Everyone is afraid of something. From a simple fear of spiders to more bizarre phobias like tetraphobia—that’s the fear of the number four—there’s at least one thing in the world that really makes your skin crawl, and what that may be is different for all of us.

It’s not abnormal to have something a little bit out of the ordinary that gives you the creeps. However, some phobias are certainly less common than all of the rest.

There’s one fear that’s so strange and unexpected that it really stands out in terms of sheer weirdness. It’s a condition called Trypophobia, and it’s scarier than you can imagine.

Trypophobia, or “fear of holes,” was first described in 2005. While it took years for a name to be given to this phobia, it’s something plenty of people have long suffered and endured well before the medical community ever gave the condition a name.

1-trypophobiaLeo Reynolds / Flickr

People claim to experience Trypophobia when looking at holes of all kinds, whether they’re manmade objects like stacked industrial pipes, aerated chocolate, or naturally occurring sights like a honeycomb or lotus seed head.

manhole


While such images seem harmless to us, they can induce skin-related bodily symptoms (like goosebumps or itchiness); cognitive changes like anxiety; and even physiological changes like a racing heart, nausea, or shortness of breath.

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One theory is that these images are more difficult to process for some people and they require more brain oxygenation. Whether or not this is what really happens inside the brains of people with the condition is still unknown…

4-trypophobiaMichelle M.F/Flickr


Specialists believe that the reason some people develop this strange phobia is rooted in early childhood trauma. However, as this is still a relatively newly recognized condition, the medical community has only just begun to get to the bottom of this issue.

If you’re starting to wonder if you have Trypophobia, you can start a self-assessment by gauging your reactions to the images featured in this post. If you don’t have Trypophobia, then these pictures will not make you feel uncomfortable. However, if you do feel uneasy looking at them, you might have the condition.

Even the most passionate coffee drinker would find this picture nerve-wracking, scary, and downright nauseating if they happen to suffer from Trypophobia. While some might look at this image and spot a nice cup of coffee, others only see a surface covered with hateful holes.


If you’re a chef, then the mere idea of cutting off the tops of several bulbs of garlic, dousing them in olive oil, and letting them roast until they become dark and creamy is a dream come true. However, if you have Trypophobia, then even looking at this garlic will probably make you shudder.

If you were planning to throw a party and you saw this festive array of plastic straws, you might think that they’d make a great addition to your décor. However, if you have a crippling fear of holes, then seeing them bunched up together this way is beyond upsetting.


If you have a fear of bees and you are trypophobic, this image of the little guys crawling along the surface of their honeycomb is probably akin to something of a bad dream. While our phobias are ultimately beyond our control, understanding them can make them a little bit easier to live with!

Scientists are currently investigating why some people are more sensitive to the presence of holes than others. So if holes don’t make you uncomfortable, consider yourself lucky!

Share this strange phenomenon with others and see if it freaks them out!