Florida Museum of Natural History Nicole Hao

Nature on display

The exquisite Butterfly Rainforest captured my attention in a way that nature has failed to do so in years. Enthralled, I sought the picturesque butterflies. It felt as though I had just woken up from a deep sleep, and I was finally seeing the true beauty of the world around me. I mentally scolded myself for failing to cherish the presence of butterflies before this encounter. The whole exhibit so closely matched that of what I would imagine to be an actual rainforest, and the sheer number of butterflies and tasteful arrangement of plants and waterfalls made one feel simultaneously at home and in awe. Displaying the beautiful butterflies, especially the blue morpho butterfly captured in my picture below, enabled me to see the vibrancy of its electric blue wings, to feel the excitement as it fluttered unpredictably, and to truly appreciate the diversity of life. I learned that despite not seeing the vast diversity of life every day, it exists beyond my wildest imagination, and I would love to experience it.

Blue Morpho Butterfly at the Butterfly Rainforest

Nature and ethics

The Natural History Museum immersed me in a world of nature which truly engaged me. I was amazed to be reminded of how much more life there is than just that of humans. I rarely stop to consider that I am but a minuscule piece of a world rich with complex animals that are incredible in their own unique ways. I felt as though I was seeing the world through new eyes because I actually stopped to learn of the other creatures of nature. Other people reacted similarly as they took time to digest and react to each exhibit of the museum. My experience at the museum certainly empowered me to feel more at one with nature rather than as a "conqueror of the land."

Sea Turtle in a Shallow Water Lagoon

nature and the human spirit

After experiencing the awe-inspiring majesty of the exhibits contained in the Natural History Museum, I completely agree with Heschel. The National History Museum transported me from wildly different but equally astounding parts of the world as I traveled from room to room. The astonishingly detailed exhibits complete with lighting to imagine the animals' environments enabled me to begin to comprehend the incredible diversity contained within our planet Earth. The picture below depicts my best friend Rachel and I appreciating a jellyfish up close. Despite my fear of deep oceans, this exhibit shed new light on the marine animals living in these deep unexplored waters and raised many more questions of the natural world.

Jellyfish Exhibit with Rachel (Rachel gave me permission to include her in my spark story.)

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