Cutting-edge spider exhibit crawls into Atlanta’s Fernbank Museum

The team at Atlanta’s Fernbank Museum is well aware that even the idea of their latest exhibit is going to give a lot of people the creeps. But they’re also pretty certain that once visitors spend a little time inside, that initial apprehension will turn into appreciation.

"Spiders — From Fear to Fascination" opens to the public on Saturday and runs through May 5, and the exhibit is exactly what you think it is: an all-encompassing exploration of arachnids, from their behaviors and diet to their incredible web-spinning skills. And yes, an exhibit about spiders means there will be real spiders in the building (in well-protected habitats, of course!); museum staffers say there are more than 250 live and preserved spider specimens, including black widow, brown recluse and huntsman spiders.

Creators say the exhibit isn’t meant to exacerbate arachnophobia; developed by the Australian Museum, "Spiders — From Fear to Fascination" is actually aimed at highlighting how fascinating spiders really are, and at busting many myths about the eight-legged creatures. Interactive elements include a "fang agility test" and a jumping peacock spider mating dance-off — oh, and there's a free "Spiders Augmented Reality" app which visitors can use to enhance their visit.

"Spiders — From Fear to Fascination" is included in the price of admission to Fernbank Museum, which is $25.95 for adults, $24.95 for seniors, and 23.95 for children (ages 3 to 12). Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and the physical address is 767 Clifton Road in Atlanta. Click here for more information on visiting the museum.