Introduction: The Florida Museum of Natural History has many interesting exhibits on display. The first of them that I went to was the butterfly exhibit. This exhibit allowed for full immersion in nature. Then, I read about the butterflies and various other aspects of their nature such as DNA decoding and butterfly farming. Overall, all the exhibits brought out new, thoughtful considerations.
Me in butterfly exhibit learning about butterfly flight
Nature on Display: The Butterfly exhibit surprised me. After entering, I noticed the exhibit was crowded. Many people came to the museum just to see the beauty and tranquility of the butterflies. Everyone was respectful and quiet. The whole scenery was serene, and I enjoyed the experience of being able to admire the butterflies in sync with everyone else. I could feel the appreciation in the air. Butterflies aren't normally congregated and on display like at the museum, so seeing them up close gave me a new appreciation for them. Also, everyone else's excitement for them spread onto me. I immediately felt more peaceful and passionate about nature. The butterflies were beautiful to see as well.
Nature and Ethics: The Butterfly exhibit gave me an appreciation for nature that I didn't have before. The staff gave all visitors instructions on their "two door system" because they didn't want to lose any butterflies. They also didn't want anyone stepping on them. The instructions made me more aware of their presence and them as separate beings to be cared for. The butterflies were also more than merely animals on display. Visitors could join them in their habitat and simply enjoy being around them. This allows immersion in the nature of it rather than a more superficial experience. Another exhibit on display was the butterfly testing one. This exhibit got me thinking about the ethics of the museum. They had butterflies situated in an order, hanging upside down. To me, the situation felt corrupt, like they were using the butterflies for human knowledge and money (butterfly farming). My scope of thinking then broadened to the way humans use other animals, and I recognized many discoveries in fields like psychology involve animal usage which can be unethical.
Me in front of the shark jaw exhibit.
Nature and the Human Spirit: I was immediately drawn in by the shark exhibit. The museum had all the skulls of various shark species over the years, some extinct, on display. One of the jaws was so big it could probably swallow 6 or more people at once. I was able witness the evolution of the shark jaws just by viewing the exhibit. The ocean contains a lot of mysteries as it has not been fully explored by man. In fact, only a small portion has been discovered. It is full of beauty and the animals living within it are so different than anything on land. The mere size of the largest shark had me in awe. The exhibit provoked thought about not only the beauty and mystery of nature, but my own place in this world. Something so large can exist and have its purpose, and so can I.