Tour of the Florida Museum of Natural History By: Emily Watts

Nature on Display

I think that this exhibit was my favorite of all the exhibits at this museum. It was not only the content of this exhibit, but the set up of the whole thing. When we first walked up to the exhibit, the whole hallway is dark except for the shark jaws that were illuminated through a glass case. I think that was a brilliant way to display these artifacts since it allowed for no distractions or anything to detract from these pieces. The lighting allowed for the details of the teeth and jaws to be examined. The teeth did not seem to be set up in any particular order; the smaller jaws were dispersed among the larger jaws. Perhaps the best part about this exhibit was that you could actually see the jaws in first person. A picture would not be able to do these jaws justice. We wouldn't have been able to see just how large these jaws were, or even the teeth for that matter. Pictures can say that they are big, they can even have something in them to serve as a scale, but being there in person is the best scale possible. You can compare the size of the jaws to yourself and see that you can easily fit within those jaws, that you and your friends could easily fit within those jaws. This exhibit opened my eyes to just how grand the natural world is.

Nature and Ethics

The Natural History Museum helped me experience nature in a very condensed visit. I'm not saying that it is a bad thing; if anything, it is a good thing. The museum allowed me to experience different locations in different time periods. I could travel into the past, but when I walk down a short hallway I would travel back into the present. The exhibits reminded me of how fascinating the natural world is, and there is so much more to it if one just takes a deeper look. There were so many exhibits there that there was bound to be one exhibit that appealed to the audience. Take for example my visit to the museum with my friend Katie. The exhibits with live animals is what made me realize my ethical responsibility to preserve and appreciate nature. Katie, on the other hand, was repulsed by the frogs and butterflies, and was actually frightened by the birds (Yes, I am being serious. She ran from the birds). What appealed to her was the more historical component of the museum, the fossils on display and the depictions of humans from earlier times. The versatility of the museum is what made it capable to make people realize their ethical responsibility to nature.

Nature and the human spirit

The Natural History Museum makes people step out of their ordinary lives by showing them how extreme nature is. Take for example the pictures above. One is a microorganism from today, and the other is a ginormous skeleton from a different time period. It makes people realize how fascinating nature is. It makes people realize that humans are not the most important organism on the earth; they haven't been historically and they aren't now. It shows us animals that have gone extinct, which should make people realize that they need to appreciate the animals that we still have and make sure they don't go extinct too. It shows people the amazingly beautiful world we life in, all in a matter of steps in a little building in Gainesville, Florida.

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