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What are you afraid of? 5 strange phobias that really exist

Published on 30 January 2018|
2 min read

Everyone has fears, some rational and others truly inexplicable. But fear is a feeling we’re all familiar with.

So what’s the difference between fear and phobia?

Generally, fear is a feeling of distress and being in danger, while a phobia is linked to anxiety and produces an extreme or irrational fear. There are many common phobias around, such as claustrophobia (fear of small spaces) or acrophobia (fear of heights).

However, there are also very unusual phobias that people genuinely have. It may seem really strange to those of us who don’t struggle with them, but they do exist and are part of life for those who do. Read on to learn five less common phobias around.


1. Arachibutyrophobia: the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth

Yes, some people genuinely fear the experience or knowledge that peanut butter is sticking to the roof of their mouths. It is bizarre, but true.

Credit: LiveStrong


2. Xanthophobia: the fear of yellow things

There is no exact reason why people dislike the colour yellow, but nonetheless, it is in actual fact a strangely common phobia. Whether it’s a child’s drawing of the sun, The Simpsons or pineapples, xanthophobics don’t deal well with anything yellow.

For those with an aggressive form of the phobia, even the word ‘yellow’ may induce anxiety and fear.


3. Haphephobia: the fear of being touched

Honestly, the words just get harder to pronounce. People who suffer from haphephobia are afraid of being touched; at times, physical touch can induce panic attacks in them. Often, they feel the need to protect themselves from anything deemed unclean or dangerous, such as invasions or contamination.

Credit: Allure Media

Did you know there’s also a fear of falling in love


Ergophobia: the fear of work or employment

While many ‘fear’ their workplaces (or bosses), ergophobia is the irrational extreme version of it. Ergophobics may have a fear of finding employment or work in general. They may also fear work-related activities and environments such as office spaces, cubicles and social interaction.

In fact, it’s thought that there may be a link between this phobia and social phobia or performance anxiety.


5. Turophobia: the fear of cheese

Fear of cheese

Turophobics fear cheese or associate cheese with a traumatic experience. Some fear a specific cheese such as mozzarella or cheddar while others fear cheese in general.

Credit: Radio Nova


Friends, these phobias may sound strange and even funny to those of us who don’t suffer from them. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t show a little understanding and empathy if we do have friends who live with these fears each day. Instead, let’s do our part to help them deal with their fears.

Do you have an uncommon phobia you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below; we’re always up to learn more about you! 

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