An Educational Journey Inside the Womb: “Wonderful You,” Delves Into the Intricate Beginnings of Life

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A still image from the virtual reality experience, ‘Wonderful You’, available now on iOS and Android

You’re floating in darkness, surrounded by soft water. It is calm and you are at peace in your mother’s womb — just beginning your journey of existence. It is the most epic adventure that you will never remember.

This is the hazy dreamscape that a stunning virtual reality experience titled, “Wonderful You,” conjures by taking you on a guided tour of the beginning of life as you develop the five senses that will shape your time on earth. Created by immersive studio BDH, directed by John Durrant and narrated by Oscar-nominee Samantha Morton, the experience has been acquired by WITHIN for syndication on its app, now available for the first time ever on iPhone and Android.

“Virtual reality is an ideal way to experience another world — and ‘Wonderful You’ is just that,” says Durrant. “Everyone will have something to learn, discuss and enjoy.”

“Wonderful You” was an official selection of the 2018 SXSW Film Festival in Austin and previewed in 2017 on Oculus Rift at the Cambridge Film Festival. The experience is anchored around a developing human baby floating in an endless expanse of amniotic fluid flecked with tiny bubbles. There are five chapters devoted to sensory development: taste, touch, smell, sight and sound.

Each chapter is a universe unto itself as you find yourself occupying the cellular realm where taste buds tower like alien forests and ear canals wind like cosmic slides. Inhabiting the earliest stages of life through the magic of virtual reality is what makes the educational aspects of the experience so exciting.

Learning is active, not passive, as you tickle the bottom of your feet and watch the immediate reflex; or experience the primal urge to grasp your hand when something touches your palm.

In the chapter about sight, you examine the twisted cables of tissue that form your optic nerve and witness the eerie moment when your formerly fused eyelids part to reveal the black orbs of your alien eyeballs; in sound you can simulate the sonic boom of your mother’s heartbeat, or hear the primal bass of music from another room; touch shows an early response to stimulus via thousands of delicate receptors in the face and body; smell and taste are connected as you swallow amniotic fluid flavored with your mother’s favorite foods, thus stimulating both senses and creating an explosion of information for your developing brain to process.

Taken together, these senses will become the key to your survival outside of the womb and will provide the framework for everything you experience in life. The virtual visit to this early stage of your evolution offered by “Wonderful You” will stick with you long after you’ve stepped away from the experience, and next time you smell a fragrance that reminds you — on some deep, distant level — of your mother, you will know exactly why.