The Good Life through Nature Exploring Nature at the Florida Museum of natural history

Introduction

Upon visiting the Florida Museum of Natural History, I was able to recognize the importance of nature and history and their contributions to the good life through interactive and immersive exhibits that reinforced the wonders of the natural world and human experience. Throughout my visit I was able to observe displays of nature, exhibits that highlighted the importance of our ethical responsibility to our environment, and the interconnectedness between the human spirit and the world around us. Ultimately, these key elements allowed me to better understand and appreciate the beauty of the natural world and recognize the crucial relationship between nature and the human experience in order to live the best version of the good life.

Plants in the Butterfly Garden at the Florida Museum of Natural History

Nature On Display

One exhibit that piqued my curiosity about the natural world was the Moving Water & Creatures exhibit. I found this particular section of the museum appealing due to its beautiful lighting effects, animal sculptures, and underwater murals. What first captured my attention were the visual effects and projections that made you feel as if you were under water. I feel as if I learned more about the natural world through this particular medium because it gave a closer look and interesting perspective into the life cycles of aquatic creatures native to the waters of South Florida by making you feel as if you were immersed in their habitats and ecosystems. I found this specific experience very enjoyable because it captured the atmosphere of the environment of these animals and provided me with a new lens in which to observe nature.

Moving water and Estuary Exhibit

Nature and Ethics

Leopoldo once called upon humanity to "love, respect, and admire" land and view ourselves as members of the "biotic community". One exhibit I found that demonstrated a similar view of these core values was the Wet Site Conservation Exhibit. This section of the Natural History Museum provided me with a greater understanding of our ethic responsibility to nature as explained by Leopoldo. This interactive exhibit explained that the Wet Sites of Florida produce a variety of materials that are preserved under water to a greater degree than what they would be on land, including organic materials and many textiles that are rare to the majority of other environments. It is through conscious conservation efforts that researchers have been able to continue to preserve these lands and materials. Seeing this exhibit contributed to the rest of my visceral experience of the Natural History museum, filling me with feelings of newfound appreciation and consideration for the natural resources that we are surrounded with here in Florida. It was also very impactful to see the reactions of amazement of many school groups and other visitors as they were informed of similar findings of the intricate inter workings of nature, animals, and humans throughout history. Interactive exhibits, such as the videos present in the Wet Site exhibit, are able to feed the curiosity of visitors and inspire them to keep asking questions about the world around us.

Interactive Wet Site Conservation Exhibit

Nature and the Human Spirit

The most impactful exhibit of my experience at the Natural History Museum was the Butterfly Garden. This exhibit allowed visitors to step out of their daily lives and physically experience the mystery and majesty of nature by creating an environment in which one could observe the incredible life cycles of butterflies in their natural habitat. It was truly amazing to observe butterflies hatching from their cocoons right in front of our very eyes as part of this exhibit. This experience gave me an entirely new perspective into the everyday miracles of nature that we so often miss when busy living our day to day lives. The museum as a whole provides visitors with the opportunities to slow down and experience the incredible acts of nature that surround us everyday. Additionally, I was awed by the majesty of nature when observing the vast variety of butterflies species found throughout the world. I was also incredible being able to observe the most spectacular details that each of these tiny creatures possess, particularly the tiny scales that make up their fragile wings and the beautiful patterns that result from the creations of nature. Ultimately, the experience of visiting the Florida Museum of Natural history empowered me with a greater understanding of who we, as humans, are as a whole by providing a glimpse into the our history and evolution as a species amongst our coexistence with nature and other living organisms.

Plants and Insects found in the Butterfly Gardens of the Florida Museum of Natural History

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