Trip to the Florida Natural History Museum By: Sarah Shan

"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."-William Shakespeare

The Natural History Museum really baffled me on how well put together it is. Open to UF students free, this experience was truly indescribable. I wish I spent more time in the museum just browsing around, but I had class after the trip. Astonished, I would love to come back again when a new exhibit opens up. Very eye opening experience.

FOSSILS!!

The Hall of Florida Fossils : Evolution of Life and Land really appealed to me because it allowed me to see animals from all different time perspectives. This really grabbed my attention because never would I have imagined that a giant ground sloth could had physically existed. The idea of having a sloth this enormous is terrifying to think about. However, the agility of the giant ground sloth may cause it to be funnier than it appears. Even though this giant monstrous mammal looks scary, it survived on vegetation. The whole idea of having these giant ground sloths walking around influenced me to think about the existence of some of these extinct animals. Another fascinating thing about this exhibit is having the size of the actual animal along with a 3D model on the side for visuals.

Even though the exhibit showcases the inevitable end of all species, I still thought the way they portrayed the animals the best way possible. The small 3D figure on the side guides our mind into putting the small figure onto the different skeletons. I would not understand that sloths' ancestors could be this enormous, and this exhibit really entertained me as it was very fascinating to find that animals looked so different in the past. Evolution can be deducted and seen through all the different animals; sometimes it can be very intriguing to see that some ancestors of animals looked nothing like they do today. If they portrayed the animals with fur, it would be difficult to see if they were herbivores or carnivores. The natural world is full of unpredictable surprises. The fact that I can compare the size of myself to other animals was very enjoyable and captivating; I felt like a kid in a candy store all over again.

The Butterfly Rainforest

The butterfly rainforest was truly mesmerizing; it gave me a sense of connecting with nature without going too far off campus. I really thought of myself as part of their biosphere instead of thinking them as being a part of mine. This gave me a reason to respect other species because unlike a zoo, these butterflies roam around and have all the space to themselves. Though the encavement was demonstrated, I still think that these butterflies led a happy and satisfied life. These butterflies made me feel that I am part of a bigger picture, I also felt that with these butterflies being the main focus of the exhibit, they truly impressed the audience with their beauty.

The whole experience was very peaceful and enlightening to my eyes because butterflies cannot make any noises, so the only thing you can focus on is how beautiful they are. Others reacted the same way I did, there were many couples there enjoying the scenery together, it was like landscape, like art. The experience was very firsthand because the butterflies can do whatever they desire, scaring me multiple times by flying too close to me. I think this experience definitely promoted the ethics I originally stood for because I believe that animals should be treated with respect and admiration, even those that are not pretty like the butterflies. Humans should treat animals this way because fundamentally, we are coexisting with other animals, not dictating; the world belongs to all of us, animals call Earth home too.

The Wicked Plants

The Wicked Plants exhibit hit my sweet spot with a large bang. Mysterious and eerie, this is the perfect exhibit for the average thrill seeker. I never knew how dangerous plants are until I visited this exhibit. Some plants are mobile and can eject parts of themselves to the predator to protect themselves. Other plants, such as the dendrocnide moroides, otherwise known as the stinging tree, can emit a poison so strong that lasts days to months; the pain from the poison can persist for two years or more. This exhibit helped me step out of my ordinary life because it had a section where we had to find the mysterious murder.

The holistic feel of this exhibit was very different from the others; the rooms were dark and there were some very discerning pictures on the wall, it was almost as if I went back in time to a more gothic age. This helps us appreciate nature and how much a mere plant can do to humans. There are still many things about creatures on Earth that I do not have a lot of knowledge on. Therefore, coming to the museum helped me understand that there are a lot of things we do not even know that we do not know. We should not interfere with nature's way of doing things, everything was accomplished by nature. We should respect and admire the mysterious place we call home.

The End
Created By
Huiting Shan
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