation. It literally goes under the skin to reveal the mysteries of the human anatomy.


This educational exhibition is possible due to a unique method called “polymer impregnation”- a method of preservation that replaces the body’s water and fat with reactive plastics. In polymer preservation the bodily fluids are replaces with liquid and is then hardened to create a solid durable anatomic specimen that will last indefinitely.


In the exhibit, you will notice that the specimens are in every day positions such as sitting, bending over and some are even playing sports! That is because the plastic is pliable for the first few hours, making it easy to place the bodies before they harden forever. The specimens remain dry, odorless and durable which makes them an excellent teaching and research tool.


Dr. Walter Hofman is the Medical Advisor in the incredible discovery. He is a well-known, highly respected Doctor of Forensic Pathology. He has lent his knowledge and expertise to The Universe Within Touring Company for the presentation. This way, every person is assured to have not only a sense of where the study of anatomy has been, but where it is headed with this new technology.


Our Body: The Universe Within is made up of over 200 specimens! All have been reserved by polymer impregnation. There are multiple galleries in the exhibit and each one tells something different about the body. The exhibit shows off the complexity of the human body, visitors can examine the composition of the complex human body in great detail. This extraordinary exhibit will educate, enlighten and spark interest at every age and helps make the complexity of understanding the universe within us even more possible.

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This mind-blowing exhibit is only one of many at the Hands On! Museum in Johnson City. Loaded with 100,000 programs in arts, sciences and humanities, Hands On! has been voted best museum in the region by multiple regional magazines. Since 1986 over 1.5 million visitors of all ages, abilities and ethnicities have made their way to Hands On! Museum. The mission of the museum is to inspire discovery and understanding of science and the arts in a place where learning and fun go hand in hand. The featured program for the summer is the Kids Kaleidoscope Summer Camp for children 5-12.

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