The Florida Museum of Natural History Allison Bast

Nature on Display: Most Natural History Museums attempt to immerse the visitors in nature throughout the museums, but this Museum did the best job by far. This immersion in nature is single handedly due to the "Butterfly Exhibit". The exhibit is on the backside of the museum where you show your special butterfly stamp and walk in one by one (careful to not let any butterflies out). The atmosphere of this exhibit caught my attention in a variety of ways. First, it was the smell that reminded me of the times I have been in the rainforest in Costa Rica. I recalled these times and was reminded of my appreciation for nature. Next, I heard birds chirping and fountains flowing. A calm enveloped my body and I started to understand how serene nature can be. Next, an employee of this museum caught hold of my attention. He began letting young butterflies go and into the exhibit. He said that these butterflies were from all over the world. I never realized that there was so many different types of butterflies. Altogether, I was really happy to have gone in this exhibit. For me, it was a moment of peace and reflection in a hectic day
Nature and Ethics: Leopold believes that we are called to appreciate the land for more than its economic values. The Museum provided me with this opportunity through "going through the era's" of time and seeing just how many animals have become extinct. Pictured here is the "giant ground sloth" which is now extinct. I was amazed by this skeleton dug up by archaeologists. This sloth almost doesn't seem possible to have existed because it is just so big to me. I think that it would've been so cool to be able to see this sloth in real life. It makes me feel sad to think about all the animals that we have now that are going into extinction. I want my kids and grandkids to be able to see as many species as possible. Although, these animals in this exhibit are already extinct it allowed for me and other visitors to reconnect with animals that are alive today. This giant sloth made me appreciate the sloths of today more and feel the need for this sloth's legacy to live on. I realized that Leopold was right in the fact that we are responsible for the land (and not just its economic value). We, as humans, have the responsibility to help the earth any way we can.
Nature and the Human Spirit: Pictured here is a "peak" of what life would be like from the Cambrian Period over 500 million years ago. This is the time period where the world was underwater. Besides fossils, there is very little evidence from this time period. Upon seeing this, I began to realize the mystery that this world holds. There is so much history that I do not know and scientists are yet to discover. I can't imagine a time where the world was completely underwater. Once I saw this exhibit, I thought to myself "Why aren't we under water anymore", "Will we ever be underwater again", and "Are there still creatures alive from this time period". These questions although not answered allowed me to better understand the world and its depth. Sometimes I think that I know everything and understand how the world works, but then I see things like this and realize just how small I am. This earth has seen and experienced so much and only some of its awesome mystery is known to man.

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