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Unusual Phobias - Strange but True!

Updated on May 9, 2012

Phobia - noun An extreme or irrational fear or aversion to something

Source Oxford English Dictionary

It is estimated that 1 in 10 people suffer with some kind of phobia at some point in their lives. It is impossible to get accurate figures as many people who suffer with a phobia are too embarrassed to seek help so they suffer with their irrational fear in secret, also probably afraid that treatment would involve facing the thing that they are most scared of!

Whilst we all know of people (or suffer ourselves) with phobias of spiders, hights and small places, there are hundreds, if not thousands of bizarre things that will bring someone out in a cold sweat, send shivers down their spine and maybe even induce a panic attack! Here is my list of the top 10 strangest and most unusual phobias that people have reported to suffer from. If you suffer with any of these, or any other phobias, then feel free to let us know in the comments, maybe talking about it could help!

1. Pogonophobia - The Fear Of Beards

It must be dreadful if you are a man who suffers with this, having to shave every day and look in the mirror to see that dreaded stubble starting to grow! Pogonophobia is classed as a social phobia as it envolves being afraid of people or social situations. In this case, if you suffer with pogonophobia, you could feel nausea, panic, anxiety, and dread when in the presence of a person with a beard.

2. Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia - The Fear Of Long Words

Whoever thought up the name for this phobia either had an evil sense of humour, or knew someone suffering from it and didn't like them very much! Ironically it is the second longest word in the English language.

If you suffer with this you have already run screaming from this page...

3. Pteronophobia - The Fear Of Being Tickled By Feathers

I suppose none of us really notice how often we come into contact with feathers in our lives... unless we have nightmares and cold sweats about them that is!

Apparently this can be brought on by tickling a baby, if they feel trapped they could grow up to have this phobia!

Be afraid...
Be afraid... | Source
Peanut butter, the stuff of nightmares!
Peanut butter, the stuff of nightmares! | Source

4. Arachibutyrophobia - The Fear Of Peanut Butter Sticking To The Roof Of Your Mouth

I had no idea there was a name for this, but I actually suffer from this phobia! Just the mere thought of it... that thick, gooey paste... sticking to the roof of my mouth... gagging on it... unable to swallow... I think I may need to go and have a lie down now!

1. Do you suffer from a phobia?

See results

5. Epistemophobia - The Fear Of Knowledge

If you suffer from this phobia then you probably won't be reading this... or anything! it must be very hard to avoid knowledge as it is everywhere, books, TV, films, people and conversation, the internet! I can only imagine that Epistemophobics must have to get some treatment for their condition... but that would mean learning knowledge from the doctor! Oh my... what a tricky situation!


6. Dextrophobia - The fear Of Objects To The Right Side Of The Body

Not to be confused with levophobia, the fear of object to the left side of the body. This is a specific phobia (as opposed to a social one mentioned earlier), maybe caused by some traumatic event in childhood. Putting an object to the right side of a person suffering with this could make them feel dread, anxiety, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea and dry mouth to name but a few symptoms. Of course, presumably, all they would need to do is turn around....

Your Phobia...

2. Have you ever sought professional treatment for your phobia?

See results

7. Porphyrophobia - The Fear Of The Colour Purple

This is surprisingly rather common, and can cause sufferers panic attacks, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat and a feeling of dread. It can be quite tricky trying to avoid the colour purple so porphyrophobics find themselves shutting themselves away, avoiding friends, loved ones and colleagues, all of whom may wear purple at times, and becoming a recluse in their purple-free homes!

8. Domatophobia - The Fear Of Houses Or Being Inside Houses

People who suffer with this phobia must live in tents, caravans or in a "bender" in the woods! Most probably linked to claustrophobia, the fear of small places and of being trapped, it usually stems from some trauma suffered in childhood.

Better than living in houses...
Better than living in houses... | Source

9. Optophobia - The Fear Of Opening Ones Eyes

This phobia must be extremely difficult to live with, and can induce a fear of dying, going mad or losing control and an inability to speak or think clearly, as well as the nausea, dread and panic attacks associated with other phobias.

As avoiding opening ones eyes is practically impossible, I highly recommend getting treatment, which would normally involve councelling, hypnotherapy or even medication!

