Many people around the world have strange phobias that aren’t just uncomfortable moments you feel when you’re near spiders, germs, or heights. Fear is a healthy response that protects the individual experiencing it from potentially harmful situations; it can be managed through reason or logic. However, a phobia is an extreme or irrational fear that changes the normal fear response into something that is difficult or impossible to manage. A normal fear will only affect you when you have to confront it, such as actually seeing a spider or boarding a plane. If you have a phobia, you’re likely to worry about triggering the fear and obsess about coming in contact with the object of your fear, which leads to altering your daily routine in an attempt to avoid anything that reminds you of that fear, which could be friends, family or even your job! Now that you’ve got a grasp on the definition of a phobia and the difference between it and fear, you’ll find 50 specific, strange phobias below that are quite interesting!
It is the fear of washing or bathing. This is one of the strange phobias which I never heard of until recently. Ablutophobia, like many of these phobias, can be traced back to a traumatic past event.
It is the fear of amnesia. I can't imagine anyone who would want amnesia, but I personally don't know anyone who's afraid of it.
Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, are beautiful to many people, however not for those who have auroraphobia. It’s the fear of Northern Lights.
It’s the fear of gravity. Many people develop this fear from frequent falling injuries due to falling in the past.
It is the fear of slime. Eww! I don't know anyone who LIKES slime, so this one makes sense.
Chionophobia is the intense dislike, fear, or aversion to snow. I’m sure the people who have this phobia live in warm climates! Certainly they don't live in Michigan, where I'm from.
Coprastasophobia is the fear of constipation. Many people with this phobia take laxatives daily or avoid many different foods that could cause constipation.
Crystallophobia is the fear of crystals or glass. It's a good thing, I suppose, that we have plastics nowadays.
It’s the fear of insanity. I can see how this would be a phobia; if there's a history of mental illness in your family, you might have a deep fear of this.
It’s the fear of justice. People with this phobia avoid breaking rules or the law. It makes sense, I guess; it's never a bad idea to follow the law, right?
It’s the fear of freedom or being free. It’s hard to believe any American would have this phobia, because of the American culture, but there are some who do.
Ephebiphobia is the fear of young people or teenagers. There was a story in the news recently about a school teacher who suffered from this phobia, and was suing the school district she worked for, because they made her teach children.
Euphobia is the fear of hearing good news. I wonder how loved ones break good news to people with this phobia. In the form of bad news?
Francophobia is the fear of France or French culture. I don't suffer from this, for sure! I love so many things from France!
It’s the fear of laughter. Warning: bad pun on the way! Geliophobia is no laughing matter. (I warned you!)
Gelotophobia is the fear of being laughed at. Many people are afraid of being ridiculed or laughed at; however, people with this phobia have it to a much more extreme degree.
It’s the fear of writing or handwriting. Can you imagine suffering from this phobia, before computers or typewriters were invented?
It’s the fear of being robbed. I imagine people who suffer from this phobia have dozens of locks on their doors, like Mel Gibson in "Conspiracy Theory."
Hodophobia is the fear of road travel. I can't think of what might cause this; a bad car accident, maybe?
Homichlophobia is the fear of fog or humidity. People tend to fear the fog because it is hard to drive in and can lead to an accident.
It’s the fear of ideas. I can't imagine how you would possibly avoid having an idea. Or are you afraid of other people's ideas? This one is difficult to think about.
Kathisophobia is the fear of sitting down. I wonder what would cause this phobia; what could have triggered this fear?
It’s fear of stealing or theft. This phobia is similar to the fear of being robbed. The word makes sense, since we've all heard of kleptomaniacs (people who are addicted to theft).
Lockiophobia is the fear of childbirth. People with this phobia tend to fear how a pregnancy may change their life and body, if the child will be born normal and healthy or if they will die giving birth to the child.
It’s the fear of words. I can't imagine! Is it written words, spoken words, or both? How horrible!
It is the fear of long waits. None of us like long waits, but are we truly afraid of them? Probably not.
It is the fear or hatred of poetry. I find poetry soothing, so this is difficult for me to imagine. Also, I wonder what would trigger this phobia?
Neophobia is the fear of newness, novelty, anything new, change, innovations, unfamiliar things. I wonder if this is related to Ideaphobia in any way?
It’s the fear of numbers. I've heard that Billy Bob Thornton suffers from this phobia, and refuses to read or write down the number that signifies how old his children are each year.
It is the fear of rain or of being rained on. I wonder if an umbrella helps, or if people who suffer from this can't go outside at all in the rain.
It’s the fear of opening one's eyes. Many people develop this phobia by seeing something traumatic either in person or on television, and in attempt to block out those images, they close their eyes and become afraid to open them and see the horrific event.
It’s the fear of bald people. How terrible would this be? There are bald people everywhere!
It’s the fear of your mother-in-law. I'll hold all of the nasty jokes about mothers-in-law, since phobias can be so crippling... but it is tempting.
It is the fear of thinking. Again, I can't imagine how this phobia would start. How horrible!
Pupaphobia is the fear of puppets. This one I kind of understand... have you seen how creepy some of those old marionettes can be? *shudder*
Rhytiphobia is the fear of getting wrinkles. I think a lot of celebrities suffer from this; maybe that's why they all seem addicted to cosmetic surgery?
It’s the fear of dirt. Again, this one I can understand... I can see how compulsive cleanliness can dive into an actual phobia of dirt.
It is the fear of writing in public. I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone write in public... maybe waiters, taking orders? Or police officers, writing tickets? That scares me, so sure.
It’s the fear of long words, which is incredibly ironic, since the word itself is so long! I wonder if this stems from embarrassment at not being able to pronounce a long word?
It’s the fear of things to the left or left-handedness. Since there used to be such a stigma against being left-handed (it was considered a spiritual weakness), I can see how a phobia around this may develop. If you suffer from this, stay home on August 13, which is known as Leftie Day.
Sophophobia is the fear of knowledge or learning. Again, this one seems horrible! And I can't grasp how this would have started; maybe embarrassment at school as a child?
It’s the fear of outer space. With so many scary movies, like Pitch Black and Alien, set in outer space, I can see how this might start.
Symmetrophobia is the fear of symmetry. Since so much in nature is symmetrical, this one must be horrible to try and deal with. How would one avoid symmetry?
It’s the fear of being contagious. I imagine people who suffer from this wearing a surgical mask when they're sick, or washing their hands constantly.
It’s the fear of the number 13. I wonder if this might stem from some sort of superstition? We're all sort of taught to be extra cautious on Friday the 13th; could that be how this phobia starts?
Urophobia is the fear of urine or urinating. People with this phobia have to confront this fear frequently!
It’s the fear of clothing. Umm, what? It's just not socially acceptable to go around without clothes on in most cultures, so how would someone cope with this?
It’s the fear of the color yellow or the word yellow. How sad! Can you imagine being terrified of the sun, daffodils, sunflowers, or lemons? That's summer!
It’s the fear of dryness. I wonder if people who suffer from this phobia are afraid of dryness on their skin, or of the desert, or both?
Zelophobia is the fear of jealousy. Jealousy is horrible, and can cause all sorts of conflict, so I can see how this would start, anyway.
Although phobias aren’t funny or exciting, they are interesting. It’s always an amazing opportunity to learn about the world and what the people around us experience daily. I hope you enjoyed learning about phobias and the different types of strange phobias that actually exist. Which phobias were most interesting to you?
Important Note: If you believe that you may have a phobia, please do not try to diagnose or treat yourself. Seek professional help immediately, and that professional will provide you with an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.