Strap on 3-D glasses and watch holograms of cartoon sperm sprinting to fertilize an egg. Climb inside a gigantic nose, enjoy the smell of fresh hay, then feel the wind blast on your neck when it sneezes. Walk across a bouncy rubber tongue complete with taste buds and realistic burping noises.
The makers of “Corpus,” a new attraction in the Netherlands, are hoping a combination amusement park and health education museum will encourage kids to take better care of their own bodies.
Even before Corpus officially opened March 20 in Oegstgeest, 34 kilometres southeast of Amsterdam, it was already a local landmark. The building incorporates a 35-metre-high seated human figure into its structure. But the roughhewn Corpus exterior isn’t much to look at: All the detail is on the inside.
All the walls and halls are modelled with fibreglass to resemble the inside of a giant human body, giving visitors the sensation of being shrunk down to a tiny scale. Visitors begin their tour via an escalator that carries them through a wound in the giant figure’s calf. Once inside, they see an exhibition on what happens when a wood splinter pierces the skin.
Then it’s on to the sit-down “Uterus Theatre.” That’s the one with the cartoon sperm race.
“We chose not to show sexual activity, but actually just the fertilization of the egg cell by the seed cell and how that develops” into a fetus, said Dr. Tom Voute, one of a raft of physicians hired as advisers on the project.
He said the information in Corpus is medically accurate, if not always highly sophisticated.
The project is the dream of businessman Henri Remmers, who arranged $31 million US in private funding and won the endorsement of the Dutch Health Ministry. The cost of entry is $25.50 for adults, $21 for children under 14. Children younger than eight are not permitted.