About as close to a guaranteed cure for arachnophobia as there is

Spiders have their ardent admirers, but most people are repelled and even frightened by them. Fear is not entirely irrational, of course: there are a few species of spider whose bites can cause injury or even death. Still, the vast majority of spiders are totally harmless. People with arachnophobia (an extreme fear of spiders) can suffer out-and-out panic attacks marked by difficulty breathing, heart palpitations, sweating, screaming, and fainting when they see a spider, a spider web, or in a few cases, mere pictures of spiders.

Whether you have the usual dislike of spiders or actual fear of them, there’s an animated arachnid who could change your outlook on the eight-legged, eight-eyed creatures. Lucas vaguely resembles a tarantula, although two of his eyes are large and rather cute while his legs are extremely short. He’s the creation of animator Joshua Slice, best known for his work on Disney’s “Zootopia” and “Big Hero 6.” According to Slice, “This is an animation test of a character I’ve been working on. I’m responsible for the design, modeling, rigging, animation, lighting, and rendering.”

As you’ll see in the video posted below, Slice has used CGI (computer generated imagery) to create an amazingly realistic yet fantastical little world. The first short video came out in November 2017 and several more have followed since, including this one, called “It’s Cold Outside,” where Lucas finds himself outside on a cold winter night. Voiced by Slice’s nephew, named Lucas as it happens, the spider asks, “Can I come inside, please? It’s really cold out here. That fire looks very nice. I could warm my legs, all eight of them! Is anyone there? OK… I’ll just go sleep in the shed.”

The widespread fear and loathing of spiders notwithstanding, Lucas the spider’s YouTube channel has attracted nearly 60 million views. Hopefully we’ll see more of this little guy as he scuttles into the world’s hearts.

Did this cute little spider cure your arachnophobia? Let us know in the comments at Facebook and don’t forget to like and share!