Top 20 Weirdest Phobias

Posted: October 6, 2010 in Fun & Fact
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We’re all scared of something. It’s human nature to be afraid, but when that fear is unfounded, or so intense that it interferes with our ordinary lives, it becomes a phobia.

Phobia sufferers experience physical symptoms when confronted with the source of their dread, including sweating, shivering, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, rapid breathing and an overall, pervading feeling of dread.

When you suffer from a phobia, in fact, your whole life is affected. Germ phobic’s become unable to touch anything that may transmit bacteria to them. Arachnophobics go into blind panic when they see even the smallest spider, and agoraphobics won’t leave their houses.

We’ve also probably all heard of claustrophobia, and a few of the other more common fears, but for just about everything out there, there’s a phobia to match it, and, as quickly as we can invent new things, new fears are born.

Then again, there are some celebrities with strange phobias too. Billy Bob Thornton for one lives in dread of antique furniture. The thing is, there are phobias about everything. Somewhere, sometime, on our planet, there’s at least one person, it seems, and who is afraid of just about anything you can think of. Some are stranger than others though, and here is our collection of the top twenty weirdest phobias we could come up with, in no particular order:

20. Chorophobia


To most people, the idea of going dancing sounds like great fun, and a good way to spend an evening, especially a Friday or Saturday night. It’s a fun way to get out, spend some time with friends, and get a workout. Or maybe a little more romantic dancing with that special someone. However, if you suffer from Chorophobia, that’s not likely to be the case – since Chorophobics fear dancing itself. That means no clubs, no boogying, and even avoiding certain movies!

19. Decidophobia


Yup. You guessed it. Decidophobia is the fear of making decisions. Most of us avoid difficult decisions every once in a while. Some could even be classed as chronically indecisive, but it’s only when the thing that’s causing you to not decide is not the outcome, but the decision itself, that you would call yourself decidophobic. Imagine what life must be like for the decidophobic – never able to order in a restaurant, or even choose which one to go to. Shopping, work, even relationships must be shear hell! So next time someone calls you indecisive, you could always claim to be decidophobic instead.

18. Papaphobia

Of all the religions in the world at present, the pope is surely the best known. Revered for his benevolence and wisdom, he is nonetheless the subject of a bizarre fear, called Papaphobia. Papaphobia is the abnormal, irrational and pervading fear of the pope, and all things papal. In fact, sufferers may even be afraid of the Catholic Church in general, or symbols of the Pope, or the church. Come on guys, it’s been centuries since the inquisition. I think it’s OK now!

17. Anglophobia

As the name suggests, Anglophobics fear England, and in fact, all things English, whether spoken or written. Now, I know the English used to conquer other countries quite a bit, but they haven’t done that in a while! This is one phobia that must make a trip to the library, or the movies, difficult to stomach, and since English is the language of business, how on earth would you work anywhere?

16. Arachibutyrophobia

Have you ever eaten a peanut butter sandwich, only to have the butter stick to the roof of your mouth? Annoying, isn’t it. If you’re an Arachibutyrophobic, it’s not just annoying though. It’s terrifying. In fact, there’s a good chance you won’t even eat peanut butter sandwiches. You see, those who suffer from Arachibutyrophobia are phobic of peanut butter sticking to the roof of their mouths, and experience the usual phobia symptoms just from the merest thought!

15. Alektorophobia

Most of us don’t give a second thought to chickens, right? They’re just birds, until they end up at KFC, and then, they’re lunch! However, these feathered farmyard creatures strike fear into the heart of those who are Alektorophobic, since that is the fear of chickens.

14. Hellenologophobia

Being Hellenologophobic must be particularly difficult. This particular phobia is the fear of Greek, or complex scientific terms. And since most names of phobias are derived from the Greek, and are complex, and scientific, how would you ever get diagnosed? How, indeed, would you explain your phobia to anyone who asked?

13. Nomophobia

This is a relatively new phobia, and proof positive that as long as we humans continue to evolve, and invent new things, we’ll just be giving ourselves more new things to be afraid of. Nomophobics are afraid of being outside of cell phone signal. Now, for most of us, having a low battery, or no call time, or even just being somewhere where there is no signal, is a little bit of a relief in our modern world, where we’re expected to be available all day, every day, but when it comes to Nomophobics, that’s simply not an option!

12. Asymmetriphobia

OK, so most of us like things to be symmetrical, and orderly, most of the time. But a little bit of asymmetry is not the end of the world, is it? It is if you’re a sufferer of Asymmetriphobia. Just imagine having to arrange everything in your life to be perfectly symmetrical, or suffer the symptoms of phobia? You desk, home, closet, and everything else will need to be completely reshuffled to accommodate your fear. And what happens when you leave home, and venture out into the anything but symmetrical world.

