What Is Trypophobia?

Published on 13 August 2012 Stock photo - Image ID: 10096637
Published on 13 August 2012 Stock photo - Image ID: 10096637 | Source

Trypophobia is defined as an irrational fear of multiple holes placed closely next to each other. One of the most understandable examples is a beehive; however, anyone who googles the phobia will find themselves bombarded with images of lotus pods photoshopped into people's body parts. As with other phobias, when people with Trypophobia are around trigger objects or images, they may feel a need to itch themselves, they may feel sick or they may run from it, but why would anyone be afraid of holes, especially, photoshopped ones, anyway? There are multiple theories.

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Those afraid of holes in the skin are often afraid of infection. Some of the images created online use a lotus seed pod that has been turned into a wound on someone's body. They change the plant's color to match the skin-tone and add red for swelling and/or blood. Our human vulnerability to infection makes it easier to trust fake images such as these since infection and wounds are a reality. Holes in the skin can be a threat to our health.

28 April 2013 Cicada holes
28 April 2013 Cicada holes | Source


Insects and small animals like to burrow in the ground, in trees and so on; therefore, it is no surprise the sight of holes would cause great concern for some. The mystery of whether or not insects lie within those holes is what makes one panic. Then again, even if the creatures are not in the holes, presently, they could be nearby. It's a survival tool to be able to identify these signs; therefore, it isn't so crazy to investigate.

Poison Dart Frogs
Poison Dart Frogs | Source


Since many poisonous insects and animals have diverse sized spots on their bodies, there is a theory that evolution has taught us to instinctively fear irregular patterns. Examples of poisonous animals with these spots are the dart frog and the Timber rattlesnake. In evolutionary theory, the survivors learned how to identify danger before they became victims; therefore, the families of these survivors know what to avoid, too.

Swiss Cheese
Swiss Cheese | Source


Trypophobia sufferers fear some foods with holes. Perhaps the reason is the same for why skin with holes and/or nature with holes would make someone uneasy; they could fear an infestation and/or impurity within. This type of fear makes it very difficult as many foods naturally have holes in them; especially, bread-based foods and cheese.

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Trypophobia has yet to be officially recognized by the American Psychiatric Association; however, research by scientists Geoff Cole and Arnold Wilkins shows in favor of it being a real phobia; although, they agree it stems from an evolutionary survival skill rather than being completely illogical.

Phobias are about irrational fears, and this article may help some people understand this one. Hopefully, it hasn't made readers believe they have it. It is understandable that after learning about this phobia some question if it personally affects them. If this is the case, there are a number of options to free oneself from this disturbing disease.

Do you think Trypophobia should be recognized as a real phobia?

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© 2014 social thoughts


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social thoughts 12 months ago from New Jersey Author


Thank you for reading and sharing. I am so sorry to hear that. :( Hopefully over time people will come to accept it as a phobia and be more supportive.

Lailab14 12 months ago

I have it and it's terrible. It should definitely be considered a real phobia.

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social thoughts 20 months ago from New Jersey Author


Thank you. I haven't met anyone with it, yet. So, that must have been an interesting way to learn about it. I hope the article does help people. :)

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Sunshine625 20 months ago from Orlando, FL

I never heard of trypophobia until 2 years when a hubber told me they suffered from it. I can't imagine. Of course it's a real phobia if some one is disturbed by it. I'm sure those who have this phobia will feel less alone when they stumble across this article.

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social thoughts 22 months ago from New Jersey Author

billybuc, I agree with you that as long as it affects people, it is real. Thank you for reading!

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social thoughts 22 months ago from New Jersey Author

dragonfly, Thank you for your comment. I hope it didn't disturb you too much. It took me a few days to get over it, myself!

dragonflycolor 22 months ago

I don't have trypophobia, but looking at all these holes and the images people use to photoshop with is disturbing enough. I can't look at multiple holes ever again! Interesting hub!

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billybuc 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

I've never heard of it. Is it a real phobia? As long as someone suffers from it, then it is real. :) Thanks for the education.

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    I have a B.A. in English with a minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies. I have been a goth since I was fourteen, and pagan since fifteen.

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