A group of forensic anthropologists have completed a meticulous analysis of a set of real human anatomy displays from 19C Italy. Using CT scans and other chemical analysis, the group determined that, some 200 years ago, anatomist Giovan Battista Rini "petrified" the corpses with a mercury and other heavy metals. He injected some tinctures and used others as baths. The eyes are fake. Basically, Rini was modern medicine's first "Body Worlds" guy.
Reality TV has certainly dabbled in ancient embalming practices before — Paula Abdul immediately springs to mind — but never, to my knowledge, has it been taken quite to these extremes. A terminally ill man with a longheld fascination for Egyptian burial rites donated his body to a documentary series about mummification on Britain's Channel 4.