11. Scopophobia

I don’t think there’s anyone alive who enjoys that feeling you get when someone is looking at you. It’s unnerving and uncomfortable. However, when that goes beyond the merely uncomfortable, and becomes an irrational fear, you could be suffering from Scopophobia. Of course, those who suffer from Scopophobia have a hard time getting through the day. A trip to the mall is impossible, as is working in any normal job, or even driving. Let’s face it, as soon as you leave the house, there are going to be people looking at you. Just imagine what that must be like!

10. Phalacrophobia

Most men would consider this particular phobia appropriate, if not justified! Phalacrophobia is the fear of going bald, and let’s face it, most men who’ve seen a few extra hairs on their comb, or going down the drain, have felt a twinge of this one. Heck, there’s a thriving industry built up around hair replacers and baldness inhibitors, and although most of them don’t work that well (if at all) you’ll still find men using them religiously. Our opinion? If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen, so bite the bullet, and shave it off. No more problem!

9. Phagophobia

Phagophobia is another fear that has the ability to impact on your life. Except that left unchecked, this one could even kill you! Phagophobics fear swallowing. In milder cases, this may lead to eating only soft or liquid foods, but some who suffer from this fear eating any kind of food at all. This might lead to a misdiagnosis as a fear of eating, or even an eating disorder, when in fact, it’s not the food, or even weight gain, that sufferers avoid, but rather, the physical act of swallowing.

8. Bromhidrosiphobia

This is one phobia that we think might actually be too rare. Those who suffer from bromhidrosiphobia, fear body odor. This type of fear though goes far beyond the normal, average type of fear, using deodorant and so on, which most people have. I mean, let’s face it, no one wants to smell bad! These people, however, become obsessed with their own body odor, and may even begin to imagine that they smell bad, when in fact, they don’t. Of course, when you consider the other end of the spectrum – those people who don’t realize they’re rather ripe, and who you’d rather share an elevator with, the choice is clear.

7. Hobophobia

If you live in just about any big city, anywhere in the world, chances are, on your way to work, or the store, or anywhere else, you’ll be approached by at least one homeless person. For most of us, this is an annoyance at worst, or you might feel pity, or anger at society. If you’re hobophobic though, the sight of a vagrant is enough to strike fear in to your heart, and have your palms sweating and your heart racing in no time at all.

6. Spectrophobia

We all have days when looking into the mirror is difficult, where we just know we don’t look our best, and we’d rather not rub it in. If you suffer from Spectrophobia though, looking in a mirror is a terror beyond all others for you. In fact, seeing your reflection anywhere is beyond your capabilities, and you’ll end up suffering the symptoms of panic if you do. Psychoanalyst Sandor Ferenczi boiled it down to one of two main causes – fear of knowing yourself (or self knowledge) or fear of exhibitionism.

5. Amnesiphobia

This one’s quite tricky to wrap your head around. We can understand being afraid of amnesia, I mean, no one wants to lose their memory, but then, how do we know that we’ve lost our memories? If you’ve lost your memory, would you remember enough to know that you had? This is exactly what amnesiaphobics fear though. The possibility of losing their memories.

4. Erythrophobia

None of us like to be embarrassed – that’s easy to understand, but did you know that there are a group of people who fear the act of blushing? Instead of fearing the potentially embarrassing situation that makes them blush, they fear the blush itself. It’s got to be tough being Erythrophobic – imagine going to the movies – you’d have to choose carefully! And what would you do when you met someone you thought was cute?

3. Melanophobia

It’s a fashion staple. On nearly every runway, or every shelf in every department store, every season, you will find at least one black item. It’s even become the way to describe the latest, hottest color – the “new black.” However, much as the little black dress or the classic tuxedo is the ultimate in stylish fashion, there are those, better known as Melanophobics, who fear black. That’s got to make life really tricky. Just think of how many black things there are in the world around you. Look around the room you’re in right now. Maybe your phone? Computer? Shoes? Black is everywhere – then again, what on earth would you do on Halloween?

2. Tapinophobia

Most of us fear being sick. Not the bone chilling, heart racing kind of fear that phobias induce, but a healthy sense of unease about the whole idea. We stay home, dose ourselves, and sleep more when we’re sick, but there are a group of people, those who suffer from tapinophobia, who are actually afraid of being contagious too. Their fear of illness extends beyond merely fear for their own health when sick, but fear of passing their illness on to others. Now, we all know it’s not nice to spread your cold, flu, or other illness around, but not many of us are actually afraid of the possibility!

1. Ephebiphobia

If you suffer from ephebiphobia, chances are, leaving your house is difficult. Going to the mall, or just about any fast food restaurant, must be well nigh impossible, and teaching in a high school would send chills down your spine. If you guessed that ephebiphobia is the fear of teenagers, you’d be right. Just imagine trying to parent a teen if you suffer from Ephebiphobia! It’s difficult enough, from what we hear. While it’s true that teenagers can be difficult and moody, we still don’t see the reason to have a mortal fear of them!

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