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17 of the Strangest Phobias

Updated on October 19, 2014

Just What is a Phobia?

Phobias are an irrational fear of an object, idea, person, environment, animal etc. The triggering of a phobia can be as simple as a specific odor in the air. Once triggered, the person undergoes a wide range of reactions. Some feel like they cannot breathe, grow, clammy, feel like they are having a heart attack, ot begin to cry. Other people emotionally shut themselves down, curl up in a ball, ignore everything around them, or refuse to enter a place which might trigger another reaction.

We are all familiar with at least one or two phobia types. Cases of social phobia are not uncommon nor are phobias about spiders or high places. What about those more uncommon phobias? How many of us are informed about papaphobia, fear of the pope? In this squidoo I will introduce you to some of my top picks for strange phobias. *WARNING* Look at the table of contents before reading. There will be products along with the particular phobia explanation. If you have the phobia, I do not want to trigger you. Please skip it or be careful when reading


Most of us dislike certain smells or odors. Those with this phobia suffer from a fear of smells.No one is sure why but people possibly develop it as a crossover from a different obsession or simply misunderstand. Olfactorphobia sufferers often have trouble trying to get away from all the surrounding smells. They fear these odors will cause serious harm to their body and in some cases, kill them.

Deodorant..Antiperspirant...Smelling Good! - Seriously. Do not offend those with olfactophobia with bad hygiene

Dove does a great job for those worrying about producing body odor worthy of offending olfactophobics. I advise ordering a supply so you never have to worry about running out.


This phobia is fear of the "great mole rat." An animal with a strange appearance found in Africa and in many zoos. They have no fur, eyes almost to small to be seen, their teeth looks like they protrude from their nose, and their body is oddly shaped. Those who fear them get panicked simply by seeing the appearance. These animals really do not care for humans and prefer being underground. Their appearance is the root cause of the fear.

If you do not have a phobia of the Great Mole Rat..

MOLES. The great mole-rat - 1894 - old print - antique print - vintage print - Moles art prints
MOLES. The great mole-rat - 1894 - old print - antique print - vintage print - Moles art prints

I do not have this phobia but honestly, this may be one of the ugliest creatures I have ever seen....


What do you think of the Great Mole Rat?

See results


This phobia is an uncommon fear of washing or bathing. More common in women, children, and overly emotional people. The theory is the phobia is caused by a traumatic event in the past, a bad habit in childhood, or from being around someone with this phobia. Many feel ashamed because of the huge focus on cleanliness in society.


Most of us would love to be presented with a nice bar of gold. People with this phobia are afraid of gold. Some have good reason to be. Those who are highly allergic fear going into anaphalytic shock at being exposed to it. Being afraid of something which has the potential to cause serious bodily harm is perfectly understandable in my mind. Other people are afraid because of its shine, texture, or loathe the color.

A Rose for those Who Don't Fear the Gold

A gorgeous rose which requires no water changes and will not fade away.

24K Gold Dipped Real Rose w/ Gold Gift Box by The Original Forever Rose USA Brand!
24K Gold Dipped Real Rose w/ Gold Gift Box by The Original Forever Rose USA Brand!

Looking for the perfect flower for your sweetheart? Give her a rose dipped in gold. Gorgeous and truly unique, it's an exquisite choice in gold.



People with this phobia fear sitting down. They may become anxious at the thought of being trapped or unable to remain still. Some people develop the fear when sitting is continually painful (like after a serious surgery which takes a long recovery time). The elderly seem to be more likely to develop this phobia. They are not able to move as much and often restricted to sitting in a wheelchair or in a seat for long periods of time. Sometimes it appears during the adjustment time between being mobile and being wheelchair restricted. The loss of freedom and control can be the triggering mechanisms.


First revealed in the UK in 2008, nomophobia is a new technological phobia. People with this phobia are afraid of losing or leaving behind their cellphone leaving them out of contact. The UK was the first to acknowledge its existence but not all people are sold on the idea. Personally? I could care less about having my phone on me but I know people who just about have a heart attack at the thought of losing theirs.

Cell phone Tracking Units

If you lose your phone constantly then it might be good to consider a GPS tracking unit for it. You can get a special app or even a key ring version and keep it on the down low.


Usually caused by a trauma related to flowers, this is a phobia of flowers. Most know the flowers are not threatening but still become anxious and panicked even at seeing a petal or stem. Some people are constantly trapped in the fear while others usually only experience symptoms when faced directly with flowers. Luckily, many encounters with flowers can be avoided.

Fresh flowers or Fake Flowers..For Those Without a Flower Phobia

The internet has changed how you can appreciate flowers all year round. You can have fresh flowers from Amazon even in the dead of winter or consider flowers which never wilt, like these small bud wooden roses bouquet.


Whether synthetic or natural, this phobia is a fear of slime. Some people are afraid of its sticky and transparent appearance, others at the idea of it being unsanitary. The Nickolodeon's show where people got slimed for not knowing may have triggered some phobias. Horror films are also good at using the icky slime to disgust the audience. If you have the phobia, definitely stay far from ordering snails for your next appetizer.

Slime Products for Those Without a 'Slimy' Phobia

Those of us who remember the icky slimy moments so common in 90s films can now relive them in a wide range of colors. Choose from purples, yellows, and orange or keep true to the typical green slime.


When the weather turns cold and snow is predicted, those with this phobia stay indoors and may even refuse to peep outside. The cause may be related to snow-related trauma or an accident caused by the snow. Those with it try to avoid being around this seasonal problem and may choose to live in climates where snow has no possibility of occurring.

