Enter through a man's elbow, exit through a woman's leg. Truly, an incredible journey

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The Independent Online
A BEATING 12ft heart set inside a big model of a human ribcage will form the centrepiece of the Millennium Dome's Body Zone. Visitors will be taken on a "roller-coaster" journey around a 100ft model of an entwined man and woman, during which they will encounter a range of human emotions, including apprehension, humour and fear.

Announcing the details of the Dome's attractions yesterday, Liam Kane, the managing director of the New Millennium Experience Company, said that the journey, which involves encounters with three dimensional representations of the brain, an eye and a womb, was equal to a Hollywood movie in scope. "The journey takes visitors on an emotional roller-coaster through a series of state-of-the-art effects," he said.

"It is designed to induce a range of emotions including apprehension, fear, humour and sadness, and teach them how their own physiology reacts to them. The heart room, in particular, is stunning - I can guarantee that visitors will be talking about it for months afterwards," he added.

Visitors will enter the model through the man's elbow and as they travel slowly upwards they will witness arterial walls, lined with muscle tissue and blood vessels. A deep, booming pulse will give the impression of being pumped towards their destination. And as they near the heart, the pulse will become stronger and the light will dim until they emerge into a cavernous ribcage, with the heart hanging above them, pumping blood around the vessels.

It will beat 60 times a minute until a loud noise is heard from outside the body - the sound of a car crash or a dog barking - and the heart will react by beating twice as fast as previously, sending a real adrenalin rush through the body of every spectator.

Visitors will exit the body through the woman's right leg and emerge in the exploratory area, which includes interactive displays and video screens covering beauty, genetics and medical and scientific research.

Four famous "beauties", yet to be revealed, will talk about their beauty routines on big video screens. But if this induces feelings of inferiority, visitors can move on to a computer that allows them to compare their present youthful appearance - captured on a digital image - with the way they will look in 40 years.

Andrew Fitch, the project director, said the area - two-thirds the size of a football pitch - was divided into three sections: "You and Others", which looks at beauty, and personal presentation; "Positive Wellbeing", which covers the connection between how people look and how they feel; and "Hopes and Fears", examining the future of medicine.

"There will be videos of scientists talking about issues, relaxation pods where you can have learn about aromatherapy, and wellbeing pods that look at the holistic approach to body and mind," he said.

A spokesman for NMEC said one million tickets had been sold and they were on course to meet the target of 12 million visitors in the first year.