How the human body would have to be built to survive a catastrophic car crash: Sculptor creates ‘super human’ with massive head, extra nipples and no neck to launch road safety campaign

The body of Graham with his huge chest, inflated head and absence of a neck has been designed to survive a car crash

The body of Graham with his huge chest, inflated head, extra nipples and absence of a neck has been designed to survive a car crash.

Graham, who was created by Melbourne sculptor Patricia Piccinini, is part of the Victorian Government’s new road safety campaign.

The body of Graham with his huge chest, inflated head and absence of a neck has been designed to survive a car crash
The body of Graham with his huge chest, inflated head and absence of a neck has been designed to survive a car crash

Piccinini drew from the knowledge of trauma surgeon Christian Kenfield and road safety engineer David Logan to build a body that could withstand a high-speed crash.

Graham’s warped features, such as his huge chest and extra nipples which are meant to mimic air bags and protect his rib cage, highlight how vulnerable the human body is in car crashes.

Graham, who was created by Melbourne sculptor Patricia Piccinini, is part of the Victorian Government's new road safety campaign
Graham, who was created by Melbourne sculptor Patricia Piccinini, is part of the Victorian Government’s new road safety campaign

His lack of neck rules out broken bones and whiplash, while his flat, fatty face is designed to protect his nose and ears.

The padded up chest with airbags between each rib protects his heart.

Graham's warped features, such as his huge chest to mimic airbags and to protect his rib cage, are meant to highlight how vulnerable the human body is in car crashes
Graham’s warped features, such as his huge chest to mimic airbags and to protect his rib cage, are meant to highlight how vulnerable the human body is in car crashes

Graham also has thicker and tougher skin to shield and reduce abrasions and road rash.

But his bizarre features do not just protect him inside a car but help him if he is a pedestrian.

He has strong legs allowing him to jump out of the way of oncoming cars, and his knees bend in all directions to save him breaking his leg when hit by a car.

Piccinini drew from the knowledge of trauma surgeon Christian Kenfield and road safety engineer David Logan to build a body that could withstand a high-speed crash
Piccinini drew from the knowledge of trauma surgeon Christian Kenfield and road safety engineer David Logan to build a body that could withstand a high-speed crash

Dr Kenfield said even the strongest man could not hold himself in place in a car accident because the force of crash was so great.

‘The dangers of even low speeds such as 25,30, 35 kilometres an hour is quite great,’ he said.

Dr Kenfield said even the strongest man could not hold himself in place in a car accident because the force of crash was so great
Dr Kenfield said even the strongest man could not hold himself in place in a car accident because the force of crash was so great

‘The most significant part of body for injury is the head. So as the head stops the brain actually keeps moving forward, smashing against the front part of the skull and then bouncing backwards and getting an injury on the back of the head as well.’

Piccinini also consulted with Dr Logan who is a roads safety expert at Monash University.

‘In the modern world we’re subjecting ourselves to much higher speeds, and the body just doesn’t have the physiology to absorb the energy when things go wrong,’ Dr Logan said.

‘A crash is about managing energy so when we’re moving along the road we have energy.

‘When we suddenly stop the car because we’re in a crash that energy has to be absorbed by the car and by the driver.’

The interactive sculpture is part of a creative Victorian road safety campaign that launched on Thursday.

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Victorians will be able to use Google Tango, the latest in immersive augmented reality technology, to look beneath Graham’s skin and better understand how his unique features would work to cushion him from serious injury in a crash.

School curriculum has also been developed to enhance the learning experience for students visiting Graham in person or online.

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