My Trip to the Florida Museum of Natural History By SARAH STROTHMAN

This Adobe Spark story will chronicle my adventures while visiting the Florida Museum of Natural History. When I was younger, my parents took me to this museum but that was at least ten years ago, so I am excited to see how the museum has changed and developed over that span of time. I have always had a great love of nature, and I look forward to learning all that I can during my time at the museum!

I had a great time exploring the exhibit
Some of the beautiful images that I captured of the butterflies and foliage

NATURE ON DISPLAY

The first exhibit that caught my attention upon entering the museum was the Butterfly Rainforest. I was intrigued at the fact that the enclosure incorporated human interaction with live butterflies, and that I would be stepping first hand into the home of the butterflies to view them in a recreated version of their natural habitat. To my surprise, the exhibit contained dozens of species of butterflies all flying free within the enclosure. They were stunning, and I even got to experience the rare occurrence of one landing on me while I was seated on a bench within the enclosure! While observing the butterflies' behavior I was able to discover some very interesting things about them, such as that they tend to rest on rocks just above the surface of water in order to drink. I really enjoyed the fact that I was able to walk through the open enclosure and view the animal's behavior first hand, and then upon exiting was able to read in depth about each species through exerts covering the inner walls of the museum. Being immersed in nature really allowed me to relax and let go of my stress, which made for a very enjoyable and educational experience.

Photos capturing the brand new Frog exhibit
Photos picturing me observing the Frog exhibits

NATURE AND ETHICS

Keeping in line with the beliefs of Leopold, I found the Frog exhibit to be particularly fitting for the nature and ethics category. As I walked throughout the exhibits, I couldn't help but think about the ethical implications of keeping the frogs in such small enclosures, as is pictured in my photographs that I have provided above. Although the exhibits are used as a teaching tool for visitors, I do not believe that the frogs should be subjected to such treatement, simply for the education of curious individuals. The frog exhibits showed endangered and rare frog species from all over the world, and the live frogs were accompanied by long written excerpts and interactive activities that taught visitors about conservation efforts to maintain the frogs as a healthy species. I sat back for awhile and observed the interactions of many of the people around me, and I found that the other visitors were very engaged in observing the frogs from behind the glass, and it was evident that they were making that connection with nature that Leopold spoke so highly of. The frogs were beautiful specimens, and although I did enjoy viewing live samples of them, I couldn't help but feel guilty for the treatment they were expieriencing for my viewing pleasure.

Photographs capturing me exploring the underwater and Florida fossil exhibits
Photographs depicting the majesty of the exhibits

NATURE AND THE HUMAN SPIRIT

Two of my favorite exhibits throughout my tour of the museum were the underwater exploration exhibit, as well as the Florida fossil life exhibition. The underwater exhibit was amazing in that it took you through a dimly lit blue tunnel that was meant to recreate an underwater spehere, and surrounding me were huge sculptures and recreations of fish, kelp, crustaceans, and more. The exhibit made me feel like I was a fish underwater alongside my environment, it was truly stunning. The Florida fossil exhibit had the same effect. Surrounding me were life size fossils of Megladon sharks teeth, giant sloth skeletons and more. By providing visitors with recreations from environments in which they never had a chance to experience (through the fossil exhibit) and environments that are much a mystery to the everyday individual (through the underwater exhibit) , the Florida Museum of Natural History does a wonderful job of allowing everyday people such as myself to step out of their everyday lives and realize the true wonder that is our natural world.

Created By
Sarah Strothman
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