Going to The Florida Museum of Natural History was by far one of my favorite experiences at UF so far. I enjoy nature more than anything in college life and hope to go many more times in the future. The exhibits were intuitive and held the essence of nature within every fossil, butterfly and frog I saw.
Nature on Display
The exhibit Frogs A Chorus Of Colors had dark lighting and had multiple of the same type of frogs in every glass cage. It also lit up the information of the frog as well as inside the cage. Every glass cage had an environment that fit the type of frog living there.
The exhibit caught my attention by lighting up the frogs cage and information about the frogs, which also had a large font, thus drawing my attention to the frogs and drew my attention to the learning portion. The large font used to inform the viewer on the frogs also made it much easier to read. Because of these characteristics of the exhibit I read information on every frog cage and also got to see the frogs in their natural habitat which I would not be able to do for every frog in one day if I had just looked up information on the frog or even saw them in mundane life.
This exhibit was so enjoyable because I got to learn about the frogs. I have learned in history classes that poison dart frog's skin was/is used is South America on arrow heads. For me getting to see them in person was so exciting and to see the type of leafy environment they lived in. They're the most poisonous frog in the world and getting so close to them in a safe environment was a very fun and interesting expirience for me.
Nature and Ethics
The Florida Fossil's exhibit made me see the world as more than just a place where people work to make money. It made me appreciate history and the biotic life that roamed our earth hundreds and thousands of years ago. By viewing this exhibit I felt less like the dominant species and more like a part of the world around me. For example the jaguar is one of my favorite animals and seeing the giant jaguar's fossil so powerful and large I knew that it was such a magestic creature which was much more powerful than I.
Furthermore, seeing one of my favorite animals extinct, made me feel an ethical obligation to try and save the animals left on earth. It was beautiful to see this animals bones but it would have been even more amazing to have seen it alive and in its natural habitat. I have a strong passion for animals and to go through the fossil exhibit, seeing all these beautiful animals that went extinct, I feel sad that our society has not tried to focus on thriving the beauty of nature in this world and rather our society focuses on building more infrastructure and continuing to progress a capitalistic economy. I believe that society must change their fundementals, in caring about the environment, trying to benefit our natural world, naming this progression as success rather than a fundamental that focuses on building more infrastructure and thriving off of destroying our environment. Seeing the fossil exhibit just strengthened my view on this because it made me realize there are so many animals I will never get to see in person and if I want to change that for the future and stop this destructive progression we must do something about our societal fundementals as soon as possible.
Other people there seemed to be in awe at the beauty of our natural world and seemed to care about it as much as I did. I spoke to a few people who were also in the frog exhibit and they were informing me that they never have seen something so small but deadly, they seemed amazed by the dart frog and if everyone could view nature in this way maybe more people could appreciate it and try to save the diminishing habitats in which these exotic animals live.
Nature and the Human Spirit
In The Butterfly exhbibit I got to embrace the majestic nature of a world other than my own. Through roaming the butterfly exhibit I felt like I was in a natural world. There was no hectic behavior, no infrastructure other than the paths we walked on. It felt peaceful and the butterfly's were so beautiful. It was very different than the life I am used to because usually I am stressed with schoolwork, I am focused on trying to get an education surrounded by people who care about drinking, partying and school. The butterfly exhibit made me forget about that for a moment. I didn't feel stress nor did I think about all the work I had to do, I just enjoyed the beautiful world around me, a world I felt happy in. I always have known I prefer and enjoy the natural world over the partying of college life but being here in a time that I was extremely stressed made me realize how much I need to focus on this world to be happy for myself. The butterfly garden reminded me that the beauty I prefer is that of the natural world and that my future of a good life must consist of animals and natural life because that is what makes me happy and content rather than the pleasures of getting a good grade which requires so much stress to get there.
Overall I loved the natural history museum and plan on going again, many times. It made me remember what I love about this hectic world, which is the peace of nature and the beauty within it.