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Strange and Unusual Phobias

Updated on July 5, 2012

A phobia is a very strong and irrational fear of a particular situation, object, or creature. Phobia symptoms consist of sweating, shaking, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, nausea, and trouble thinking clearly.

Some common phobias include:

  • Arachnophobia (fear of spiders)
  • Social phobia/Fear of public speaking
  • Claustrophobia (fear of closed-in spaces)
  • Acrophobia (fear of heights)
  • Aichmophobia (fear of needles)
  • Fear of the dark
  • Aerophobia (fear of flying)

However, there are also people who suffer from lesser known and much more unusual phobias, such as these.



Spectrophobia is the fear of mirrors and seeing one's reflection. People with this phobia may have become traumatized by horror movies and/or have a superstitious fear of something watching them or coming through the mirror. Other sufferers may have low self-esteem relating to their physical appearance, and therefore avoid seeing their own reflections.



Ommetaphobia is the fear of eyes. People often develop this phobia after seeing something traumatic that involves eyes, such as being hit in the eye, going blind in an eye, or seeing an eye pop out of its socket. Sufferers with Ommetaphobia often have a fear of social situations as well, since they can have great difficulty simply looking into someone else's eyes.



Ablutophobia is the fear of washing or cleaning oneself and is most common in women and children. People may develop this fear after watching a horror movie, such as Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, or they may have seen a parent or other close family member with the same fear in childhood.



People with Phagophobia have a fear of swallowing. Sufferers complain of a variety of swallowing issues without any detectable physical or medical causes. People with this phobia usually experience weight loss and malnutrition, and those with milder cases will only eat soft and liquid foods. As a result, it can lead to (and be confused with) fear of eating.



Somniphobia is the fear of sleeping. This phobia may result from the feeling of loss of control, from frequent night terrors, or seeing something traumatic while watching a movie or television. As with any phobia, Somniphobia should be treated with therapy rather than sleeping pills.



Chromophobia is the fear of either all or particular colors. People with this phobia will make dramatic life changes in an attempt to avoid their fear (though I can imagine how difficult it would be trying to avoid color). There are also phobias that describe the fear of a specific color, such as porphyrophobia (fear of purple) and erythrophobia (fear of red and/or facial blushing).



Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth. Sufferers may fear that their mouth will seal shut and that they will suffocate. This phobia often acts up most in social situations.



Phobophobia is basically the fear of, well, fear. It is the fear of phobias or of developing a phobia. Phobophobia is related closely to numerous other types of anxiety disorders, particularly generalized anxiety disorder, and panic attacks.


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    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 4 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      Porphyrophobia would get me in trouble, since purple is my favorite color.

    • jennzie profile image

      Jenn 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Sunshine, I know it's a bit late (I haven't checked this hub in a while) but thanks for stopping by and commenting! I'm also claustrophobic, so I know the feeling. :-)

      Rema, thanks a lot for commenting and sharing this! :-)

    • remaniki profile image

      Rema T V 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      Hi jennzie,

      Happened to come by this hub once again and wanted to tell you that I shared your hub here:

      Good luck.

      Cheers, Rema.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Phobophobia? I had no idea. I actually had no idea about most of these fears. Oh wow! I can't imagine having a fear of colors. Or sleep. I'm claustropobic so I can understand closed spaces or being confined. Not a fan of that. Excellent hub!

    • jennzie profile image

      Jenn 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks klara, Linda, and katrine for stopping by! Yes, people can be afraid of some unusual things. :-) I'm glad you liked it.

    • profile image

      KatrineDM 5 years ago

      This is a very interesting and useful article. I have only ever heard of the basic phobias, so I was surprised reading all this. So many different fears of different things. Thanks for sharing.

    • lindalou1963 profile image

      Linda 5 years ago from Texas

      Very interesting... I had no idea people could be afraid of color or peanut butter! Thanks for posting such a great hub!

    • profile image

      klarawieck 5 years ago

      Jennzie, the peanut butter phobia made me laugh, and now I feel like I'm a horrible person! Lol Some of these phobias I didn't know, so thanks for the info. As a child I was afraid of butterflies of all things, so I should definitely not be laughing at the peanut-butter-phobics!

      Great article! Congrats.

    • jennzie profile image

      Jenn 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks a lot for commenting and sharing Remaniki!

    • remaniki profile image

      Rema T V 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      Great hub here jennzie. Have never heard of most of the phobias explained here. Thanks very much for the useful information. Socially shared. Cheers, Rema

    • jennzie profile image

      Jenn 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks for the comment and share howlermunkey- glad you liked it!

    • howlermunkey profile image

      Jeff Boettner 5 years ago from Tampa, FL

      The fear of peanut butter sticking to ones mouth? Wow, very interesting article! loved it, sharing.

    • jennzie profile image

      Jenn 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thank you Billybuc and John for commenting- I'm glad you found it interesting. And I'm glad you got over your spectrophobia John. :-)

    • JohnGreasyGamer profile image

      John Roberts 5 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

      Very interesting article, and I've found out the name for one of my most hated fears when I was a child - Spectrophobia, the fear of mirrors! I used to think that something would come out, or my alter-egos would try to communicate through the mirror. I couldn't stand moving, thinking that my own reflection would stand still. A very horrifying part of my life.

      Now I'm more vain than a gold-plated Satan, and I look in mirrors every chance I get!

      Voted up, useful and interesting! ^^

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That was really interesting and there were some I had never heard of. I get so tired of reading the same old stuff; thanks for a new topic that held my interest throughout.