FLMNH Experience BY SERENA SAKKAL

NATURE ON DISPLAY

This exhibit especially piqued my curiosity among the others due to the lifelike way in which it is designed. If I truly didn't know where I was, I'd believe that I am outdoors! This particular exhibit focused on natural Florida ecosystems and wildlife. I learned from this how truly biodiverse Florida is from other states in the United States, and how fragile the ecosystems that have evolved here over thousands of years are. This would have been hard to understand through another medium, besides being in the actual habitat. However, because this exhibit was so life like, it effectively got the point across that Florida has a special combination of plants and animals that make up its natural ecosystems. I found the realistic aspect of this exhibit to be inspirational, educational and enjoyable.

NATURE AND ETHICS

The most brilliant way in which the Natural History Museum let visitors connect with nature was with the butterfly garden. This gave visitors a chance to truly connect with nature in a mutual and respectful manner that was both enjoyable for the humans as well as the butterflies. I felt like I was truly part of the butterflies' ecosystem, and the vast diversity of butterflies that were there also brought in many different species of plants, which diversified the overall experience and made me feel closer to nature, or the "biotic community" that was present. Other people reacted to the exhibit with joy, and I could tell that the museum had successfully connected the bridge between humans and nature. However, they did this in an ethical manner, as the butterflies have ample food and plants and space to live with, and the people that work with the butterflies truly care about their well-being. The moment I truly connected with the nature of this exhibit was when the pictured butterfly landed on me and stayed on me for an entire ten minutes. This rare experience brought me much closer to nature and made me feel as if I were a true part of the biotic community and gave me a memorable event to look back on.

NATURE AND THE HUAMN SPIRIT

The Natural History Museum allows us to step out of our everyday lives with extremely lifelike and interactive exhibits such as the one pictured. Without the use of scuba equipment and access to a large body of water, when else would one be able to get the perspective of a fish in its natural habitat? This exhibit did an excellent job of bringing a human to the underwater realm and offered an extremely unique perspective. It helps us better understand ourselves because it is a reminder that we are not the only ones living on this planet. In fact, it reminds us that there are parts of the earth that we do not control, that we cannot even access without the use of technology, such as the ocean. It gives visitors a chance to contemplate the wonders of the Earth and appreciate its beauty and diversity.

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