We are all subject to phobias; from a fear of heights to a fear of spiders, almost every person in the world will have something they are afraid of. However, you may be surprised to find out about some of the bizarre and crazy phobias which some people in the world (including some famous people!) have. If you think that your fear is irrational, this may change your mind!
A fear of bright colours is called chromophobia (or Vegasophobia?) and affects a small number of people in the world. American actor Billy Bob Thornton is a famous chromophobe, and is said to refuse to enter a room with any pre-1950s furniture because of his phobia.
This brings a whole new meaning to the scary teenagers who lurk outside your house on a Saturday night. Ephebophobia is a fear of young people, or rather youth-hood in general. It can manifest itself in either an irrational fear and panicking, or else just a strong dislike of young people; who’d have thought that the old people moaning about the youth of today actually have a genuine phobia?
Have you ever been walking around the park on a weekend afternoon and seen a butterfly? Well most of us have – but not all of us will have run away from said butterfly due to suffering with Lepidopterophobia. Sure, butterflies can be annoying…but terrifying? Well Nicole Kidman is reported to suffer from a butterfly phobia – if she’s scared of small annoying things, it’s a wonder she married Tom Cruise!
Having gum stuck in your hair is every schoolgirl’s nightmare; having to cut a chunk of your precious hair out just because the class bully decided that he needed a place to stick his gum that wasn’t the underside of the desk. Well this is going a whole step further – Chiclephobia is the fear of chewing gum. If you share in this bizarre phobia, you are not alone – Oprah herself encountered a childhood trauma with gum, going as far as to prohibit her staff from chewing it in her presence. Weird!
We’ve all woken up and stared back in disbelief at the reflection in the mirror after a night out on the town. Now this isn’t always caused simply by being horrifically unappealing to the eye (in fact some of us embrace our lack of beauty wholeheartedly), but can include viewing oneself on video tape and in photographs.
Are you afraid of tigers? Lions? Wolves? Well if you are, you’re perfectly normal. However people suffering from Botanophobia are not scared of the mammals which could easily rip them into bite-sized chunks of flesh. No, they are afraid of plants. It’s unclear how many desert-dwelling beings live on this planet, but I can imagine a number are Botanophobes.
Do you hate waking up for work on a Monday morning, and relish the coming of the weekend? Well you could suffer from Ergasiophobia – a phobia of work! This is a very rare condition (and, believe it or not, not commonplace in the teenagers of today) but rather usually stems from a mental illness or an issue at work, so don’t think that you can tell your boss that you are Ergasiophobic and need some time off work!
There is quite possibly no greater feeling in the world than peeling the plastic cover off a new phone or laptop screen. Neophobics disagree, and find that new things are off-putting and even worthy of fear. Mild Neophobics will find that they simply like routine, but more extreme cases result in Technophobia – a fear of new technology! In the Apple generation, where a new iPhone is released every other week, how do these people live?
Do you remember those feather dusters your granny used to have? Well if you remember them with something akin to fear and panic, you may suffer from Pteronophobia. This fear of being tickled by feathers (more specific than the general fear of being tickled by feathers) may stem from being excessively tickled as a baby/child, or even just having a bad experience involving feathers and tickling. It does make the mind wonder…
To finish off this list of crazy phobias, the title goes to Panphobia – a fear of everything. Yes, you read that correctly; panphobics are afraid of everything! They always have a sense of foreboding and nervousness which is completely unrelated to a specific source, leading them to be labelled as having a fear of everything. If you think that you find it hard to confront your phobia of spiders, spare a thought of people who don’t even know what they are afraid of!