Florida Museum of Natural History Mila Gajić

Introduction

Most of us live very busy lives and we need an escape. Many of us consider going to the nature as an escape but when we think about it, not many people do it often. By visiting Florida Museum of Natural History, I realized that nature should not be my escape, but rather part of my daily life. Wherever I go, on my way I should notice and appreciate lakes, trees, fields and animals I see. Visit to the museum inspired me to think in that way because by being exposed to so many interesting exhibits, I realized that nature is something we shouldn't get enough of. Nature is a perfect place to learn something new because of so many things that need to be discovered. Visit to the museum motivated me to think this way and to look for another ways to connect with nature. By viewing exhibits such as huge remains of extinct organisms, I felt very small and powerless. This made me think about importance of every component of ecosystems and community on entire planet. By seeing how many miracles nature offers, I realized what small part people comprise and I left the museum with a conclusion that we should make efforts to get as close as possible to nature, rather than to keep destroying it for exploitation and other purposes. In this story, I will present the ways in which the museum's exhibits amazed me and the ways in which the museum made me think differently.

Nature on Display

Picture 1: Carcharodon Megalodon - Miocene megatoothed shark, photo by Lamija Repesa

The exhibit of Carcharodon Megalodon's jaws was particularly amazing and appealing to me because it extremely realistically represents the full size of this extinct animal and it made me think about what other creatures existed on Earth and it simply made me feel so small and helpless compared to them.I think I would not be able to feel something like this with any other medium. We mostly view ourselves as the most important beings on this planet but that is completely faulty. We are just a part of a community of so many different creatures, so many of which are more powerful and bigger than us. This exhibit perfectly illustrates this reality. By standing next to it, this exhibit allowed me to compare my own body to this huge jaw and to see that one tooth is the size of my head, which is fascinating. It is the size that captured my attention because this exhibit was the largest of its size, and it only depicts the jaws. It makes it possible to imagine the size of the entire animal and to be really scared of it. The most enjoyable part of this museum for me is that it depicts realistically things that do not exist anymore. By viewing this exhibit, I thought about how the museum gives us the opportunity to go back in time and put ourselves in lives of people who lived so long ago and to see the animals that are unimaginably different than those we know now. We go from section to section, but is seems like going from century to century and from one world to another. It is this interesting and exciting experience that made me want to learn more about everything I saw there. Exhibits such as these jaws first appeal us and then drag our curiosity into them and hence it makes us appreciate more all the information and videos provided next to that exhibit.

Nature and Ethics

Picture 2: In the Butterfly Rainforest, FLMNH, photo by Lamija Repesa

The museum definitely provided the opportunity for me to experience the nature in a way that Leopold proposed. We are definitely not the most important beings in this world, but we are equal members of the entire community and food chain, together with insects or whales. This was my attitude before visiting the museum, but the visit made me think more of my beliefs and the reality. It is true that we shouldn't be ''conquers of the land'' as Leopold said, but the reality is that we are acting like that. By thinking about nature and ethics in the museum I became more aware how nature is so precious, but we are not showing enough respect for it. By walking through Butterfly Rainforest, looking at so many different butterflies in beautiful environment, I thought about how privileged we are to have something like this on our planet and that we have no right to be ''conquers of the land'' but that we have a duty to be equal members of the community together with other beings. That is, I felt an ethical responsibility in the museum in a way that Leopold described it. Other people were obviously enjoying looking at butterflies and nature as much as I did and I believe if they thought about it they would come to the same conclusion. While at the museum, I was able to connect to the nature. In the picture above, I am standing under the leaf that is bigger than my head and looks like an umbrella. I think that this picture symbolizes many ways in which we can connect to the nature and have mutual relationships with it. I connected to the nature because it made me feel safe and peaceful, and the overall design of the museum facilitated this. I learned that by making efforts to protect nature, the nature will in turn protect us.

Nature and the Human Spirit

Picture 3: In the forest - Florida Museum of Natural History, photo by Lamija Repesa

The Museum of Natural History has an excellent design to convey the environment realistically and therefore to let us engage into nature and focus on exploring what it has to offer. In every section there are so many details that quickly grab our attention and it helps us step out of our daily lives and move to nature at least for a while. By discovering how many miracles nature contains, the museum made me appreciate more the natural world which many of us forgot by living at large cities and working for so many hours. The museum offers an escape and outlet for excess of energy not just by conveying the natural environment, but also by providing a lot of resources and screens where visitors can learn a lot of new information. I specifically liked the section shown in the picture, which looks like a real forest and by omitting the screens, I felt like I was really in a forest. Behind the reconstruction there is a big, beautiful image of the forest and that has an amazing visual effect because it made me feel like the space was so much bigger than it actually is. In the picture, behind me was a small cave with stalactites and stalagmites and by looking at all those decorations that nature has created, this museum has offered me an opportunity to better understand the majesty of the natural world. It has also motivated me to go to the nature more often, and think about it when I go to real lakes or forests.

References

Cover photo: Butterfly in a Butterfly Rainforest, FLMNH, photo by author(me)

Picture 1: Carcharodon Megalodon - Miocene megatoothed shark, photo by Lamija Repesa

Picture 2: In the Butterfly Rainforest, FLMNH, photo by Lamija Repesa

Picture 3: In the forest - Florida Museum of Natural History, photo by Lamija Repesa

All pictures were taken at Florida Museum of Natural History.

Created By
Mila Gajic
Appreciate

Credits:

Photo Credits to Lamija Repesa

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.