Nature Activity at FLMNH A good life presentation

Since its opening in 1891, the Florida Museum of Natural History has helped University of Florida students to explore biological aspects of life and cultural heritage from all over the world. Probably its most famous attraction is the butterfly forest that contains 60 to 80 butterfly and moth species at any given time. With a population of over 1000 butterflies scattered over a 6,400 square-foot screened exhibit, it is a sight to see.

Source: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/, picture taken by Carsten Bing

Colorful butterflies on exhibit, pictures taken by Douglas Santos

The exhibition that I found the prettiest has to have been the bright blue butterflies that you saw when you exited the butterfly rainforest. It is a collection of all-blue butterflies that light up when you look at them. I think humans in general are attracted to the idea of things being intense and concentrated in this modern world. No matter where you go, or where you live, you always want to be the brightest you can possibly be, but in actuality, this is what gets you spotted. The butterflies that survive are the ones that are able to disguise themselves in the wild, and not be spotted by predators. I think finding a balance between shining bright and being camouflaged is vital in mental health, and something that I try to work more on as a person.

A feeding station within the butterfly forest, both pictures taken by Douglas Santos

To what extent are humans superior to animals? When did the world become the place that it is today, with huge corporations polluting and poachers contributing to the extinction of species in exchange for money and capital goods? When did we separate ourselves from the nature that we once came from? Although I do not consider feeding and capturing butterflies to be a serious problem, it is a representation of a much bigger problem. Bees are dying around the world, ice caps are melting, and pollution is at an all-time low. We have placed ourselves in a spot where we are so far away from nature that we see it merely as an addition to our concrete jungle, rather than what it really is; a part of it.

Recreation of mammoth, picture taken by Douglas Santos

Probably one of the biggest exhibitions in FLMNH was the recreation of a mammoth skeleton. In the picture, you can see me standing in front of the majestic creature. I think this is a good reminder to see just how small we really are in comparison to most things. If mammoths were alive today, and I would encounter one in the wild, I am sure the mammoth would win the matchup by a landslide. I think this is a nice reflection upon who we actually are in this world, what we are doing here, and how little what we do actually matter. So many people are caught up in small things and completely forget about the bigger picture.

A final picture of the people that I went to the museum with, picture taken by FLMNH employee

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