The Florida Museum of Natural History By: Isabela Teijelo

Nature on Display

The Florida Museum of Natural History did an excellent job at immersing its visitors in nature. The museum expanded my curiosity of the natural world in a very enjoyable and memorable way. All the exhibits were extremely intriguing but, an exhibit that stood out the most in my eyes was the one on frogs. I would have never thought in a million years that I would be intrigued by amphibians that I have feared my whole life. The frog exhibit focused on rare species from a stunning range of colors and patterns. The exhibit’s design was also unique because it included numerous glass cases that catered to each frog’s natural habitat. For instance, one glass case included part of an artificial tree, a small creek, and plants for the Tomato Frog.

The Tomato Frog on display

But, what really captured my attention was the interactive wall at the end of the exhibit. The wall was titled “Share Your Frog Stories” and offered post-it’s for people to write on and post on the wall about their favorite frog encounters. I was surprised at how diverse the wall was, people wrote so many different things on not just typical frog encounters but on frog encounters from fairy tales and movies. After my encounter with all the exhibits, I learned that even not every animal is the same, different species thrive in different living conditions. Nature itself is one large diverse canvas.

This is me posting my favorite frog story on the wall

Nature and Ethics

One of the many informational boards on frogs

The Natural History Museum truly made me feel part of the “biotic community.” The exhibits fostered a new sense of appreciation for nature. At the end of my experience at the museum I felt very in harmony with my surroundings and suddenly saw land outside its economic value. I believe other people felt the same way because based on my observations people had facial expressions that screamed marvel. The exhibits, particularly, the frog exhibit created this personal connection between humans and the nature on display by providing visitors with as much information as possible about their lifestyles such as, where they live, what they eat, and how they survive. When I left the museum, I suddenly felt this urge of responsibilities to conserve and protect nature. There is an ethical responsibility for humanity to be the voices for nature and the ecosystem when facing adversity. In other words, just because animals are not human does not mean that they have any less of a voice or rights. However, we cannot just conserve for the sake of conserving. Humanity and society must be at one with nature to understand and appreciate its complexities in order to conserve it.

Nature and the Human Spirit

A group of butterflies eating bananas.

The Natural Museum History displayed the majesty of nature effortlessly. The Butterfly Exhibit, for example, was like stepping into this magical fictional world where we live life through a butterfly’s perspective. The Butterfly Exhibit transformed my ordinary life into something extraordinary, even if it was just for a day. The various butterflies flying all around create this joyous and mystical spirit that is impossible to escape. One butterfly even landed on my back pack and I couldn’t help myself from bursting into laughter. For one moment, myself along with other students peacefully coexisted with the surrounding environment and yearned for more moments like it. The Butterfly Exhibit helped me fully understand and appreciate the mystery and majesty of the natural world just by observing it. I observed butterflies flying, relaxing, eating, and interacting with one another and immediately saw the complex yet simple way of life that the natural world is known for.

A selfie at the butterfly exhibit.

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