Nature on Display
Butterflies spotted in the Butterfly Rainforest
I, like many others, found the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit to be particularly appealing. The exhibit caught my attention just the same ways it would catch anyone's- upon entering the exhibit, you are immediately immersed in it. The exhibit surrounds you from every direction as soon as you take your first steps inside. The biggest thing I learned from this exhibit are how fragile and delicate butterflies are. You don't always stop to ponder the frailty of the beautiful creatures, but the Butterfly Rainforest ensures that you will never forget it. I enjoyed this exhibit because I was able to get very close to the butterflies and the entire exhibit, and the vibrancy of the butterflies and botany that surrounded me was breathtakingly beautiful.
Nature and Ethics
Displays found in the Deep Ocean exhibit
The Natural History Museum most definitely encouraged me to experience nature in so many more ways than I otherwise would. Going through the museum, I felt a little embarrassed at having not thought about so many of the things that the museum exhibits encourage people to think about. For example, the Deep Sea exhibit (as pictured above) helped me to see fish as more than a commodity- fish and seafood are part of a diverse ecosystem beneath the surface of the world's waters. There is so much to be admired about marine life that we do not take the time to appreciate while we are too busy exploiting things for our own personal gain. The museum definitely instilled in me an ethical responsibility to nature, just as Leopold imagines. Other people seemed to react in ways very similar to my own. I observed people pausing for long amounts of time in front of thought-provoking exhibits such as this one. The museum encourages its visitors to step out of our ordinary lives by providing immersive and interactive exhibits that make visitors feel as though they themselves are part of the exhibit as well.
Nature and the Human Spirit
Calusa Afterlife illustration from the Native American exhibit
This particular exhibit in the Natural History museum sparked a deep interest within me. The afterlife is a concept that almost every culture has a perspective on in one way or another. The Calusa Afterlife exhibit helped me to step out of my ordinary life to imagine what it would mean if this theory were true. It is bewildering to imagine living several lives beyond your own, until eventually your existence becomes so small that it disappears. This exhibit, and several others throughout the museum, help visitors to recognize the majesty and mystery of the natural world by encouraging them to imagine themselves inside each exhibit.