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What Is Trypophobia And Some Other Unusual Fears?

Jasmyne Jeffery January 24, 2023

We’re all afraid of something. Sometimes, it’s something more common, or it can be one of those unusual fears. One that’s asked a lot is what is trypophobia a fear of. It’s slightly more uncommon but one we might be able to understand a little bit. We explain what it is and some other fears that or out of the ordinary.

Talk of what we’re afraid of comes up a lot. It can be in casual conversation, cheesy horror film lines, or big revelations when you’re suddenly faced with it in a group of friends. You either get a sympathetic reaction or get a puzzled look in response. Having one of those unusual fears is doubly worse than a typical one, just for the stick you get admitting it.

One of those is trypophobia, which has come up again after Doja Cat’s outfit for Paris fashion week caused issues for those who suffer from it. If you’ve never heard of it or want to check if it’s a fear you have, we can explain what it is.

What Is Trypophobia A Fear Of?

Trypophobia is the aversion or fear of clusters of small holes, bumps, dots or anything similar, usually coming in different sizes.

Everyday things that might spark a reaction from someone with trypophobia could be sponges, flowers or even foods. It’s not recognised as a mental disorder. However, it can be a diagnosed phobia if the sufferer’s life is impacted due to their aversion.

Those with trypophobia aren’t necessarily scared of small-hole clusters. They are more heavily disgusted by it and want to avoid seeing them.

What causes the fear is unknown as it’s a fairly recent topic of discussion. In fact, the term was first coined in 2005 on social media, with ‘trypo’ coming from the Greek ‘trypa’, meaning holes. Phobia was then added, creating ‘fear of holes.’

Though it may be classed as unusual, the aversion to small clusters of mix-shaped holes is actually quite common. In 2013, 16 per cent of participants in a study reported discomfort or repulsion at images containing trypophobic stimuli. However, due to its recent ‘discovery’ and the lack of information about it, it’s still deemed uncommon or unusual.

Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

Some Other Unusual Fears

Whilst we’re on the topic, let’s look at a few more unusual fears that you may not have heard of. Those these are less common, they are people out there with these aversions, so don’t go ridiculing it too loudly. After all, these do cause people a lot of distress.

  • Plutophobia

This is something that we definitely don’t have, in fact, we’ll help sufferers out by taking it off of their hands. Confused? Well, plutophobia is the fear of money.

  • Xanthophobia

We all have our favourite colours, but being afraid of one is a little different. Those with xanthophobia are afraid of the colour yellow. To be honest, it can be a little frightening sometimes.

  • Nomophobia

This one may become more common as the years go on. Actually, we imagine a few people have a touch of it now. If you have nomophobia, then you have the fear of being without your mobile phone.

  • Octophobia

Like having a favourite colour, lucky numbers are pretty common too. However, with octophobia the number 8 is really unlucky, so much so you’re afraid of it.

  • Ephebiphobia

If you catch the wrong school bus or look a dodgy one in the eye then we wouldn’t be surprised if you walk away with this unusual fear. To have ephebiphobia is to have the fear of adolescents or teenagers.

We hope you learned something new by looking through our list of unusual fears. If nothing else, we want you to appreciate that anything can be a fear for someone. Perhaps you have a touch of trypophobia after learning about it, or maybe you’ll be keeping your phone even closer from now on.

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Jasmyne Jeffery is a full-time writer on Freshered after working freelance with GRV Media previously. She attended the University of South Wales where she was also a student blogger. In 2022, she graduated with a first-class honours degree in English and Creative Writing. Jasmyne worked briefly for her local newspaper before heading to university and completing an internship at a publishing company. She is now pursuing and loving a career in journalism. Jasmyne has a particular interest in student news, entertainment, and social media, whilst also (trying!) to help put the world to right. Originally from North Devon, she is currently loving the small-city life in Cardiff.