Good Life at the Florida Museum of Natural History Austin Futch

Introduction

I've heard so many good things about this museum from the amazing sculptures, the advanced scientific technology, the lifelike exhibits and of course, the butterflies, so to say I was excited to visit the Florida Museum of Natural History would be an understatement. I am excited to share my experience at the museum!

Nature on Display

I found these three sections in the museum very eye catching. The construction and execution of the exhibits is so lifelike and amazing. I was drawn to the giant jellyfish in the marine life exhibit because I have always lived by the ocean and I am forever obsessed with the water and the life within. I also couldn't pass up the opportunity to take a picture in front of the biggest shark jaw I've ever seen. I thought it was fun to see these larger than life depictions of animals we don't see under the water. If I can't live underwater with them at least I'm able to pretend I do at the museum.

Nature and Ethics

While walking through the museum, I happened upon the Native American exhibit and the first thoughts that came to my mind were ones about how these people were raised off the land. Now this way of living posed two questions: is it ethical to disrupt the self-sustaining ecosystem for food as a top predator (human)?, Or is it a part of the natural process for the Native Americans to fish, hunt and harvest in order to survive? I could not bring myself to form a cohesive answer to both but I believe that is part of the beauty of the exhibit and I am glad to have been exposed to this thinking.

Nature and Human Spirit

My absolute favorite part of the museum was the butterflies. I felt like I was in another world while I was in the exhibit. There were more plants than people that live in Gainesville and I'm sure there were way more butterflies than I got to see. I was so in awe that the museum was able to make me feel like I was really in the rainforest. The exhibit was so lifelike and it was surreal to see how peaceful and cohesive everything was, and of course not to mention beautiful. The rainforest allowed me to leave UF and step into a world where I didn't feel stressed or upset but at ease. That is, of course, until after I stepped out and it was back to reality!

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Austin Futch
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