My Visit to the Florida Museum of Natural History By: AKshay Sadeeshkumar

Nature on Display: The Butterfly Exhibit

When I first heard about the Butterfly Exhibit, I half expected a dinky corner of the museum where they have cages that trap these poor butterflies. However, when I came to see the wonderful outdoors exhibit at this museum, I was flabbergasted. Simply amazed. The openness of this section really impressed me, especially because of the fact that they were able to maintain a really creative exhibition style. I was able to walk around the butterfly exhibit and see the habitat that these large and unique butterflies lived in. This exhibit helped me understand that all creatures, whether they're tall or small, need an open space to live in, just like this exhibit here in the museum. The waterfall they had in the exhibit was also a pleasant surprise; it really helped to instill a calm and collected atmosphere there.

Nature and Ethics: Informative board on the state of Fishing on Coastal Florida "What is the Future of Coastal Fishing in Florida?"

This text on the wall of the museum describes the plight many sea habitats and sea populations suffer from due to the overfishing and pollution we infect our Floridian waters with. From the large, oil-heavy boats that we use to the overconsumption and overfishing of sea creatures, we aren't keeping our fishing waters a sustainable food source. In this situation, I was able to see Leopold's point of being members of a "biotic community" rather than "conquerers of land". As I saw this, the first thing that came into my mind was pity for ourselves and the underwater species near the coastal areas of Florida; however, I do believe there is a way to mend this, and as human being, we have to correct our errors in this sense. Other people walking by this were just as surprised as I was too. The Natural Museum had informational areas all across the museum, from information on extinctions to preservations, much like this wall I took a picture of. Thus, I do believe that this museum helped me awaken my ethical side and sympathize with the situation surrounding us and our waters.

Nature and the Human Spirit: The Caves and Rocks Section

In this museum, there was a fun little section that was designed in a peculiar way, as if to resemble a cave with rocks all around it. This part was majestic and beautiful in the sense that it belonged to no one, and it was for humans to come through and see. The cave had informational sections on certain rocks, animals, geometrical structures, etc. This part of the museum helped me get out of my comfort zone and experience the outsides (without actually having to travel to the Himalayas). And there was a certain feel to the cavern, as if it was free and exciting to simply be in; it helped me understand and appreciate the natural world much more, and made me realize that my human spirit must explore more of the world (not just the U.S.) to achieve "the good life".

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Akshay Sadeeshkumar

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