Florida Museum of Natural History By Reed Espy

The Florida Museum of Natural History was a cool destination on campus that I never knew existed. Filled with giant megalodon jaws, mammoth fossils, a new frog exhibit, and a spectacular butterfly garden, the Florida Museum of Natural History is home to many centuries of Florida's history. Upon exploration of the museum, I came to the realization that my love for nature enhanced my view of the good life and my search for the good life is exemplified through nature.

Nature on Display

I found the new frog exhibit to be a very good representation of nature on display. This frog in particular struck my attention because he was on a limb right at the front of the exhibit for all to see. The Waxy Monkey Frog seen above is a native of the dry scrub forests located in Argentina, Paraguay, and Bolivia. Unlike most frogs, the Waxy Monkey Frog prefers hot, dry climates and secrete a waxy substance to retain moisture. This reminded me that not everything is what it may seem on the first glance, and to look deeper into nature to find its true beauty.

Nature and Ethics

Nature and ethics play a crucial role together as our natural earth is being pushed to its limits by mankind. Humans today are taking more and more from the Earth with no worries of where we will be in the future. While I was in the butterfly exhibit, I looked down and noticed that the nice, peaceful waterfall led to a small pond. Inside the pond were a number of Koi fish which to the Japanese are a sign of good luck and fortune. I just took a second to appreciate the Koi fish and the life they live because many fisheries in the world are being depleted by overfishing. Many fisheries have been overfished to the point of extinction which is a perfect demonstration of how people's wants come first before the environment's needs.

Nature and the Human Spirit

Finally, nature and the human spirit are once again vital to living a good life. As I walked through the museum, I felt like I was going through a time machine to see all of Earth from a macro view. I was taken through the times of the many ocean creatures that lived millions of years, ago all the way to the Seminole Indians that are still alive today. The museum showed me how humanity has evolved and adapted over many years and that no matter the current struggle, humanity will persevere. As I was exiting the butterfly garden, I noticed this butterfly on the underside of the leaf. All butterflies go through a time in their life as caterpillars and are bound to this earth in a physical way. The good news is one day they will transform into a beautiful butterfly and be able to leave the bounds of this physical Earth for a brief time. The same is true for us; as humans, we are only temporarily bound to the physical earth for one day our spirit will leave the physical bounds of this Earth.

Credits:

All pictures were taken by Reed Espy

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