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Is Trypophobia a Real Phobia?

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Is Trypophobia a Real Phobia?




This week talk about an Unusual Phobia: Researchers Suggest New Reason for Fear of Bubbles


What is Trypophobia? Trypophobia is the fear of a cluster of wholes or bubbles. Tracey Staedter the article author describes the phobic reaction, comparing the phobic response from that of a snake phobic to  “people have similarly uncontrollable reactions to seeing clusters of bubbles”


Trypophobia is a recently discovered phobia which could actually date back to when we where hunters and gathers. Many phobias stem from the amygdala wanting to keep us safe; we fear snakes and spiders because they killed our ancestors


Tracey explains “…Trypophobia which means “fear of holes” in Greek), was first documented in 2013.” and goes on to explain “…some scientists have suggested that the extreme reaction to round shapes occurs because they resemble spots or circles found on poisonous animals, including snakes and the blue-ringed octopus.”



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Could Trypophobia come from evolution saving us from parasites?


“Pathogens and parasites have been one of the main threats to humans and animals during their evolutionary history,” said Tom Kupfer, a postgraduate researcher in psychology at the University of Kent in England. Avoiding them reduces the chance of getting sick, he told Live Science.”


Many phobias are learnt through observational learning or through a emotional experience. But research is indicating that some phobias, especially those to avoid dangerous things (mainly poisonous animals) can be passed through our DNA


Tracey goes on to talk about an experimenter where groups of people were monitored when shown different images  of clusters of wholes to represent diseases. Most people felt disgust, the natural reaction reaction to poisonous or gone-off food stuff  – things that will cause us harm


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But people suffering from trypophobia had a different reaction. “The researchers reported that when the people with trypophobia looked at images with clusters of holes or bubbles, they said things like, “The primary feeling is one of inexplicable and extreme revulsion..” 


Read the full article here: fear of holes 



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Trypophobia the Rare Fear of Small Holes

Trypophobia the Rare Fear of Small Holes


This week the talk people with a rare phobia of tiny holes.

Researchers have found that a small minority of people suffer from trypophobia. Trypophobia is a fear of clusters of tiny holes. This phobia is so rare that it has been hardly studied.  In the first academic study, researchers found that suffers can make people sick, itch, shake and even cry.

Our ancestors might have had an inbuilt fear of patterns, as patterns were associated with dangerous animals, and trypophobia may be the result of left overs from this survival mechanism. The same logic is asked by scientist about the reason so many people have arachnophobia (the fear of spiders.) Is this a past survival mechanism to stop us being bit by poisonous spiders?

As with all fears they can take over and get out of control, the arachnophobia can become scared a cartoon spiders and the trypophibia can become irrationally scared about soap bubbles or bubbles found in aerated chocolate, like Aero bars.

Psychologists Dr Geoff Cole and professor Arnold Wilkins of Essex University, started the research into tryophobia after  a colleague reported having the phobia. “It is quite extraordinary that images of something as innocuous as the bubbles in a bar of chocolate can bring about this level of aversion,” said Dr Geoff Cole

The research was completed on 300 males and females aged between 18-55 yrs old, using different images of small holes. The experiments results shown that an amazing 18% of the women and 11% of men had an aversion to the holey image finding them either uncomfortable or repulsive.

Read more about the research, results and findings into this interesting and rare phobia: Trypophobia Reasearch and Results

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