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This pair of Luxor exhibits in Las Vegas give us insight into the preciousness of life.
My body is my temple.
We’ve all heard the saying before, and while it’s an honorable mantra to strive for, I’ll be the first to admit that not everything I’ve done in my young life has been for the betterment of my health.
And nothing will open your eyes to that harsh reality more than BODIES…The Exhibition, an ongoing installment at Luxor in Las Vegas. Take the set of black charred lungs, for example. After visitors (who smoke) inhale the mental effects of the disturbing visual, they are urged to drop their package of cigarettes in a large bin next to the exhibit. The bin is surprisingly full, but you have to wonder how many of those people were able to stop cold turkey.
Even for a non-smoker like myself, the message was impactful, even beyond the literal meaning. For some, it could be the liver on display after an extreme bout of cirrhosis, or a demonstration of the consequences of over-eating and lack of exercise—the lesson is that the things we do to our body can have lasting effects.
The exhibit is not all about the negative effects related to the choices we make. It’s also an educational experience meant to encourage healthy lifestyle choices. “The real human bodies have been meticulously dissected, preserved through an innovative process, and respectfully presented, giving visitors the opportunity to view the beauty and complexity of their own organs and systems like never before,” reads a recent BODIES press release.
As guests wander from room to room, they get an up-close look inside our skeletal, muscular, respiratory, and circulatory systems. The bodies are put in various athletic positions, such as a person shooting a basketball or hurling a discus. Putting an emphasis on sports helps stress the importance of exercise in our daily lives.
BODIES recently instituted a course of health lectures called BODIES…The Wellness Series. The program informs the public about current health topics, giving guests the power of knowledge and prevention. The series takes place at the exhibit on the Atrium Level of Luxor one Saturday a month at 9:30 a.m. For $16, guests can enjoy the lecture and see the exhibit. For more information, text “healthy” to 75309.
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition
Before entering, visitors to Luxor’s Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition receive a boarding pass bearing the name of an actual passenger of the ill-fated ship. At the end of the exhibit, each guest finds out if they “survived.” You have a roughly 30-percent survival rate (1,517 of the 2,223 passengers died), so there’s a better chance than not that “you” perished in one of the more well-known tragedies in human history. No matter your card-bearing fate, the vicarious experience will leave a lasting impression—much like the exhibit’s neighbor, BODIES.
The 25,000-square-foot Titanic exhibit features numerous items from the RMS Titanic, which shortly before midnight on April 14, 1912, struck an iceberg and sank into the icy North Atlantic two hours and 40 minutes later. The various rooms give visitors an in-depth look at actual artifacts from the ship, including luggage, the ship’s whistles, floor tiles from the first-class smoking room, a window frame from the Verandah Café, a set of dishes found on the ocean floor, and an unopened bottle of champagne with a 1900 vintage.
In addition, the exhibit features an actual piece of Titanic’s hull, a full-scale re-creation of the Grand Staircase, and a newly expanded outer Promenade Deck, complete with the frigid temperatures felt during the disaster. You can even feel with your hand a miniature iceberg replica, shortly after an employee tells the details of why the ship was unable to avoid the berg and the ensuing consequences of the damage.
Recovered from two and a half miles below the surface of the Atlantic, the displays tell the story behind the boat’s journey from construction and destruction to eventual recovery. “Walk her decks, peer into her cabins, and meet her passengers and crew,” reads the Luxor Web site. “The personal artifacts offer haunting, emotional connections to the forever-altered lives of those on board.”
Daily, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Tickets: $31, adults; $29, seniors (65 & older); $23, children (4-12); free, children (3 & younger), $28 (locals w/ valid ID)
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit
Daily, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Tickets: $27, general; $25, seniors (65 & older); $20, children (4-12); free, children (3 & younger), $24 (locals w/ valid ID)