Florida Museum of Natural History Goodlife common activity

Nature on Display

One of the exhibits that I found particularly appealing was the butterfly garden. Before going in I honestly wasn't looking forward to it, because I didn't particularly care for butterflies(i.e. caterpillars that can fly into my face). However this exhibit really changed my views. Being able to see hundreds of butterflies in such a small setting is an experience you can't get walking around on campus, or even in a more natural setting. The chance to see up all these butterflies up close gave me the opportunity to appreciate things I could've never seen otherwise. Other unnatural mediums can't show their beautiful colors and patterns or the way they fly, in the same manner this exhibit allows. Creating exhibits such as these lets us see and appreciate the value of the natural world.

Nature and Ethics

One of the exhibits that helped me explore the relationship between nature and ethics was the Northwest Florida: Waterways and wildlife exhibit. When I first walked in the exhibit, I thought it was real, (in the sense of what is was made of), but I quickly realized that the miniature sized biome, complete with trees, caves, and some animals, was entirely fake. While I was still impressed with how skillfully nature was recreated, it made me think about what things would be like if the only way we could see nature was as an imitation. This idea horrified me, and the more I began to think about it, the more I began to appreciate the land we are blessed with. If humans continue on the destructive path we are taking, in which we disrespect and mistreat the land , then eventually there will be no more land for us to mistreat. Although this exhibit didn't instill a new outlook, it did more strongly bring about the feelings of responsibility I have, and I believe the museum does an extremely effective job of allowing visitors to connect with nature.

Nature and the Human Spirit

One of the exhibits that helped me appreciate the mystery and majesty of nature was The People and Environments of South Florida. This exhibit showed the different environments and people in Florida over the span of thousands of years. In this exhibit the museum recreated a midden, showing the different layers of ancient artifacts, from Florida's first inhabitants up until the early American settlers. Trapped within shells and sediment was centuries of human history. The midden showed that while people were constantly changing, the land they stayed on remained relatively the same. I thought this served as a powerful visual representation of the eternity of nature. The land was there well before us, and the land will be there well after us. I think often times people get caught up in there ego, and don't consider the importance or majesty of nature, and the Natural History Museum allows us to escape our human-centric worlds for a bit, and appreciate just how wonderful the world we live in is.

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