Whether it’s heights, spiders, or things that go bump in the night, everyone is scared of something.
However, some people have more peculiar fears. Nobody will be too mean if you’re scared of snakes (even Indiana Jones has this fear), but the reaction you’ll get from fearing peanut butter or showers might be a little less understanding.
Almost all documented phobias have a name that usually utilizes a Latin or Greek word for the dreaded thing, with the suffix -phobia (from the Greek phobos, meaning fear) tacked onto the end. This can result in some hard-to-pronounce words, but hopefully you won’t be suffering from any of these phobias any time soon.
This sensation, savored by dogs and peanut butter lovers alike, is a source of acute anxiety for some people. It would be understandable for those with peanut allergies, but even non-allergic sufferers of this phobia go through some similar symptoms, including shortness of breath, panic, and rapid heart rate.
This is a particularly inconvenient phobia. Supposedly this phobia is more prevalent in women and children than men, and can lead to problems that include skin ailments and, of course, body odor.
There are few more beautiful sights than a night sky filled with stars. It is truly awe-inspiring, though for some it has the potential to lead to an existential panic. Enter in sufferers of siderophobia. Considering there are more stars in our galaxy than there are grains of sand on all the beaches and deserts on Earth, siderophobes have a lot to trigger their fear. On a clear night, it’s probably best to keep the curtains closed.
Wind is rather tough to avoid, so anemophobes usually aren’t having a great time. In general, they don’t like to go outdoors. However, the anxiety can also be stirred up by hand driers and air vents. It’s likely that wind fearers have had a bad experience deep rooted into their subconscious, such as being blown over by a gust as a child, or an umbrella turned inside out during a storm.
Big, small, innie or outie, everybody has a belly button. Go to any beach or public pool and there are sure to be a plethora on display. It is thought that this fear comes from thinking about the umbilical cord, although it’s not clear why that in itself is scary. The sight, thought, or touch of a belly button can be too much for these people.
Although cheese can strike fear in the hearts (or bowels) of those with lactose intolerance, that is an entirely different issue. Turophobes are likely to associate cheese with some type of traumatic experience. The phobia can be generalized to all cheese or specific types. It’s unclear if there’s a correlation between fear and pungency.
Vicious cycle, self-fulfilling prophecy, whatever you want to call it — phobophobes are pretty much in danger at all times.