Meet Graham, the only ‘human’ that can survive a car crash

  • Graham is a lifelike sculpture created to show people how they would have to evolve to survive car crashes
  • His body is built in a way that safeguards his vital organs even in the worst road accidents
  • He was created by Melbourne-based sculptor Patricia Piccinini

He may be bizarre-looking and very unsightly but he has something that other human beings don’t have – a body built to survive even the worst road accidents.

Graham, the ambassador for the Victoria Transport Accident Commission (TAC) road safety project in Australia – given that he’s the only ‘person’ designed to survive high-speed crashes, is not an actual human being but a sculpture made to show us what we might look like if we are evolved to survive on our roads and highlight how susceptible the human body is to car collisions.

Graham was created by Melbourne-based artist Patricia Piccinini using silicone, fiber glass, and human hair, as per an article published by Digital Trends. In coming up with the design, Piccinini consulted with a trauma surgeon and a road safety engineer asking what changes in the human body can be done to protect vital organs and survive a car crash.

Graham was created with a reinforced skull built like a helmet that absorbs an impact, protecting the brain from damage. With more facial fat and flat features, his face is kept from breaking. His neck is also non-existent, saving him from whiplash. He also has a rib cage full of airbags that absorbs shock and safeguard his internal organs.

 Aside from features that keeps him unharmed from car crashes, Graham is also strong as a pedestrian. His legs are multi-jointed, allowing him to leap out of danger’s way. He’s also safe from fractures as his knees are secured by extra tendons that allow him to bend it in any direction.

Piccinini told Popular Science: “I learned a lot about what breaks when people are involved in car accidents. We have evolved to survive falls at walking or running speeds, but not at the sort of speeds the are typical in the world of cars.”

“Cars have evolved a lot faster than humans and Graham helps us understand why we need to improve every aspect of our road system to protect ourselves from our own mistakes,” said the chief executive of TAC Joe Calafiore.

He added: “Graham is an educational tool that will serve the community for years to come as a reminder of why we need to develop a safer road system that will protect us when things go wrong.”

Learn more about Project Graham and road safety here.