Tour of the Florida Natural History Museum Sean Pedersen

Nature on Display

By far the most engaging and immersive exhibit was the Butterfly Garden. The ability to get so close to such beautiful and fragile creatures as butterflies was fantastic. The exhibit was particularly engaging and enjoyable due to the immersion it provided. The streams and small waterfalls and flora all created a beautifully engaging atmosphere. The exhibit also exemplified just how delicate butterflies and most wildlife are. Frail, small bodies aside, the lengths taken to prevent the injury of the butterflies was extensive. These rules ranged from two sets of wind-protected doors to a intensely strict "no touching the butterflies" rule.

Photos taken by myself

Nature and Ethics

Also highly present in the Natural History Museum were calls for preservation and ecological responsibility. Going through the museum, I was reminded of just how large an impact we humans have on the environment

Photos taken by myself

As showcased in the above photographs, we as a populace have massive impacts on our environment. Before the tour, I was unaware of how much runoff effected the pollution of our waterways, and how we should limit our use of potentially dangerous pesticides to prevent further pollution of Florida's precious wetlands. I visited the Museum accompanied by my immediate family, including my little brothers, aged 7, 9, and 16. While Michael, my 16 year old brother, was far too interested in his Galaxy S6 to care about run off and indigenous cultures, my 7 and 9 year old brothers were quite enraptured by the massive skeletal structures of mammoths and various other prehistoric beasts. The conservation graphics failed to grab their attention however. After visiting the Natural History Museum, I am definitely more concerned about protecting our environment, and am taking strides in my everyday life to be less wasteful by recycling more, and using less water and electricity.

Nature and the Human Spirit

Aside from the butterfly encounter, the Natural History Museum helped me step out of my everyday life by reminding me that while I am a small cog in the large machine of nature, I can have a massive impact. What struck me most about the museum was our lack of knowledge on prehistoric beasts. Much of our archaeological knowledge of these animals are far from concrete, and are instead extrapolations from knowledge gathered by the fossil record as a whole. It astounds me that despite all of our advanced technologies and various other advancements, the true nature of, well, nature, remains largely a mystery to us. This adventurous curiosity is a beautiful driving force that will only serve to improve our lives into the future.

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