Meet ‘Graham,’ the freakish sculpture designed to survive a motor vehicle accident

A new road safety campaign features a human sculpture created with the help of a trauma surgeon


MELBOURNE, Australia — Renowned artist Patricia Piccinini has created an unusual sculpture under the guidance of a leading trauma surgeon.

Human beings would have to look something like Graham in order to survive a motor vehicle accident, according to a new road campaign by Australia’s Transport Accident Commission.

Meet Graham, an unusual human sculpture designed to survive a car accident. (Photo Courtesy TCA)
Meet Graham, an unusual human sculpture designed to survive a car accident. (Photo Courtesy TCA)

Graham — who was constructed with fiberglass, silicone and human hair — has a large thick skull, no cervical spine, toughened ribs and sacks of air on his chest to act like airbags.

Royal Melbourne Hospital trauma surgeon and crash investigation expert Christian Kenfield said Graham had been built on naturally occurring mechanisms in the human body.

“One of the real injuries that we have as humans in a high-speed car crash is a neck injury, a cervical spine fracture or dislocation of the ligaments as the head flexes forward and then hyper-extends back," Kenfield told ABC News.

"The head is quite heavy and at rest we all have the neck muscles to hold the head upright and move it as we need to. "But in a car crash we don't have the strength to stop that whiplashing injury that is so sudden and so forceful that it often causes catastrophic effects."

"Our aim is to explore this with Graham and remind Victorians of how vulnerable our bodies really are by showing them what we might look like if we were built to survive a crash on our roads,” TAC wrote on Graham’s official page.

As part of the campaign, aonline interactive educational tool was developed for users allows them to look under Graham’s skin and learn more about the structures of his body.

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