3. Are you afraid of...?

See results

10. Deipnophobia - The Fear Of Dinner Conversations

This could be linked with a fear of dinner parties, and the social rules and etiquette that apply to them.

People that suffer with this fear will avoid dinner party situations and most often eat alone to avoid having to speak to anyone during their meal.

A deipnophobics nightmare...
A deipnophobics nightmare...

Just For Fun!

Anatidaephobia - The Fear That Somewhere, Somehow, A Duck Is Watching You!

This is actually a fictional phobia created by Gary Larson, author of The Far Side. He also created:

Luposlipophobia - The Fear Of Being Pursued By Timber Wolves Around A Kitchen Table Whilst Wearing Socks On A Newly Waxed Floor!


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    • profile image

      Mynameiswah 9 months ago

      I don't scream and run away but I can't wear scientists gloves and if I do, I feel like vomiting for some reason.I experience nausea and the smell is even worse.I can't put my hand next to my face for 2 hours or I puke

    • profile image

      Meh 15 months ago

      I am afraid of octopi

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 3 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      To those unaware, katsaridaphobia is a fear of cockroaches.

    • profile image

      Natalee 3 years ago

      Hello Jennifer can you possibly cover katsaridaphobia or if you already did link it in a comment?

    • Jennifer Stone profile image

      Jennifer Stone 4 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Great list of more unusual phobias Say Yes To Life, I'd love to know what plant it is you're afraid of! I too love purple... :-) All the best and thanks for your comments, Jen

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 4 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      Actually, from what I've heard, nearly everyone has at least one phobia. I have botanophobia, which is a fear of plants. I don't run screaming every time I see a green leaf, but there's one specific plant that freaks me out. Once I was on a hike, and kept coming across it. A really nice guy helped me deal with it, then told me his phobia, which is birds flying into buildings (what's the name of that one?). Another time, a guy was helping me, and he told me he once had agoraphobia, which is fear of being outdoors, and had trouble riding the bus as a result. Since he lived alone and there was no way to avoid going outdoors for work and shopping, he was forced to overcome it.

      Regarding Porphyrophobia - my favorite color is purple!

    • Jennifer Stone profile image

      Jennifer Stone 4 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Hi Ashly! That sound horrid, slimy things are bad enough without bringing you out in shakes and panic attacks! The only name for a phobia of sticky things I can find is Gooeeyphobia ~ fear of sticky things on digits ~ which sounds like a made up name to me! The fear of slimy things is called Myxophobia! Thanks for reading and commenting! All the best, Jen

    • profile image

      Ashly 5 years ago

      I have a phobia of slimy and sticky things.

    • Jennifer Stone profile image

      Jennifer Stone 5 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Hi teri, yes it must be awful to suffer with some of these phobias, but there is help available for people that do! Thanks for reading and commenting! All the best, Jen

    • profile image

      teri 5 years ago

      Wow, I can't imagine having some of these phobias.I feel bad for the people that do. I hope they can get help and live a happy life.

    • Jennifer Stone profile image

      Jennifer Stone 5 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Hi Kimberly! It's called ophidiophobia! Apparently around one third of people suffer with it so you are not alone, and it comes from a basic survival instinct because some snakes are poisonous! Thanks for reading and commenting, all the best, Jen

    • Kimberly Vaughn profile image

      Kimberly Vaughn 5 years ago from Midwest

      Very interesting! I have never heard of most of these phobia's. I definitely have a phobia of snakes. I'm not sure what that phobia is called.

    • Jennifer Stone profile image

      Jennifer Stone 5 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Hi Alice, I just looked that up and it's called cuprolaminophobia, and many sufferers really struggle with nausea and dread when having to handle money. I hope you cope ok with your phobia, it must be quite difficult? All the best, Jen

    • profile image

      Alice 5 years ago

      I have an unusual fear of pennies and coins

    • Jennifer Stone profile image

      Jennifer Stone 5 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Faith 1998, that sounds like quite an extreme reaction! If I was you I'd definitely go sick on Halloween and stay at home.... ;-)

    • profile image

      Faith 1998 5 years ago

      I have the fear of clowns, also known as coulrophobia! :O Last year a girl came to school dressed as a clown and I cried and started hyperventilating... I don't think I want to go to school on Halloween again!!!

