IUF1000 - Tour of the Florida Museum of Natural History by Matthew Mellies

NATURE ON DISPLAY: I think what fascinated me the most about the Florida Museum of Natural History was the fact that there are many different types of displays around the entire museum. While many of the exhibits were in place to educate, they (the museum creators) did a superb job of making everything in the museum interesting. For example, getting to see caterpillars emerge from their cocoons and turn into butterflies was perhaps one of the most interesting experiences I could've ever encountered here at the University of Florida. Instead of using plastic models to showcase this experience, they have effectively allowed every viewer to see the emerging of a caterpillar with their own eyes, bolstering everyone's experience. Essentially, the Florida Museum of Natural History places nature on display for the entire world to see, and to allow those who want to learn how nature works to do so.
NATURE AND ETHICS: However, the one thing that changed my entire perspective of the museum that I was visiting was the fact that there was a live exhibit of butterflies flying around for everyone to see. While some with debate the ethics behind keeping by the butterflies in a museum exhibit instead of allowing them to roam free in the wild, I believe that the museum gives the butterflies adequate resources in order to survive and thrive within the museum. Therefore, I believe it is completely OK to raise butterflies within this home, as many generations of butterflies have come and gone with in the museum, they have not known anything better. At the museum, I believed that within the exhibit, I was actually experiencing a peripheral that I could ultimately familiarize with. The museum allowed for a completely immersive natural experience.
NATURE AND THE HUMAN SPIRIT: Visiting the museum allowed me to view something I had never seen up close: real-life butterflies that didn't make it completely impossible for me to see them. Viewing the butterflies in this way reminded me of my own eventual aspirations; to thrive and live on in comfort as a human being through hard work. Ultimately, I, a part of nature myself, can identify with the butterflies' proclivities to be self-serving and, as I watched the butterflies eating, I realized that in their own way, they have achieved their own sense of what it means to thrive. And isn't that what everyone wants in the end?

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