Tour of the Florida Museum of Natural History by thomas sherlock


In this Spark Story I will be taking you on a tour of my experience at the Florida Museum of Natural History. The museum has given me a greater understanding for the natural world and Florida's rich ecosystems. We as humans need to have a better appreciation for the universe in which we live in, and the Florida Museum of Natural History provides the foundation on which to do so.

Nature on Display

Hammock forest display, Florida Museum of Natural History. Personal photograph by cell Sherlock 11 February 2017

During my visit to the Florida Museum of Natural History I found this display here quite interesting. It is of a hammock forest ecosystem, which are abundant in Florida and support a wide variety of indigenous plants and animals. The display features accurate depictions of the highly diverse forest ecosystem, and even has a walk-in cave for visitors to experience Florida's limestone cave formations. I found the design of the exhibit quite appealing in that no other display made you feel like you were actually within the ecosystem. Most of the other displays have mediums with just pictures and a few artifacts here and there, but this exhibit gave you a chance to learn about the grandness and physical qualities of what it is trying to display rather than just pictures. This is part of what made my tour of the museum so enjoyable, getting to experience different parts of Florida's vast ecosystems and history in a safe environment without having to go too far.

Nature and Ethics

Pine Forest Mural, Florida Museum of Natural History. Personal photograph by cell Sherlock 11 February 2017

In order to fully experience nature, Leopold recommends that we must “love, respect, and admire” the land and not just exploit it for economical gain, and the Florida Museum of Natural History allows us to do exactly that. Above, is a mural in one of the exhibits and it displays a vast swath of pine shrub-land stretching for as far as the eye can see. This is an image that you do not see very much anymore, as much of Florida has been developed for commercial use, so seeing this very life-like painting makes one think about what we have done to our fragile environment. A sense of despair and realness struck me as I stepped into this exhibit because I realized that if we keep treating the world the way we do, then images like this one will be seize to be reality and become lost to the past. I watched as other people stepped into the very same exhibit and become overwhelmed by the breadth and realness of the mural in front of them. The museum allows visitors to connect with nature by immersing them in extremely vivid environments, like the one above, and taking them on a visual journey throughout our beautiful state. My experience in the Florida Museum of Natural History instilled in me an ethical responsibility to respect and care for the environment in which we live in.

Nature and the Human Spirit

Butterfly Garden, Florida Museum of Natural History. Personal photograph by cell Sherlock 11 February 2017

The daily life of a college student involves, going to class, doing homework, perhaps going to some club meetings, and repeat. The Florida Museum of Natural History offers us a nice break from our continuous workflow, and allows us to engage in learning experiences we don't normally get to do, such as going to butterfly gardens, or sifting through a table full of Native American arrow heads. By knowing more about the natural world, we as humans can learn more about ourselves and the impact we have on each other and the environment. The Natural History museum teaches us that the world in which we live in is full of endless mysteries, and by learning about the ecosystems around us, we can achieve a greater respect for the majesty of the natural world. If we don't take the time to appreciate the place we live in, then we are truly missing out on one of the greatest aspects of living.

Created By
Tom Sherlock


All photos taken by Tom Sherlock.

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