Meet the animated spider who will cure your arachnophobia

Meet the animated spider who will cure your arachnophobia
[Source: Joshua Slice via YouTube]

(WAFF) - Meet Lucas the Spider, an animated arachnid on YouTube boasting over 1 million subscribers and counting.

Not bad for an account that has posted a grand total of 127 seconds of content over five videos. But combined, those videos have already been viewed nearly 40 million times.

So what, you may ask, is the deal with this spider—who is he and where did he come from?

Little Lucas is the creation of Joshua Slice, a professional animator whose recent credits include "Ferdinand" and "Zootopia."

In a recent interview with The Dodo, Slice said he was inspired to create Lucas when he saw a particularly cute meme of a jumping spider wrapped in a leaf.

Slice challenged himself to create a spider so inexplicably cute, but still grounded in reality, that even people with legit arachnophobia couldn't help but say, "Awww."

Changing the perception of even one person can feel like an impossible task, so achieving it en masse is practically a miracle. There's no question Slice had his work cut out for him.

The YouTube comment section is a notoriously toxic brew of negativity where even the most innocuous of video can set off a firestorm of vitriol intense enough to make you question everything you thought you knew.

That's what makes the response to Lucas all the more remarkable.

Scrolling through the comments below the "Lucas" videos is actually disorienting in its near universal positivity.

Slice set out to help improve the image of spiders in the world by capturing the hearts and minds of internet randos, and, against all odds, that's exactly what he's done.

The first video "Meet Lucas the Spider!" was published on Nov. 5, 2017, and for the YouTube community at large it was love at first sight.

Video views quickly climbed into the millions and, within days, Lucas-related posts began appearing on various sites and message boards across the web.

With each video release, coming on average every three weeks, the unlikely audience and influence of the animated spider grows.

Slice's animation may be the driving creative force, but he gets a big assist from his 5-year-old nephew, who provides the voice, not to mention the childlike wonder and innocence, that bring Lucas to life.

They've captured lightning in the bottle together, but what they're going to do with it remains anybody's guess.

Aside from a vague stated desire to change how people looked at spiders, it doesn't seem as though Lucas was dreamed up as part of a greater master plan—unless selling Lucas-themed merchandise via YouTube was always the goal.

Today Lucas the Spider plushy toys, tomorrow the feature film? Only time will tell!

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