(Photograph of the Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Personal Photo by Brandy. January 26. 2017.)
An exhibit that was particularly appealing to me was the Florida Fossils exhibit that showed different animals that have been found in Florida from the pre-historic time period. The design of the exhibit is visual based. The museum put a lot of effort into displaying the actual skeletons of the animals. I have always had a fascination with fossils and the creatures that roamed the earth before humans did. That is one of the reasons why the exhibit caught my attention but another reason why it is most appealing is because of the grandeur of the set up. It captured my attention by displaying the ginormous shark teeth at the beginning along with two gigantic dinosaur skeletons. They designed it to where you could not help but look up to see the fossils that were displayed. What is different about experiencing the exhibit in person rather than experiencing it through a photograph or videos is the fact that they give you life size fossils that you may not be able to comprehend unless they were in front of you. While touring the exhibit some of the animals frightened me because I began to think of my chance of surviving if these same creatures roamed earth today. Through touring the museum I learned that the natural world is ever changing and the things that we do to cause such changes are mainly negative as according to the museum, 99.9% of the species of animals that have ever been on Earth are extinct. I really enjoyed the museum because I felt extremely informed after touring it and felt more in touch with nature. Living in Florida I tend to enjoy nature, but seeing the different parts of nature up close gave me a greater appreciation of the natural world around me.
The Natural Museum did allow me to experience nature in the way that Leopold recommended. Specifically after touring the Butterfly Rainforest I gain an immense amount of appreciation for nature and did not see it as something to take lightly, but something to experience and lose myself in. Seeing completely different species interact and live in harmony was very eye opening. The exhibit had butterflies, plants, lizards, fish, and even turtles. These creatures are able to coexist and thrive and I personally believe the world could take a page from the book of nature. While going through the museum I felt a sense of awe and enthusiasm. In many of the exhibits the use of different lighting and sound effects made the exhibits seem to come to life which made you see nature as more than just something to live in, but as something to coexist with. As I went through the exhibit most of my thoughts were centered around the fact that I am very ignorant when it comes to my knowledge about nature. I could not believe all of the new things I was learning and I could sense that those around me were also experiencing the same thing. Many people were very excited about the exhibits and did many of the interactive activities that were featured in most of the exhibits. My experience at the museum did instill in me an ethical responsibility to nature. I have never really cared much for the environment because I don't really think that it will affect me, but after experiencing nature and learning about all the amazing thing that occur in nature I want to protect it. I also want others to experience nature and see how it can affect them despite the hunger to destroy it in order to build businesses and shopping malls. I feel like the more you know about nature the closer you will be to Leopold's beliefs.