Everyone is afraid of something, be it spiders or clowns, there is always something that’ll get our hearts racing, but for an unlucky few their fears become full blown phobias.
The difference between being afraid of something and having a phobia is a subtle one. If you have a phobia you’ll go to great lengths to avoid your fear, but more importantly phobias tend to be irrational. That’s why there’s no such thing as a phobia specifically for a knife wielding clown chasing you, it’s not unreasonable to be afraid of something like that.
There’s a long list of phobias but these are probably the weirdest ones we found.
Ablutophobia, The Fear Of Bathing
Ablutophobia is the bizarre fear of bathing, washing, or cleaning. It tends to be most common in children and surprisingly is more common in girls than boys. Normally as children grow up they get over their fears, however an unlucky few never get over their fear of soap and water. People with Ablutophobia often feel ashamed of their fear because most us value cleanliness.
Like most phobias it’s believed to be caused by a specific traumatic event for example, numerous film fans claim to have developed a fear of showering after seeing Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.
Barophobia, The Fear Of Gravity
Being barophobic must be fucking awful because unless you’ve got a spare rocket you’re going to struggle to escape your fear. There are two types of barophobia, one where someone fears that gravity will crush them and the other that gravity will simply disappear causing them to float away.
It’s believed that the traumatic event that causes the phobia will have something to do with gravity like falling from a great height and being injured. It could even be as trivial as learning the consequences of losing gravity or too much pull of it.
Cherophobia, The Fear Of Happiness
Cherophobia, the fear of happiness, is when people deliberately avoid experiences that make them feel good. It’s believed that a fear of happiness develops because people believe that if they are happy then something bad will happen afterwards that will ruin their happiness. This fear is more prevalent in non-Western cultures because they tend to place less of a value on personal happiness.
Gephyrophobia, The Fear Of Bridges
Gephyrophobia is the anxiety disorder or specific phobia characterised by the fear of bridges. As a result, sufferers of gephyrophobia may avoid routes that will take them over bridges.
Some possible explanations of gephyrophobia may be the fear of the structural integrity of the bridges itself, or the fear that the bridge will collapse if they try to cross it.
Globophobia, The Fear Of Balloons
Being afraid of balloons is pretty bizarre and takes two forms. The first is a fear of balloons in general, while the second is a fear of the sound made when balloons pop. The fear makes globophobics avoid parties and special occasions such as birthday parties, weddings, or any event that could involve balloons.
Globophobia isn’t common, but one notable sufferer is Oprah Winfrey. Those who suffer from the phobia will refuse to touch, feel, or go near a balloon in case it pop. They also tend not to trust people who are holding balloons.
Koumpounophobia, The Fear Of Buttons
Koumpounophobia is a rare phobia, but surprisingly it does exist. It’s the irrational fear of buttons both those on technology and on clothing. Sufferers tend to avoid clothes with buttons. Just the sight, of a button can trigger a full blown anxiety attack. Shockingly one in 75,000 people are known to experience this weird fear, that’s about 800 people in the UK.
It’s believed that traumatic events in the past cause the fear, with some Koumpounophobics fearing buttons because they couldn’t do them up leading to teasing and bullying in school. Some kids may have choked on buttons leading to a lifelong fear.
Funnily enough this fear may have helped shape the modern world, Steve Jobs is believed to have had a strong aversion to buttons leading to him making touch screen technology.
Turophobia, The Fear Of Cheese
As fears go this has to be the weirdest, what’s cheese supposed to do to you? Turophobics have an irrational fear of all cheeses. This phobia is particularly rare but a 22-year-old student in Kent claims to suffer from the phobia.
Melissa North claims to be so frightened of cheese that she can’t even walk past it in the supermarket counter without fear of crying.
She said: “Touching or eating cheese for me is like someone who is scared of spiders holding a tarantula. It’s terrifying.”
To be fair, cheese can cause nightmares so maybe she’s onto something? Or maybe she’s just lactose intolerant.