    • Relationshipc profile image

      Kari 5 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Boy, I'm glad I don't have some of these phobias. I think fear of knowledge would be the worst for me. I do have a fear of things I can't see - like under the water, or coming close to mountains during the night. If I can't see (but I can imagine) then I am terrified.

    • Jennifer Stone profile image

      Jennifer Stone 5 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Thank you Annie, yes, some of these phobias must be awful to suffer from. Luckily we don't get many snakes here in England, I can't imagine having to worry about bites like that! Thanks for the vote and share! Jen

    • Fennelseed profile image

      Annie Fenn 5 years ago from Australia

      Oh my goodness, I am so glad I don't suffer from any of these phobias, I just couldn't imagine not wanting to open my eyes, or shying away from the colour purple. I am more tolerant than of my partner to spiders, I really don't mind having crawly things around, just not slithery things, just can't do snakes, so I guess if I had a phobia it would be a fear of snakes. I have close to being bitten too many times!! This is a very interesting hub, Jennifer, all my good votes to you and sharing.

    • Jennifer Stone profile image

      Jennifer Stone 5 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      dmop, thanks for reading and commenting. I just googled "fear of wearing gloves" and there doesn't seem to a specific name for it, but it's probably a form of Vestiphobia, the fear of wearing clothes! :-)

    • dmop profile image

      dmop 5 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

      I knew a guy who had a fear of wearing gloves, unless the fingers were cut off at the tips, I wonder if there is a specific name for such a phobia. Great article voted up and funny.

    • Jennifer Stone profile image

      Jennifer Stone 5 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Epigramman, I am truly happy to have met you here and will check out your FB group! Thank you for your feedback on my hub, and good energy coming right back at you from the River Stour, England 8.30am! (I fear you will not have heard of any of the bands I like though, this could be fun!) :-)

    • Jennifer Stone profile image

      Jennifer Stone 5 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Hi Tara, thanks for reading and commenting. I think it becomes a medical phobia when it has been reported to and recognised by the medical profession. I can't find a name for the fear of closed doors so it hasn't been recognised yet! However it makes a lot more sense than the peanut butter thing I suffer from but I imagine it's harder to avoid!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 5 years ago

      Hello Jennifer so very nice to meet you - and what a spectacular hub subject you have put together here and I will share and post this most enthusiastically with my FB group - Let's just talk music or cinema - with a direct link back here - in which you are invited to join - sending you warm wishes and good energy from lake erie time ontario canada 10:30am

    • Tara McNerney profile image

      Tara McNerney 5 years ago from Washington, DC

      Very well written, informative, and funny! To become a medical phobia, does at least more than one person in the world have to suffer from it? Or can we all have our individual phobias? I have a tendency to feel really uneasy around closed doors. I like to leave an 'escape route.' =)

    • Jennifer Stone profile image

      Jennifer Stone 5 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Thank you LaThing, I'm glad you found it interesting. Thanks for the vote and the share! :-)

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Very interesting and informative. Didn't know there were names for all these phobias. Excellent information. Voting up and sharing!

    • Jennifer Stone profile image

      Jennifer Stone 5 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Thanks unknown spy, yes, apart from the peanut butter thing, I'm very glad not to suffer with any of these too... probably wouldn't be quite so funny! :-)

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Nice hub! can't help smiiling..thank God i don't have these unusual phobia.. :)

    • Jennifer Stone profile image

      Jennifer Stone 6 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Hehehehe... I agree LGrey, I think that's my favourite! Thanks for stopping by!

    • LGrey profile image

      LGrey 6 years ago from Alabama

      Haha! Thanks for the info. I had to laugh at Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia. The psychiatrist that named it definitely had a wicked sense of humor!

    • Jennifer Stone profile image

      Jennifer Stone 6 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Why thank you gk! *smiles*

    • profile image

      gkkarthic 6 years ago

      Beautiful!!! this is a great hub! Awesome job Jen!

    • Jennifer Stone profile image

      Jennifer Stone 6 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Thanks Marcy, I had fun writing it! :-)

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 6 years ago from Planet Earth

      I love this sort of fun information! Nicely done, and interesting!


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