By: Kileen McKinsey
A world made of nature in its purest form. A world of authenticity crafted from the hands of God. Undisturbed by mankind. This is the Smithsonian. From deep undiscovered sea life to the precious stones found far below the Earth’s surface, The Smithsonian has it all. I began my journey at the Kenneth E. Behring’s Family Hall of Mammals. I was immediately surrounded with copious amounts of species ranging from small sloths to enormous elephants. I’ll be honest and say that as an animal lover, it was a little eerie to be in a room with so many dead, taxidermized animals. This hall was categorized by regions which transported you into the mammals’ natural habitats. The entrance into this exhibit housed a variety of animal species from all parts of the world, giving you a taste for what was to come. After the entrance, I trekked to the warm and wild Africa, greeted by the world’s tallest mammal, the giraffe. Africa displayed its theme of survival of the fittest through its scenes of vicious lions pouncing on their next meals which happened to be the unfortunate water buffalo. Speaking of water, ‘The Watering Hole’ was quite an amusing display, showing the magnificently tall giraffe stooping to the water to parch his thirst thanks to the African sun. I hiked over to North America and upon arrival I immediately felt at home. Buffalo, bears, and raccoons enveloped me, making me feel like I had hiked into the mountains of Colorado. I then climbed my way into the green South America, pleased to see many tree inhabitants such as sloths and numerous monkeys and lemurs. To end my furry journey, I found my way to Australia and sought kangaroos, koalas and even a tree kangaroo. I then transitioned from dirt to the deep and dove into Sant’s Ocean Hall. The deep blue hues, the countless shells and the endless alien-like marine life constituted the hall. I was enlightened by all the new sea species information. In fact, a sign reading, “Tiny male seadevils attach to females as parasites and get all their nutrients from them,” is quite a good metaphor for dating in the real world. My expedition concluded with sayonara from a snow-white polar bear and a vast whale. The Smithsonian broadened my gaze to the beautiful creation that is the world formed by the hands of our God.