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Mental Health

10 Strange Phobias You Didn’t Know About

We are all aware of the common fears. Arachnophobia (fear of spiders), claustrophobia (fear of confined spaces), and trypophobia (fear of holes) are just a few examples of these. Despite the massive list of things people find themselves panicking over, there are several that we are still unaware of. Listed below are ten unique phobias that you might not know to exist. 


Garlic
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1. Alliumphobia

Otherwise known as the fear of garlic, many believe people who undergo alliumphobia is due to the vegetable’s distinct, pungent odor. Because of this, they might make it a point to avoid any other plants or roots with a notably unpleasant scent. 

 


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2. Arachibutyrophobia 

Possibly the most specific fear I have come across is this one. Arachibutyrophobia is the irrational fear of peanut butter becoming stuck to the roof of one’s mouth. Reasons for why include the panic of not being able to remove the substance, or worse, choking on it. Some might impute the phobia to its sticky texture, and therefore only consume it in small quantities. Others prefer not to ingest it at all. 

 

3. Auroraphobia

The Aurora Borealis, more commonly known as the Northern Lights have sprung up some unease in its victims. Why? Similar to ephebiphobia, this irrational fear could originate from the personal experiences of the victim. But the hypnotic colors of these Northern Lights are also known to fill witnesses with dread. At some points, these phobias can coincide with each other. The color blue, which is featured in the Aurora Borealis, also has a fear of its own: cyanophobia. 

 

4. Automatonophobia

People with this phobia don’t exactly avoid humans. Human-like figures are a different story. This unusual terror is sourced from statues, wax figures, and ventriloquist dolls globally. However, it is normal to experience a small bit of hesitation when confronting anything expected to portray a living object. Very rarely, though, does a fear such as this morph into a phobia. 

 


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5. Ephebiphobia 

The song “Teenagers” by My Chemical Romance just gained a whole new meaning. This phobia deals with the fear that some might suffer when exposed to children or adolescents. While it has been reported that it is based on negative stereotypes and the portrayal of young people on the media, others deem it could branch from personal, damaging experiences the victim suffered. 

 


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6. Levophobia

This is the fear of things to the left side of the person’s body. Without even experiencing it, the thought of feeling something or someone directly to their left will send the victim’s adrenaline into overdrive. Some may go as far as guarding the left side of their person at all times to ensure that they will never suffer such a situation. 

 

7. Mortuusequusphobia

This is the fear of common condiments. Yes, you read that correctly. This phobia is specifically targeted to those who dislike ketchup. But this terror can range to mayonnaise, mustard, and possibly even relish. If you are certain you have this phobia, beware of the grocery store aisles. 

 

8. Mycophobia 

I find myself and friends of mine debating over mushrooms more often than not. Mycophobia, however, takes the dislike of this vegetable to an entirely new level. Sufferers of this fear try living life with an aversion to mushrooms, keeping all of their senses clear of shitakes, portobellos, or anything alike. The most probable reason for having this phobia deals with the deadly effects some mushrooms are known for carrying. 

 

9. Octophobia

Surprisingly, the figure ‘8’ is a common source of trepidation for some people. It is reported to be the looping motion and its fail of an abrupt end (which most numbers have). Others speculate this phobia arises from the number’s superstition and its connection to the number 26, whose digits are also a sum for 8. 


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10. Symmetrophobia

Albeit symmetry is a satisfying sight for most, some declare it to be the opposite.  Most are driven to obsession over the fact of perfection, and victims might suffer this apprehension due to their insecurity. Some “triggers” of those with symmetrophobia include butterflies, plants, and even honeycomb. 

But it is important to remember that the effects of these phobias vary from person to person. There are no lists of common reactions shared through every victim. Furthermore, not everybody is a peanut butter fan or take a liking to the number 8, and who are we to judge? If you find yourself or somebody you know suffering a severe level of aversion or irrational anxiety towards any of these listed above, I advise you to seek professional advice before self-diagnosing. 

Demi Lotz

Valdosta '24

VSU Freshman who loves writing, animals, and Italian food!
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