Florida Museum of Natural History By Miles Cooper

Nature on Display

Towards the far side of the Museum resides this exhibit of the sea life in Florida. As a Key West native with a step-father as a Lieutenant in the Florida Wildlife Control force, sea life has been a major influence on my life for as long as I can remember. Walking through this exhibit brought me a new perspective into the life of sea creatures; utterly surrounded by a myriad of other sea creatures, blown up in scale, along with a blue dim to add on to the feel of the room, it felt as if I had been transformed into one of the sea creatures that I had observed in my canal in my backyard in Key West. There was a large fish sort of hidden out of sight that made me almost jump out of my skin when I noticed it out of the corner of my eye. It made me truly realize that the ocean has a lot to hide and that there is a lot out there that we as humans have no idea about.

Nature and Ethics

This exhibit was specifically about the threat of habitat loss for insects, namely butterflies, that accompanies society's urbanization. The message this exhibit portrays is that we need to find a balance between nature and society; society needs to learn how to live in harmony with the natural world, rather than at war with it. It is essentially a rephrased exhibition of Leopold's points where he calls for us to "love, respect and admire" mother nature and to live as members of a "biotic community" rather than acting as parasitic creatures. Symbiosis is a biological relationship in nature in which both parties benefit from the relationship; such a perspective is what humans as a species should adopt in our interactions with mother nature, rather than our current relationship of parasitism. The exhibit shows how the urbanizing continues to spread and, inversely, nature recedes into smaller and smaller regions.

Nature and the Human Spirit

Humans as a species are wired with nerves of inquisition; curiosity may have killed the cat but not the human. The human spirit thrives through mystery and are drawn to the source of such mysteries. The ocean is an enigma in itself: Human's have explored a larger percentage of the moon than they have of the ocean's floor. Such an immense amount of secrecy left within our oceans draws expeditions all the time, yet we have still just scraped the surface of all it has to offer us. By examining exhibits of just a few of the boundless species that thrive in the depths of the ocean, we learn that we still have much to learn. It is the acknowledgement of just how little we know that allows us to appreciate the mystery and majesty of the Universe. By allowing ourselves to step out of our bubble, our routine, our rut and delve into the unknown, we attain a new perspective that might be impossible to acquire if we have an omniscient outlook or a know-it-all point of view.

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