AN EDINBURGH tourist attraction gave a mother-to-be an unexpected look at her unborn baby.
Camera Obscura and World of Illusions features the Heat Cam thermal imaging camera where the pregnant woman, a visitor from France, was surprised to see her baby show up on the image.
The optical attraction has visitors stand in front of the Heat Cam in a darkened room while the thermal image appears on a screen.
Manager Andrew Johnson said:
“She came running down and said ‘I’ve just seen my baby’.
“She was excited about it but she was worried if her baby could be hurt by the camera.
“We were able to reassure her and explain how the camera works, which is that it picks up heat rather than light so it wasn’t scanning her at all.
“Warm parts emit more heat and show up as red, so the baby showed up very nicely. “
Mr Johnson added:
“Normally your abdomen is warmest because of your organs and anything close to your heart, around the face, forehead and crotch! “
But when the expectant mother stood in front of the camera the cooler area of the baby partly covered the warmer area showing her organs.
Mr Johnson, who believed that the woman was around six months pregnant, said it was the first time he had ever seen the camera pick up the image of a baby in the womb.
“It was interesting to all of us. The lady’s partner was there and he was very proud, saying,
“I’m the father’ and taking lots of pictures.
“She was saying
“Come and see, come and see.” She said she has last seen her baby a month ago and it had grown so much.
Mr Johnson explained that visitors have a tendency to begin removing their clothes when they get in front of the Heat Cam.
“What happens in the camera is that people start to disrobe.
“You are in a dark room, and your hands and bare skin show best, so people roll up their sleeves and even their trouser legs, which is always funny.
“She held up her top so we could have a good look at the image on the screen.
“She was really excited and just wanted to share it with everyone. “
The attraction now predicts an onslaught of expectant parents trying to catch a glimpse of their unborn child.
Mr Johnson said:
“I went back and told my wife, who’s a GP, and she said
“the next door neighbour is 17 weeks pregnant, we’ll have to get up there with her and see.”
“It’s a very different way of seeing your baby from a scan in a hospital.
“You’re not lying on your back and seeing it on the screen. It’s in colour, you can move around and it’s also a shared experience you can show other people. “