The 15 Weirdest Phobias That Exist

A review of some of the most curious phobias that are known.

There are many rare phobias that some people suffer from. A phobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by an irrational fear of a stimulus (a situation, an object, a place, an insect, etc.).

The person suffering from a phobia does everything possible to avoid that stimulus that causes discomfort, and this avoidant behavior can interfere with the normal functioning of their daily life. From the fear of clowns to the fear of the number 13, there are many strange and inexplicable phobias.

Know the rarest phobias that exist

Here is a list of the 15 rarest phobias that exist, although it is possible that there are other phobias not yet typified and that may have a smaller incidence in the population.

1. Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia: fear of the number 666

Those who suffer from hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia feel an irrational fear towards the number 666 and avoid things related to this number, such as a building in which the number is clearly displayed, a license plate of a vehicle or a public transport with that numbering. The origin of this phobia is linked to Satan or the Antichrist, therefore it is more common for people who have grown up in Christian families to suffer from it.

2. Xanthophobia: fear of the color yellow

Among the rarest phobias, xanthophobia is an irrational fear of the color yellow. Anything that contains yellow produces great anxiety for people who suffer from this type of phobia. The sun, yellow paint or even the word ‘yellow’ generate anxiety symptoms in the xanthophobic.

3. Turophobia: fear of cheese

People with torophobia cannot see or smell a single piece of cheese. Whether it’s mozzarella, cheddar or roquefort, the cheese gives them a feeling of intense discomfort. This is due to a previous traumatic experience, usually in childhood. Without a doubt, it is one of the rarest phobias known.

4. Crematophobia or Chromatophobia: fear of money

This is one of the rare phobias that attracts the most attention. Crematophobia or cromethophobia is the irrational fear of money. For these people, it is very difficult to go to the supermarket or buy a bus ticket. Some crematophobes are afraid of the corrupting power of money and others may have suffered a trauma caused by money. Do not confuse the fear that some people feel about touching bills or coins that other people have touched, since in this case it would be fear of germs (misophobia or germiphobia).

5. Somniphobia: fear of sleeping

This phobia causes an irrational and excessive fear of the act of sleeping. People who suffer from it panic to think that while they are sleeping something terrible is going to happen to them, for example, that they will stop breathing and die. The cause may also be the fear of having nightmares due to having suffered them repeatedly in the past. Obviously, this phobia is linked to insomnia.

6. Coulrophobia: fear of clowns

The image of a clown produces panic, fear and anguish to the person suffering from coulrophobia. Although it is common for this phobia to be perceived as something funny by people who do not have this fear, the subject who experiences the phobia of clowns or coulrophobia can trigger important anxiety attacks.

To read more about coulrophobia you can visit our article:

  • Further article: ” Coulrophobia (fear of clowns): causes, symptoms and treatment “

7. Ombrophobia: fear of rain

Like most of the rarer phobias we have described, this phobia is very little known. People with ombrophobia have an uncontrollable fear of getting wet from rainwater. These people can become extremely obsessive in order not to get wet, which leads them to idolize the objects that are used to protect themselves from the water such as umbrellas, raincoats or awnings.

8. Hypopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia: fear of long words

It refers to the irrational fear of the pronunciation of long and complicated words, so the person suffering from this phobia will avoid mentioning these types of terms. Many times, this phobia is accompanied by social shyness and fear of being ridiculed. Due to the complexity of the word used to describe this phobia, the words sesquipedaliophobia or longsofobia are currently used.

9. Omphalophobia: fear of belly buttons

This phobia refers to the fear of seeing or touching your own belly button or that of others. These people have serious conflicts when bathing because they cannot look at their navel or touch it. The physiological symptoms that occur range from irritability, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, a feeling of rage along with anger, as well as a feeling of total helplessness. Without a doubt, one of the rarest phobias.

10. Hylophobia: fear of trees

Refers to fear of bushes, trees, and forests. It usually develops in young children, as it is linked to the fear that movies present about enchanted forests, in which witches or evil monsters can be found.

11. Triscaidecaphobia: fear of number 13

Triscaidecaphobia is the irrational fear of the number 13. Those who suffer from this anxiety disorder avoid anything or anything that contains the number 13. On the other hand, the phobia of Friday the 13th is called parascevedecatriaphobia.

12. Papaphobia: fear of the Pope

Papaphobia is the fear or fear of the Pope (the Holy Father of the Vatican, head of the Catholic Church) or everything that has to do with him. Some experts think that it is part of the phobia of the sacred or the saints. In any case, it is enough to stay away from the Holy See to avoid reaching worrying levels of anxiety.

13. Uranophobia: fear of heaven

People with uranophobia fear heaven and life after death. It can develop in believers who think they will be judged upon death. This is one of the rarest and most complex phobias to treat, since it is not possible to do habituation therapy.

14. Pogonophobia: fear of beards

This phobia was discovered in 1851, and refers to the irrational fear that many people feel towards beards, especially towards longer and more populated ones. Despite the fact that beards are not a danger to people’s health, pogonophobes feel fear and nauseous when they see someone with facial hair.

15. Trypophobia: fear of holes

Those who suffer from this phobia manifest real panic, nausea and cold sweats when they see small holes close together or things that contain holes. For example, a honeycomb or the holes in a brick.

Bibliographic references:

  • AndrĂ©, C. (2006). Psychology of fear. Fears, anxieties and phobias. Barcelona. Editorial KairĂ³s.
  • Bourne, EJ (2005). The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook, 4th ed. New Harbinger Publications.
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