The London Zoo is offering a spider cuddling program to help United Kingdom’s 1 million or so arachnophobes cope with their fears.
According to AtlasObscura.com, a wet summer and cooling weather means more spiders are seeking shelter ... in people’s homes.
Dave Clarke, who heads Invertebrate Conservation at the zoo, tells AtlasObscura that some people bought homes, discovered a spider inside and had to sell. Other Friendly Spider attendees have actually crashed their cars after spotting a spider along for the ride.
But fear not, the Zoological Society of London has the solution: the Friendly Spider Programme.
The program can help anyone who doesn’t like spiders, but it is designed for those whose fear causes “a significant negative impact” on their lives, the article says. Attendees talk about their fears, undergo group hypnosis and also have up-close and personal encounters with spiders, including holding “a big, furry Mexican red-kneed spider.”
According to Clarke, 97 percent of those who go through the course end up holding the spider.