Trypophobia: The Fear of Closely-Packed Holes in Every Day Objects

Trypophobia is a fear of closely-packed holes in every day objects, which occurs due to the geometry causing the brain to trigger reactions such as nausea, shortness of breath and a racing heart.

If you’ve found yourself feeling ill at the sight of an English muffin, or the dreaded familiar ad that pops up on many popular web pages (see image below) – you probably suffer from trypophobia.



Certain psychologists believe this fear may actually be a latent phobia that is a hangover from ancient threats such as beehives, poisonous flowers and venomous creatures.

Professor Arnold Wilkins, a psychologist at the University of Essex, elaborates on the origins of this fear/discomfort in a piece for The Conversation:

“The disgust is probably an evolutionary mechanism that promotes avoidance and has survival value.

Images of mould and skin lesions have mathematical properties similar to those of images that are trypophobic.

Our current work explores whether they also induce a large oxygenation of the brain in addition to being generally uncomfortable. 

Perhaps discomfort is a useful mechanism not only for avoiding excessive oxygenation, but also for rapidly avoiding objects that provide a threat in terms of contamination. 

It may be that in people with trypophobia, the mechanism is overworking.”

Browse the gallery below to test the limits of your latent trypophobia, and be sure to share your thoughts by commenting or joining our official Facebook group!





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