No Snow Phobia? Consider Keeping it all Year Around with Sno-in-a-Jar

I live with snow for over half the year so it's not something I am to fond of. However, if you don't have a snow season option then consider this...

Be Amazing Insta-Snow Jar, Makes 2 Gallons
Be Amazing Insta-Snow Jar, Makes 2 Gallons

Just add water and POOF! you have insta-sno ready to go in a jar. All year around and at any temperature.



People with those phobia are afraid of feathers or being tickled by feathers. Like so many other phobias, the root of it may be linked to some traumatic childhood memory or event. Whatever happened ended up leaving the person with the irrational fear.

For those without a feather phobia...will it be real feathers or fake feathers?


Eisoptrophobia is an irrational and persistent fear of mirrors. The cause may be based in superstition. Those who suffer from the phobia may be terrified of receiving bad luck by accidentally breaking a mirror. Way before modern times, there have been superstitions about the mysteries and supernatural associations of mirrors. One belief is never to receive a mirror from a deceased person's home and if a mirror falls off the wall, it is the ghost trapped within attempting to escape.

When I was little, I even tried a mirror superstition. According to superstition, saying Blood Mary three times will produce the ghost of the blood-thirsty half-sister of Queen Elizabeth who killed hundreds in the name of religion.Did I see a ghost? Nope. Have other people? They claim to. As for me, I will leave the dead safely dead and the mirror for looks only.

Free of a Mirror Phobia? - Get a Decorative One for Your Room

Gifts & Decor Elegant White Hanging Accent Bed Room Hall Wall Mirror
Gifts & Decor Elegant White Hanging Accent Bed Room Hall Wall Mirror

This elegant mirror is perfect for accenting a bedroom with a more delicate and feminine look to it.



The pope is the head of the Catholic church and well-known to be God's representative on earth. Those with papaphobia suffer from a fear of the pope. Most cases are linked with more than just the pope. They are afraid of the Catholic church. Some may be caused by incidents which occurred in childhood when attending a Catholic school or a general fear of the church's power over their spiritual life.

No Pope Phobia? Learn more about the life and times of history's popes

You do not have to be Catholic to be interested in the history of the Popes. Their role has changed throughout the years but still they remain a fascinating part of history.

Gymnophobia or Nudophobia

Sexual abuse or trauma may trigger those phobia or those who suffer from extremely negative feelings about their body. These people are afraid of being seen naked or seeing others naked. Some extreme cases even struggle with wearing a swimsuit, as the large amount of skin leaves them feeling open or vulnerable to sight.


Peanut butter has a unique and sticky texture making it easy to get stuck within the mouth. Those with arachibutyrophobia have a fear of peanut butter becoming stuck to the roof of their mouth. Some people feel suffocated when this happens and get anxious when they struggle to remove the peanut butter. Luckily, the phobia can be avoided by not eating peanut butter all together. If you do not eat it, you do not have to worry about it becoming a problem.


People with this phobia are afraid of buttons. The phobia sounds strange but it is believed many people exist out there who actually do have it. According to patients, many feel those buttons with four holes are more fearful than two and plastic buttons worse than metal. Many with the fear have had it their whole lives but some have found it the result of a traumatic event or experience.

Venustraphobia or Calygnephobia

Surprisingly common, this is a phobia of beautiful women. Most likely, it is caused by a traumatic past event involving in some way a beautiful women. Some people are continually frightened while others are only triggered in certain situations.The problem can become very serious when it drives people to the extreme to avoid beautiful women. They may have to give up certain jobs or avoid specific family members.

Does a beautiful woman intimidate you?

See results


There are not just phobias. Phobophobia is the actual fear of getting a phobia or developing a phobia. What people specifically fear is the sensations and anxiety which come with a phobia. Emotional stress or traumatic events can lead to the development of this phobia or already having one phobia can lead to fear about developing another. People with phobophobia need treatment, like those of an anxiety disorder, before they begin to develop more phobias from just fearing having one.

Books on Living & Dealing With Life's Phobias

Living with a phobia is much harder than those phobia-free can imagine. It's no laughing matter and can end up destroying relationships, careers, and personal happiness. Learning to deal with a phobia is a difficult process but books like these can help make the journey worthwhile.

Preguntas? - Feel free to ask and share.

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    • SimonJay profile image

      SimonJay 3 years ago

      I think sometimes i may have Olfactophobia certain things like dry sea grass or boiled lamb almost make me feel sick .

    • PamelaPamela profile image

      PamelaPamela 4 years ago

      Very interesting lens, thank you for sharing!

    • profile image

      Short_n_Sweet 4 years ago

      I didn't know people were afraid of so many things:-) Well each unique person has his own phobia, right? I enjoyed the lens..(since I didn't see any cockroach-phobia)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have to admit that the title of your lens got me super interested in visiting your lens. I really enjoyed it and never knew that people had a phobia for buttons. This was really interesting.

    • profile image

      monkeyfacetoys 4 years ago

      Wow that is certainly a bizarre collection of fears! I might develop Zemniphobia if I ever had the misfortune of coming across one of those mole rats. Great lens!

    • laughingapple profile image

      laughingapple 4 years ago

      Very cool lens.

    • audrey07 profile image

      audrey07 5 years ago

      These are really strange phobias. I haven't heard of them at all. But I guess only the sufferers would know how it feels. For the rest of us, it would seem utterly strange or even funny.