Florida Museum of Natural History By: andrea Vrionis

Nature on Display

The butterfly exhibit itself was amazing with the tropical forest scene they created and the beautiful butterflies in hidden places, but what really caught my attention was the very beginning of the exhibit where they displayed the different kinds of butterflies on the wall. Through the extensive display of the butterflies, I was able to really see for myself the huge diversity of them. With it displayed one after another, it puts into perspective the vast number of different unique butterflies. I never realized how many different kinds there were. I think that also applies to all nature in general because when you go about your everyday life you usually see the same type of plants and animals, so you don’t really think about how many different kinds there are out there. I would have never thought there were that many types of butterflies, and it makes you think about how diverse nature is and how little we get to see of it. I also found it particularly enjoyable because of how beautiful and vibrant some of the butterflies were, which made me think about the beauty of nature in general.

Nature and Ethics

In the picture below is what’s called a midden which are the remains of what people leave behind. The layers that build on top of each other tell a story of what was going on at that time. The most recent layer showing human activity left behind a glass bottle seen in the top right. This really struck me as evidence of humans mistreating the earth by leaving waste and non-biodegradable material on the ground. This pollution is a huge problem today as people are constantly littering which ultimately ends up in the sea or on land where it can harm plants and animals. Loving, respecting, and admiring the land includes taking care of the land by properly disposing of waste. I, along with my friend who was with me, felt disappointed and upset when I saw this. After looking at all the beauty and diversity of nature throughout the museum, it disgusted me to think about how little the majority of the population cares about and takes care of nature. I already felt an ethical responsibility to love, respect, and admire nature, so my experience in the museum further instilled that in me.

Nature and the Human Spirit

This particular exhibit really helped me to step out of my ordinary life and see nature in a different perspective. This exhibit enlarged the animals and plants in the ocean, so that we could see their world in the way that they see it too. Thinking about the ocean always makes me better appreciate the mystery and majesty of the natural world because there are still so many places in the oceans that we haven’t observed or reached yet. With the depths of the ocean being so vast and with how diverse plants and animals are, there’s still so much about the ocean and nature in general that’s a mystery to us. As for the majesty, I think the most majestic part of the natural world and in this case the ocean, is how all of the animals and plants interact to form communities and ecosystems. It’s all so complex and intricate with how each of the organisms relate to one another. Disrupting one population affects countless others in ways you never would have thought, showing how interconnected nature is.

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