When you hear the word “cute,” “spider” is probably not the first word that pops into your head. But photographer Thomas Shahan is out to change all that with his incredible macro photographs of doe-eyed jumping spiders.

Jumping spiders are unusual in that the majority of them do not hunt with webs. They have powerful hind legs and the best eyesight among spiders, allowing them to hunt actively with powerful jumps. They can still produce silk, however, often using it to tether themselves before jumping or to create shelters.

With the exception of Australia, where just about every living thing out there can kill or maim you, I don’t get why people hate spiders. A world without spiders would be a world with far more mosquitoes and flies, which carry countless diseases. And when you know that some of them can look this cute – are they really all that scary?

And that statistic you might have heard about the average person swallowing eight spiders a year? In 1993, a writer circulated this and other fake facts to prove how easy it was to circulate false information. His demonstration was extraordinarily successful.

So the next time you see a spider, keep in mind that it’s probably more interested in hunting bugs that are trying to bite to bite you rather than biting you.

Source: Flickr

Jumping spiders have the best eyesight among spiders

They are also very curious and often interact with organisms many times their size

If a spider turns to look at you, it is almost certainly a jumping spider – they have insatiable curiosity about humans

Many arachnids, like black widows try to avoid people, but jumping spiders are quite fearless

They probably just want to hug you!