Confronting new exhibition gives Kiwis a chance to see beneath the skin of real human beings

Kiwis have a chance to see beneath the skin of real human beings in a confronting exhibition visiting New Zealand shores for the first time.

The Body Worlds exhibition has been seen by 45 million people worldwide, and after one day already 650 Kiwis have been to see it.

Organisers say the display, featuring around 200 human specimens, had to open over an hour early due to the queues outside.

Most of the 20 full bodies in the exhibition were donated in Germany, and have been preserved through plastination.

It's a technique invented by one of the exhibition creators, Dr Gunther von Hagens.

Wife and co-creater Dr Angelina Whalley says: "To put it very simple it's a vacuum process that allows us to exchange the tissue water with a polymer like silicone."

"Each individual cell that contained water before is now filled with a polymer, and that renders the specimen dry."

Plastination takes 1500 hours per corpse, and an additional year to rebuild the body once that process is complete.

The intention of the exhibition is to educate visitors on how their bodies work, and how to best take care of them.

"We have our body with us all our life - it's the only place we have to live" Dr Whalley said.

"I systematically describe all bodily functions and show all the organs we have in our body and also show healthy organs and diseased ones in comparison, so you can really understand what a disease looks like."

"Only this emotional experience will help us towards a healthier lifestyle".

The exhibition organisers hope to see 100,000 Kiwis through their doors over the three months it is in Auckland.

Already 50 schools have signed up to visit.

The Body Worlds exhibition has been seen by 45 million people worldwide. Source: 1 NEWS