Florida Museum of Natural History Sophia A. Castro

Introduction

My friends and I visited the Florida Museum of Natural History on January 23rd, 2017. Although I love nature, I enjoy being surrounded by it and not looking at it from the other side of a glass case, so needless to say I was not particularly excited to go. However, it ended up being a magnificent experience. I think what made it stand out for me was how interactive the exhibits and displays felt. The museum made it feel as though I was a part of every single display and not a mere observer.

Photo taken by Sophia Castro at the Butterfly exhibit in the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Nature on Display

Photos on the top and bottom right taken by Sophia Castro at the Butterfly exhibit in the Florida Museum of Natural History. Photo on the bottom left taken by Glenda Gomero at the Butterfly exhibit in the Florida Museum of Natural History.

The Florida Museum of Natural History most definitely allows you to immerse yourself in nature. The exhibit that managed to capture my attention the most, was the Butterfly exhibit. Rather than looking in from the outside I got to become part of the exhibit and take in all its wonder. I was close enough to see every lively color that appeared to be meticulously painted on the wings of each butterfly. I was close enough to watch them glide through the air, and congregate in beautiful clusters of color and movement. I think what was so important about this exhibit is that I learned to appreciate the small things in nature that I usually take for granted. It reminded me that we live on an incredible planet, and that I should take the time to admire its beautiful intricacies more often.

Nature and Ethics

Photo on the left taken by Sophia Castro and photo on the right taken by Glenda Gomero at the Native American exhibit in the Florida Museum of Natural History.

There were many exhibits throughout the museum that emphasized our impact on the environment and provided suggestions as to how to improve our methods of conservation. In addition, many exhibits prompted the loving and respecting of the land we inhabit. But for me the best one was the exhibit of the Native Americans, specifically the display on Calusa Fishing that is photographed here. I was so intrigued by how the Calusa's livelihood depended on the resources provided from the land. I think our society is so distracted that we sometimes we forget that everything we have and everything we know in one way or another comes from the Earth. The Calusa on the other hand were so dependent on and in touch with nature, that they respected it. Instead of seeing the Earth as something to claim or appropriate, they saw it as a place they were lucky to live on. They considered that they lived alongside all living things, only taking what they needed to survive and never more. Our society has come a long way in many aspects, but I think we have taken steps backward when it comes to how we treat our home. This exhibit really made me realize how little I thank the Earth for our existence.

Nature and the Human Spirit

Photos on the left taken by Glenda Gomero and photo on the right taken by Sophia Castro. Photos were taken at the Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land exhibit in the Florida Museum of Natural History.

The Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land was my favorite exhibit by far. What I found interesting about this exhibit, is that it really makes you think about where we come from and how insignificant our lives are in comparison to the billions of years that life has existed on Earth. It is so fascinating to think that we are just a blip in time, and that is why we should make every moment of our lives count. I love knowing that there is an interconnectedness among every living thing that has ever existed. No matter how long ago something or someone walked the Earth, we are standing on the same ground, looking at the same sky, and breathing the same air as people did billions of years ago. For me personally I find it awesome knowing that the meteor that brought life to our planet struck on my country of origin. It is mind blowing to know that I grew up in the same place where you could argue life originated, yet living there it was never something I gave much importance to and I regret that. I think this exhibit really helped me put my life in perspective. I hope if I ever lose myself in in the future, I can think back to this moment and remember that life's trivialities aren't all that important because we are all a part of something so much greater.

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