(Before you skip this post, you have to see the one-minute video about an unusual friendship at the end of the post.)
I nearly fell off my bike when this 15cm (6-inch) guy buzzed by me, just barely missing my face. He is handsome, don’t you think? Well, chances are that you will not find anything beautiful or heartwarming about this crunchy creature.
Why is it that most of us get the creeps when we see or even just think of insects, worms, spiders, and the like? Especially considering the fact that most of those rubbery soft or hard-shelled miniature beings in segmented bodies and equipped with tentacles, antennae, horns, compound eyes, multiple eyes, two or four featherless wings, lots of hairy or toothed legs, claws, pincers, stingers etc. are not dangerous to man. Maybe it’s because they are so different from us mammals and we just do not understand them.
We humans have two inborn fears: The fear of falling and the fear caused by loud noises. All other fears are learned, most of them in the first six years of our life. We acquire fears through our own experience and from the behavior of others, our first “teacher” normally being our mother. If she lets out a horrified scream at the sight of a spider, the young child will probably internalize and adopt the aversion. Yet, if mom calmly gets hold of the leggy visitor and transfers him out into nature, the offspring is most likely to develop a benign attitude toward the crawlers.
Natural fears are necessary because they protect us from harm. Phobias on the other hand, are exaggerated, irrational fears that impair a person’s functioning and are considered mental disorders (which are easy to treat, however).
Having a real long intense look at each of the following individuals from the wonderful Micro Monsters 3D of Sir David Attenborough (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2341567/The-fascinating-unpredictable-world-alien-creepy-crawlies-youve-seen-unveiled-Sir-David-Attenborough.html) might bring about a change in the way you perceive these mysterious and intricate creatures. There IS beauty in them.
And here is how cute – mammal-cute! – things can get when there is no fear: