While studies show that every human being is born with in instinct of fear of spiders and snakes, many of us grow out of the phobia, but many others retain the terrifying view of spiders.
Some might think that facing your fears head on is the best but having a few tarantula walking all over your body might not be the best thing for someone with arachnophobia and might trigger their anxiety. What’s the next best thing to do? Create an adorable one and name it Lucas.
Arachnophobia. The extreme or irrational fear of spiders. 30.5% of Americans have some fear of spiders according to Statistic Brain, making it the third most common fear just behind a fear of death and glossophobia (a fear of public speaking). Whether you have a fear of the eight legged sort, you have probably swatted at, screamed, and left the room at the sight of just one of these little critters. We all know someone who can’t handle the sight of one of these bug eating, eight legged demons.
The truth is we all know that while spiders do a world of good, they just strike fear in to some people. The biggest, bravest man that I know is terrified of spiders. He just happens to be a volunteer fire fighter in NEPA. And while he’d go into a burning building, rush onto the scene of a car accident, or abandon his bed in the morning to help a member of his community he is terrified of the little critters. How do I know? I once threw a pholcidae (daddy long legs) at him. Oh, the words that came in my direction. I know, I know. Bad Artemis, bad!
Some scientists believe that arachnophobia is a completely curable. And one man has gone out of his way to help by making an adorable, fun sounding cure. You have to probably met Lucas the Spider. Lucas’ first YouTube clip showed up in November of 2017 and currently has 16 million views. At just 21 seconds long, it’s a short but effective animation featuring a cute little house spider named Lucas who just wants to say hi.
Lucas is animated my Joshua Slice, a skilled artist who has contributed to such hits as Big Hero 6 and Zootopia. You remember those movies, right? Slice has worked for Blue Sky Animations and Disney Studios. Although, according to his blog he’s since left both companies. After all, Lucas has a following of 1.2 million subscribers. Voiced by Slice’s nephew, the fun loving arachnid is modeled after a real life spider that Slice thought was smiling constantly whenever its picture was taken.
Since November, Lucas has taken on such adventures as getting captured, a sink and drain, winter weather, and making music. In his latest clip, Lucas meets a polar bear. Joshua’s original goal was just to test an animation he was working on. When Lucas hit the internet, a star was born!
Slice puts out a new adventure every three to four weeks and there is no telling what the next one will be. Spring is right around the corner. We could see Lucas in the garden, facing down the polar bear again. The sky’s the limit and fans can’t wait to see more of this fun loving, eight-legged adventurer.
Now, does Lucas cure arachnophobia? The jury is still out. According to a clip Joshua Slice put on YouTube, Lucas is changing minds. Most of them young, impressionable teenage minds, but it’s a start. I did show these clips to that fire fighter I told you about earlier and while he says they’re cute and the clips are funny – he still intends to carry a boot and a gun into the bathroom just in case. (I think he was kidding about the gun, but I can’t be sure.)
One thing is for sure, there is no arachnophobia necessary when it comes to Lucas the Spider although my friend Alexa might still think of it as debatable.