Presentation video (3:09)

Microbiota, a whole world in your belly

Underestimated for a very long time, our intestine hosts thousands of microbes. This microbiota plays a role in digestion, the immune system and behavior. The eponymous exhibition, adapted from the successful book, written by Giulia Enders and illustrated by her sister Jill Enders, reveals recent discoveries on the intestinal microbiota and the importance of it being balanced.

The intestine and its fascinating microcosms! We are an ecosystem, living in symbiosis with our microbes. Discovering and understanding this allows us to take care of our bodies and our health.


What are our digestive organs doing all the livelong day? They are busy converting a great many things – an apple, bread, an egg – into the energy we need to live.

What ingenious mechanisms do they use? Where precisely are these organs located and how can we help them do their job well? Our stomach is an intelligent organ of remarkable complexity. And great beauty, as we shall see when we get to know it better. Burping and farting may not be very refined, but the movements that produce them are as elegant as a ballet dancer’s! You will discover all these facets in the first part of the exhibition. Start with a tour of our digestion in real images, then penetrate into the secrets of each organ.

Funny, clear, precise and illustrated explanations by the Enders sisters inspire this explorative journey of the digestive tract. Interactive elements reveal the role and functioning of each organ.


Imagine that you are as small as a miniscule intestinal villi. The gut would look like a forest filled with billions of exotic organisms: bacteria, yeasts, archaea, and viruses. Nowhere else in our body can we find such a huge variety of species and families. This is what is called gut microbiota.

Scientific research has shown that these bacteria can impact our weight, our allergies, our immune system, and even our behavior. And we each have our own individual population of microbes. Welcome to the universe of gut microbes!


Just as the vast world in which we live has an impact on us, so the small world that lives inside us, in our gut, influences us too. A healthy equilibrium of microbiota contains a great variety of different microbes. From our earliest childhood, our stomachs are home to a population that evolves throughout our lives. Our microbiotic destiny is forged over the years by what we eat, what we put in our mouths, where we live and the people we kiss.

Each person’s microbiota is slightly different. This last section of the exhibition provides practical tips, based on scientific discoveries, that you can apply in your daily lives.

  • Discover the real look of the human digestive organs by looking at plastinated organs

  • Examine the anatomy of the human body by handling a touchscreen display running on an interactive and intuitive software

  • Touch and examine microbiota in a model. It will tell you all about its composition

  • Get acquainted with gut bacteria and learn about their role by watching a fun interactive movie

  • Try the multimedia game to choose which foods to eat to reach the recommended 30 grams a day
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Microbiote medium v° (2:36)Cité des sciences et de l'industrie