20 Of The Most Bizarre Fears That People Actually Have

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Every single person on the planet has at least one fear or phobia. Some are totally normal fears, including heights, the dark and spiders. However, some phobias are much more odd than others. This list is a compilation of the most bizarre phobias that people actually have – including the fear of falling asleep, and the fear of not having cell phone service. Some of these fears sound so unbelievable that most people will write them off as being untrue, but the truth is that these are legitimate phobias that people deal with every day!


Aibohphobia is the fear of palindromes (words that are spelled backwards). Ironically, aibohphobia is a palindrome in itself.


Ablutophobia is the fear of bathing. It appears to show up more often in women and children. The phobia can manifest in many ways, from a fear of showering to a complete phobia of all washing, including washing hands and brushing teeth.


Hylophobia is the fear of wood, trees, and forests. It usually stems from a traumatic experience surrounding these things, such as being beaten with wood, or getting lost or attacked in a forest.


This fear is exactly what it sounds like – the fear of making decisions. This usually stems from a fear of being responsible for another person, and a fear of leadership. People with this phobia tend to avoid situations which force them to make decisions, and rely heavily on authority figures for guidance.


Descendophobia is the fear of walking down any form of incline, including stairs or hills. People suffering from this phobia often feel dizzy, lightheaded, and nauseous when placed in situations which force them to do so.


Panphobia is basically the fear of everything. Often it is described as the constant fear of some “vague and persistent unknown evil”.


Gephyrophobia is the fear of crossing bridges. People with this fear are petrified of even seeing a bridge from afar. Sometimes, seeing photos/movies involving bridges can set off an anxiety attack in the sufferer.


Ergophobia is the fear of work. While many people believe that this fear is just a representation or exaggeration of common laziness, it is actually considered a complex because it usually stems from a deeper root of social anxiety or fear of failure.


Trypophobia is a fairly common fear, as it is the pathological fear of objects with irregular patterns of holes, usually found in various biological organisms and plants.


Oikophobia is the fear of household appliances. This fear is considered highly unusual and is seen as a form of claustrophobia.


Chronophobia is the fear of time passing. It is most commonly found in elderly people, or in prison inmates, but it can also manifest itself in people with high levels of stress or anxiety.


Nomophobia is the fear of not having cell phone reception or not having access to a phone. The word is short for no-mobile-phobia, and according to researchers, 50% of people have this fear.


Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns. It is more common in children, but reportedly 12% of adults have it as well!


Neophobia is a fear of anything new – new habits, new surroundings, new items. It is basically a fear of change. This phobia generally manifests itself more often in the elderly, but occasionally presents itself in children as well – more often in a fear of new foods.


Philophobia is the fear of emotional attachment (or falling in love). The possibility of falling in love and building a relationship may get philophobic people uneasy, sick, perspire, panic, and breathless. These problems will keep them away from any type of relationship for the rest of their lives.


Phagophobia is the fear of swallowing food or pills. Often, this fear stems from a bad experience with choking or allergies. This phobia can be very dangerous and life-threatening, as it can lead to malnutrition and extreme weight loss.


Heliophobia is a fear of sunlight. While this isn’t considered a very dangerous fear, it can actually be very serious and lead to a Vitamin D deficiency. Some sufferers get so nervous when presented with the need to go out into the sunlight that they experience breathlessness, dizziness, extreme sweating, nausea, dry mouth, and many other symptoms.


Haphephobia is the fear of being touched. It is sometimes triggered by sexual assault or another trauma, but more often, it seems to develop without any known cause. This fear is particularly strange because it isn’t actually linked to any form of social anxiety or fear of vulnerability. People with haphephobia might freeze up, cry, shake, sweat or even run away when someone tries to touch them.


Somniphobia is the fear of falling asleep. This phobia is often linked to anxiety disorders or obsessive compulsive disorder, as the phobia itself is related to fear of the unknown. Often the sufferer is afraid of what might happen if they fall asleep. One fears being ‘out of control’.


Omphalophobia is the fear of belly buttons. Typically, this fear begins in one’s childhood, particularly stemming from a negative or traumatic experience associated with this body part.