Commonly induced phobia: Trypophobia

It could be the most disturbing phobia dormant in you, you don’t even know about yet. Trypophobia, is a term coined as recently as 2005. And it isn’t even recognized by the medical and/or psychiatrist authorities. It is essentially the fear of clustered small holes, so it implies fear of objects with small holes, such as beehives, ant holes, and lotus seed heads. It sounds okay, but believe me, once you see some images which pop up when you search it on google images, you might feel it is indeed creepy. Here, have a look:

1090137696_93cb482bc2_bSponge 3624498932_643851cdc7 4209118486_2a6d0af929_b 4366809816_c2ba0c2870_b BoredEncrustedShell chocolate Cliona_inconstans-Réunion Corbaea_scandens1-2 crumpet-trypophobia mushroom-fungus  Surinam Toad

If seeing these images make your skin itch, your head spin or make your eyes look away, or a general sense of discomfort then you probably also have trypophobia. Some people are severely grossed out by simply looking at them. The facebook page is seeing an upsurge in the number of likes. Since it hasn’t be researched on much yet, and only causal observations have been made so far, it can only be generally said that the longer you look at such pictures, the stranger you feel, without any rigorous proof or tests. In fact, most of the leading psychologists haven’t even heard of it.

And apparently, half of the people who search about it come to realize that they have this phobia. That makes me think, if the same people really felt the same disgusting feeling they feel now on seeing such pictures, earlier when something like that was there in their vicinity in real. Were they freaked out then also? That could be yes, or no. If yes, then they must be already aware that they feel uneasy in presence of things with small clustered holes. If no, that could mean two things, one, either they hadn’t been in direct contact with such things, which is highly unlikely, yet possible, or that this irrational fear just got induced after looking at the pictures. Well, I’m not criticizing anyone, I myself felt uncomfortable looking at some photos, where I never noticed any such eerie behavior looking at anything in real. The ambiguity can only be cleared when we have some research on the same and some proper scientific literature to read and accumulate knowledge about the same.

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4 thoughts on “Commonly induced phobia: Trypophobia”

  1. What induces the phobia is specifically the google image search. Here you’ll find the grossest most extreme examples, some real and some fake Hollywood make up effects or CGI, and now when you see something ordinary like a sponge or beehive, those images come back.

  2. I had episodes of discomfort long before the Internet rage, looking at real stuff – a cooked slice of eggplant. The eggplant was overripe and had a cluster of huge seeds which reminded me of ticks on a dog’s ear.
    The clustered holes aren’t as bad for me but I can see how they could remind of skin diseases. Eg dishydrosis presents itself as ‘clusters of holes under the skin’.
    Also, my father has never browsed the ‘net and beehives make him feel queasy. He’s not scared of the bees, only of the beehive.
    On the whole I think trypophobia is an innate defence mechanism, same as arachnophobia or herpetophobia. What makes it stand out is that it is a response to a pattern and not to a category, therefore everyday objects may trigger a response.

  3. Perhaps, the reason I can think of is you see these images with much more attention and at a much more magnified view.

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