The Florida Museum of Natural History A spark story by Marina BUrke

Nature on Display

The butterfly garden was the most immersive nature exhibit one could find a the Florida Museum of Natural History. Usually when we observe nature in zoo's, animals are put in cages or behind glass for our own viewing. In this exhibit, you are able to walk through the natural environment of the butterflies and watch them flutter and thrive in their own surroundings. I loved being surrounded by flowers and a plethora of different types of butterflies in such a colorfully lush garden. Not only was it scenic, but it was calming to sit back and watch them fly unbothered as I took it all in. It was a serene experience to just walk around and enjoy pure nature, and I came out respecting the tranquility and simplicity of it all. I learned through this exhibit that I enjoy observing animals and insects so much more when I'm in their natural surroundings. I feel like zoo's and SeaWorld go about displaying nature in the wrong way, and It's so much more effective and pure to non-intrusively watch them in their own habitats.

Nature & Ethics

Overall I felt that the Florida Museum of Natural History exemplified a profound respect for the natural world. The displays showed "love, respect and admiration" as Leopold calls on. From the butterfly garden to the Calusa exhibit, I felt a strong sense of admiration for nature and it's preservation, as well as the Museums overall goal to educate on the past and present natural environment of Florida. I really appreciated all of the Native American exhibit's and displays, which pay respect to the native people that inhabited florida before Europeans came and conquered them unjustly. The exhibit of dead butterflies and bugs being displayed by pins caught my eye because it was honestly a little unsettling to go from seeing the majestic butterflies in the garden, to seeing their wings pinned down lifeless for the display. I don't think this is really an ethical problem because they're obviously not alive, but it was just a contrast from watching them fly around, to being "pinned down", and I thought it was an interesting experience that I would remark upon. As i said before though, I felt a profound appreciation for Florida's wildlife and extensive history and nature as I walked through the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Nature & the Human Spirit

Over the course of time, us humans have given ourselves the title of the "superior species", and have acted accordingly in creating a separation between ourselves and the natural world. Not to say that the advancements that our physical and cognitive abilities have allowed are not great, but the way we have excluded and prioritized are own interests over that of "in superior" species has literally driven entire populations to extinction. When I saw this picture of me standing in the jaws of this Megalodon shark, I was humbled at it's size and frankly how awesome it was. It reminded me how small us humans really are, both literally and metaphorically, compared to some of the other inhabitants on this earth. Though the Megalodon was no match for evolution, I certainly wouldn't take my chances with one in the water. Standing between the massive jaws of this creature, I really took a step back and outside of myself to appreciate some of the most amazing and majestic creations of the natural world.

Created By
Marina Burke


Created with images by greaterumbrage - "Columbian Mammoth - Side View"

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