As another annual season of city-wide thrills, chills scares descends upon Manchester, the Science and Industry Museum invites visitors to enjoy some giggle-worthy gore this Halloween with world-premiere blockbuster exhibition, Operation Ouch! Food, Poo & You.

Bringing the smash-hit BBC Children’s TV series to life, the super-sized adventure invites visitors on a gleefully gross journey through the human digestive system, during which they can learn about some of our funniest bodily functions through a range of interactive activities.

Amongst the riotously repulsive assortment of games and experiences throughout the exhibition, BBC Children’s show presenters Dr. Chris, Dr. Xand and Dr. Ronx have chosen their personal highlights for parents and children alike to guarantee a hilariously horrible day out this Halloween.

Dr. Chris – Larry The Vomiting Robot

larry the vomiting robo

For me, the ickiest experience in the exhibition has to be Larry the Vomiting Robot.

“He was created by Dr. Catherine Mackinson-Booth to simulate vomiting and help understand the distribution of norovirus particles.

“When your body detects bad food or viruses in your tummy, your stomach muscles automatically squeeze tight. This shoots any food and acid up your throat and out of your mouth at a speed of around 40mph!

“By mimicking this, Larry shows just how far our sick can splatter—which is over three metres! This evidence was used to change the way norovirus is cleaned up and contained in UK hospital wards. So, he might be gross but he’s also pretty great!

“This is the first time anyone’s been able to see Larry as part of an exhibition. Luckily, he isn’t throwing up. Instead, you can turn on a UV light to reveal his vomit splatter patterns and see for yourself just how far it can go.

Dr. Xand – The Gut Orchestra

gut orchestra

This whole exhibition is full of delightfully disgusting things to do, but my highlight has to be the ‘Gut Orchestra’.

“Halloween is all about creepy, unexpected, spooky noises. And what’s spookier than hearing a creak or a rumble in a dark room, and then realising that the noise is coming from… inside you! Liquid and gas ooze through your digestive system like fog moving through a haunted wood, or slime through a disgusting sewer!

“They make creaking and groaning noises, and the gas bubbles through your digestive juices! You get rumbles, groans, clattering tinkling noises—sometimes it sounds like a haunted house and sometimes like a ghost! Those tummy noises can scare anyone! But did you know that noise usually comes from your small intestine, not your stomach? And often these noises are followed by a nasty sulphurous smell! Perfect for Halloween!

“The Gut Orchestra makes all these sounds. Just stick your hand inside to hear a symphony of burps, rumbles, farts and grumbles. Like everything in this exhibition, it’s hilariously horrible! I could play in it all day!

Dr. Ronx – The Poo-duction Line

We might think poo is gross, but it’s so important that we talk about it. It’s a reflection of our general health and knowing how and why our poos are different can help keep us well. I’m so proud of Operation Ouch! Food, Poo and You for being so bold in its approach to the science inside us all and empowering us all to better understand our brilliant bodies!

“The exhibition is packed full of interactive experiences designed to leave visitors inspired, entertained, and grossed out in equal measure. Other Halloween highlights include a ‘stink chamber’ where visitors are challenged to sniff out anything from strawberries to smelly feet, and the once-in-a-lifetime experience of travelling like a poo and being flushed down a giant toilet.

“Visitors can also explore a set of super-sized, interactive teeth, big enough to make any vampire jealous, and will be joined on their journey by Billy Bones, the Doctor’s skeleton sidekick who helps to make sense of the science.

Elsewhere along the exhibition, hysterical Halloween highlights include a giant set of interactive teeth, a ‘stink chamber’ in which visiting gastronauts can try to identify everything from strawberries to smelly feet using only their nose, and the chance to travel as a poo being flushed down an enormous toilet. Throughout Operation Ouch! Food, Poo & You, the doctors’ skeleton sidekick Billy Bones is on hand to provide useful information as the adventure progresses.

As part of Manchester’s Halloween in the City programme, the museum will also be illuminated in a ghoulish shade of green.

For more information and to book tickets to Operation Ouch! Food, Poo & You, click here.

Check out the Science and Industry Museum’s other special half term activities, running from Sat 21 Oct – Sun 5 Nov.

A Manchester Wire Partnership post
Fri 21 Jul - Sun 9 Jun, The Science and Industry Museum,
Liverpool Rd, Manchester, M3 4FP
, £9-£10 (under-3s free), 10am-5pm
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Fri 20 Oct 2023