Amazing Facts & Figures

Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS:

  • The BODY WORLDS exhibitions were created by Dr. Gunther von Hagens with the ultimate goal of health education. Refer to Dr. Gunther von Hagens: A Life in Science for biography.

  • Dr. Angelina Whalley is the curator of the exhibitions. Click here for biography.

  • The first BODY WORLDS exhibition was held in Japan in 1995, and has since exhibited in more than 100 cities in Europe, Asia, America and Africa.

  • Currently there are nine BODY WORLDS exhibitions on display in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

  • More than forty million people have seen BODY WORLDS, including 14 million in America.


  • Plastination was invented by Dr. Gunther von Hagens in 1977 at the University of Heidelberg, Germany and has continuously been developed since then.

  • Plastination is a technique that stops the decomposition of a deceased body and produces solid, odorless and durable anatomical specimens for scientific, medical and public instruction without the use of glass barriers or formaldehyde.

  • A whole-body plastinate requires approximately 1,500 working hours to complete.

  • For the plastination process, click here

The Donation Program:

  • Dr. Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS exhibitions stem from the Institute for Plastination’s established body donation program, through which the body donors specifically request that their bodies be used for Plastination in medical teaching, instruction and public exhibitions.

  • There are more than 15,500 registered body donors to the Institute for Plastination, the majority are German, included are more than 1,200 donors from the United States and 33 from Missouri, five of whom live in the Kansas City area.

  • Currently, the North American body donation program is not able to accept new donations as the program has reached its capacity and has indefinitely stopped the acceptance of new donor applications.

  • To learn more about the body donation process, click here.