Florida Museum of Natural History by Benji Roberts

The FLMNH lobby, presenting a view of a long-dead mammoth (top left). A moth grows in a lab, soon to be released into the butterfly garden (top right). Flamingos adorn the windows of the lobby (bottom).

Nature on Display

Pictures of Florida's natural landscape reveal the natural beauty (top left and middle). The exhibit contains information on all aspects of the land. (top right). A chief receives a gift for her tribe (bottom left). Me, enjoying the museum (bottom right).

The Northwest Florida: Waterways & Wildlife exhibit dived into the natural world that surrounds us everyday. The exhibit lets the museum-goer see the landscape in it's natural state, and recreates the natural world that surrounds us in an informative and interesting way. The exhibit captured my attention because it showed how beautiful Florida can be, even though I don't always think so. I learned that even though you can't always see it, the natural landscape of Florida is teeming with life. The wildlife here is often hidden, located under ground or in logs, or sometimes deep within caverns. I think what's beautiful about museums is that they offer insight into the experiences of everyday life. We are offered a chance to see look with new fascination at the minutia of our day. I liked this exhibit especially because I'm fairly new to the Northern part of Florida, so it was really nice to learn more.


My girlfriend sits eagerly still waiting for a butterfly to land (top). Butterflies aren't the only wildlife displayed in the garden (left). A moth adorned in black looks both intimidating and delicate at the same time (right). Cheesin' for the camera (bottom).

The butterfly garden by far was my favorite part of the museum. Walking into it was like being transported to an entirely different world. The butterfly garden especially embodied the sensation of being a part of Leopold's "biotic community." Walking through it felt very tranquil. I believe butterflies naturally give off a sensation of benevolence, and that was experience by all the museum-goers who were comfortable simply with sitting and hoping that a butterfly might grace them with their presence. Visitors connected with nature simply because they were placed right in the middle of it. Experiencing the garden reinforced the ethical responsibility I feel towards nature. More importantly though, it reinforced the notion that regularly experiencing the natural world can help us become more benevolent, more relaxed, and more in tune with the little fascinations that surround us all the time.


Postulations through art reveal man's desire to learn about the world and it's early patrons (top left). A terror bird poses for the camera (top right). I run from the jaws of a megalodon (bottom left). Though skeletons feel the room, the museum does an excellent job of bringing them to life (bottom right).

A museum could not exist were it not for humankind's curiosity. Indeed, they are testaments to our intrinsic desires to know where things come from, how they work, and "why?". We step out of our ordinary lives at a museum when we realize that life is anything but "ordinary." The fossil exhibit in a way reveals the true nature of life: that it is in a constant state of change. It reveals that even though as we peel back the layers of history, we look through flawed lenses. It reveals that there will always be fundamental mysteries that drive human beings to want to know more and to discover more. And it reveals that life we live today is built upon years and years of this ever-present change. The Florida Museum of Natural History, was a fun way to learn more about "ordinary" life: it is anything but.


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