Skateboarding Articles

Sanitation factor:
Display profanity
Remove all profanity

Plastinated Skater - Proving that skateboarding is gross

Plastination skater from Body Worlds exhibit

Remember the last gnarly slam you witnessed - or were engaged in - and how that bloody bruised body part made you want to puke?

Imagine taking that sensation to the extreme and converting it into a traveling road show. Sound a bit carney? Check out Body Worlds.

Most of you have heard of the Body Worlds exhibition showing dehydrated corpses (aka: Plastination). OK, the process is a tad more scientific than those dehydrated apricots your grandmother likes to eat, but the result is strikingly similar!

Essentially, this show displays human plasticized figures in every-day poses... among other things. Keep in mind these "figures" were once living breathing humans who had lives, shopped at the mall and so forth. A unique blending of fascinating and creepy all rolled into one.


Plastination is a technique used in anatomy to preserve bodies or body parts. The water and fat are replaced by certain plastics, yielding specimens that can be touched, do not smell or decay, and even retain most microscopic properties of the original sample.

The technique was invented by Gunther von Hagens when working at the anatomical institute of the University of Heidelberg in 1978. Von Hagens has patented the technique in several countries and is heavily involved in its promotion, especially with his traveling exhibition Body Worlds showing plastinated human bodies all over the world.

The first step of plastination is fixation. This simply means that the body is embalmed, usually in a formaldehyde solution, in order to halt decomposition. After any necessary dissections take place, the specimen is then placed in a bath of acetone. Under freezing conditions, the acetone draws out all the water and takes its place inside the cells. In the third step, the specimen can then be placed in a bath of liquid polymer, such as silicone rubber, polyester or epoxy resin. By creating a vacuum and lowering the pressure, the acetone is made to boil. As the acetone vaporizes and leaves the cells, it draws the liquid polymer in behind it, leaving a cell filled with liquid plastic. This is known as forced impregnation. The plastic must then be cured, either with gas, heat, or UV light, in order to harden it. A specimen can be anything from a full human body to a small piece of an animal organ, and they are known as either "plastins" or "plastinates".

If you feel so inclined their website has a downloadable PDF so you can donate your body to the carney-cause and hit the road as a super-realistic corpse. I don't know if its possible, but you should request that your body be put displayed in a "sk8" pose. The hand plant pose above is a little dated. Perhaps your remains can be contorted into a more modern maneuver.

Girls and Corpses

Girls and Corpses

All in all, I think this is a much more satisfactory way to be presented, post mortem. The folks at Girls and Corpses have taken a much softer caring approach to dealing with the dead. I'd be more inclined to visit (or participate in as a dead d00d) this exhibition.

I'd much rather be chilling with a cute blonde than be gawked at by lurid weirdos with camera-phones, blogs and other weird obsessions. Yep, in death... bring on the blondes (and brunettes) cuz that's the life for me. I don't want to get all Kreskin about things and die any time soon - unless I get to hang out with Jennifer Love Hewitt for some Ghost Whispering action - but lets involve babes in the after-life. You down?

Live long and prosper... and skate!

Return to ARTICLES


Skate The Planet Factoid: