35 Weird Phobias You Never Knew Existed
Who knew a PB&J could cause so much anxiety?
Arachibutyrophobia: Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth
Marie C Fields/Shutterstock
It’s an uncomfortable feeling for everyone, but the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth is one of those full-blown weird phobias for some. Some people can handle eating small amounts, but others avoid peanut-based products like peanut butter sauces and ice creams. It can be rooted in a broader phobia like the fear of sticky textures or choking, or it can occur independently. If you think a fear of peanut butter sounds weird, you’ll be really freaked out by these 46 weird facts that most people don’t know.
Alliumphobia: Fear of garlic
Your favorite garlic bread recipe could cause a panic attack for someone with an extraordinary fear of garlic. Far from a dislike of the potent vegetable’s taste, people with alliumphobia might start to shake or feel unable to breathe when around garlic, or other pungent plants like onions and chives. Here’s what your strange fears can reveal about your personality.
Phobophobia: Fear of having a phobia
Unfortunately, people with this condition are fighting a losing battle: the fear of acquiring a phobia.
Sesquipedalophobia: Fear of long words
Beware: If you have sesquipedalophobia, you might not want to hear your diagnosis. With twisted irony, it is the morbid fear of long words.
Ablutophobia: Fear of bathing and cleaning
Cut some slack to that odd-smelling person in line ahead of you—she might have the fear of bathing and cleaning, which is more common in women and children than in men. This is one of those weird phobias that generally stems from a traumatic past event, and can lead to social isolation.
Dextrophobia: Fear of having objects to your right
With a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder, some people can’t stand to have objects at the right side of their body, which could make it hard to drive in the fast lane with vehicles to the right. On the flip side, levophobia is defined by fear of things to the left side of the body. These are the 12 small habits that say a lot about your personality.
Siderophobia: Fear of stars
You might enjoy stargazing on a clear night, but not everyone gets that same awe-inspiring feeling. Those with siderophobia have a fear of stars, and might keep their curtains closed to avoid getting overwhelmed by how vast and uncontrollable the universe is.
Arithmophobia: Fear of numbers
You might have hated math class in grade school, but multiplication tables could give genuine anxiety to people with the fear of numbers.
Logophobia: Fear of learning how to read
People with the fear of words function fine in conversation, but when shown written words, they could become breathless, shaky, or paranoid. Most people with logophobia don’t know how to read, and refuse to try to learn.
Plutophobia: Fear of money
Some of us might almost wish we had this problem: the fear of money. This is one of those weird phobias that can manifest as dread around money itself, the chance of getting rich, or wealthy people. Find out the obscure phobia you might have and not even know it.
Ideophobia: Fear of reason or ideas
Those with extreme distrust or fear of reason or ideas have ideophobia. Maybe that explains why your competitive coworker keeps shutting down your ideas.
Geliophobia: Fear of laughter
People with the fear of laughter—not to be confused with gelotophobia, the fear of being laughed at—might hate chuckling or the sound of others’ giggles if they have one of these weird phobias. Some just feel slightly uncomfortable, but others could start to hyperventilate. As if a fear of laughter isn’t weird enough, check out these weird facts about laughter.
Omphalophobia: Fear of belly buttons
People with the fear of belly buttons try to avoid touching their own, even in the bath, and might cover their belly buttons with a bandage or avoid going to places full of exposed navels, like the beach.
Xanthophobia: Fear of the color yellow
A school bus could be deeply uncomfortable for someone with xanthophobia, the fear of the color yellow or the word itself.
Eleutherophobia: Fear of freedom
People with the fear of freedom generally can’t do anything without taking an order from someone else, making them much more inclined to be followers than leaders. They might be scared of the increased responsibilities that come with more freedom.
Chaetophobia: Fear of hair
Whether their own or other people’s tresses, those with chaetophobia have the fear of hair. They might hate running their fingers through their locks, or even be immobilized by a clump of hair on the floor. Believe it or not, a little fear is good for you. Here are the 6 health benefits of being scared.
Octophobia: Fear of the number eight
Experts think the fear of the number eight it could be rooted in superstition, with octophobics afraid of the inescapable—flip the number on its side and it looks like an infinity sign. These weird phobias could translate to fear of the symbol for eight, or objects in groups of eight.
Symmetrophobia: Fear of symmetry
A perfect circle is not the friend of someone who’s afraid of symmetry. They might think of symmetry as perfection or extreme beauty that they aren’t worthy of being around. People with asymmetriphobia, on the other hand, have the fear of asymmetrical things.
Kathisophobia: Fear of sitting down
While you look forward to sinking into a comfy chair after a long day, some people experience the fear of sitting down.
Aurophobia: Fear of gold
A fancy new necklace won’t impress everyone—especially those with the fear of gold. They could have panic attacks with nausea, sweating, or an irregular heartbeat when they see someone else wearing the metal. Aside from gold jewelry, here are some other weird causes of feeling anxious.
Nostophobia: Fear of returning home
Home might be where the heart is for some, but others have the fear of returning home. These people might have experienced abuse there, or be afraid of shame if coming back is seen as failure.
Caligynephobia: Fear of beautiful women
Also known as venustraphobia, the fear of beautiful women goes way beyond nervousness or intimidation around someone pretty. Those with a phobia might feel chest pain, get numbness in the extremities, or faint when around attractive women.
Nomophobia: Fear of not having a mobile phone
For nomophobiacs, a phone is more than a cell; it’s a prison. You probably have nomophobia and don’t even know it!
Kinemortophobia: Fear of zombies
Combining two popular anxieties—the fear of death and the taboo on cannibalism—Kinemortohobiacs can’t stomach zombies. Did you guess this one? It’s a no-brainer. (Ha.)
Pogonophobia: Fear of beards
That toddler sitting on Santa’s lap isn’t freaking out over the stranger hugging her; she may have Pogonophobia, the fear of beards. No wonder TV villains are always stroking theirs. This is why so many people fear the number 13.
Somniphobia: Fear of sleep
The phobia that will keep you up at night, Somniphobia is the fear of sleep. If you have it, avoid sheep-related math, warm milk, and NPR pledge drives.
Neophobia: Fear of new things and experiences
Most people feel anxiety over major life changes. Severe neophobiacs might feel the same way over changing their underwear.
Kakorrhaphiaphobia: Fear of failure
Hate losing? You’ve got Kakorrhaphiaphobia: the fear of failure. Aww. Have we told you how smart and pretty you are? Maybe you think about failure a lot but here are the 30 things you probably never thought about until now.
Ataxophobia: Fear of disorder
Has anyone ever called you “OCD”? Are you vacuuming crumbs out of your keyboard right now? You may have Ataxophobia: the fear of disorder.
Hippopoto- monstro- sesquippedaliophobia: Fear of very long words
Proving linguists can be real jerks, this very long word refers to the fear of very long words. If you have it, steer clear of James Joyce, chemistry, and telling people what your phobia is called. If you’re afraid of long words, you’ll probably never write any of them out. But here’s what your handwriting reveals about your personality.
Metrophobia: Fear of poetry
If you have metrophobia, your favorite love poem might sound like this: “Roses are terrifying. Violets are terrifying. Sugar is terrifying. I hate poems.” Metrophobia is the fear of poetry.
Genuphobia: Fear of knees
If you had your way, it would be trousers and maxi skirts for everyone! Genuphobia is the fear of knees.
Linonophobia: Fear of string
Would you sooner go nude than sew up a hole in your clothes? You may suffer linonophobia: the fear of string. If you have this phobia, you literally can’t take a joke.
Aulophobia: Fear of flutes
Anyone with this phobia will want to steer clear of bands.
Ostraconophobia: Fear of shellfish
Ostraconophobia is the fear of shellfish, which is an especially hard phobia if one’s first name is “Chef” or “Long John.” For those of you who aren’t afraid of shellfish, here is what your favorite foods reveal about your personality.