Phobias are the fear of something. Usually the fear is quite common – most of us know someone who is afraid of heights or spiders or public speaking. But it’s possible to be afraid of lots of other things. Here are some of the most unusual phobias I’ve come across:
This is the fear of snow. Which if you’re a winter sports fan sounds pretty unusual but it often centers around a fear of snow flakes, making it an awkward phobia to have in certain climates.
A not very appropriate name for the fear of long words. This isn’t a phobia I suffer from but its name is certainly offputting. Some people are afraid of long words because they are afraid they will mess up their pronunciation or otherwise make themself appear stupid.
Fear of gravity reversing itself
I haven’t been able to find an official name for this (although Barophobia covers the fear of gravity itself) but the thought of one of the laws of nature turning itself literally upside down isn’t one I’d personally like to dwell on.
This one is the fear of asymmetrical things. At first it doesn’t appear too worrying until you remember that lots of things in the world are asymmetrical – whether it’s an odd number of leaves on a plant or slight differences between the left and right side of our bodies.
The fear of sleep is fortunately quite rare as we all need sleep (some more or less than others). It’s a fear that we normally grow out of – children are more prone to this phobia, especially if they’ve suffered from nightmares recently.
Another awkward worry to have: the fear of crossing bridges. If you’re unfortunate enough to suffer from this then your journeys could get a lot longer. Modern architecture helps prevent disasters like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge that collapsed spectacularly in 1940, just a few months after it was first opened to the public.
Or the fear of black – so not a phobia that’s popular amongst Goths. Black is regularly found in the world so this phobia is one that you’d want to get cured or at least reduced.
Whilst a lot of us suffer from this fear it’s usually only as a result of superstition. This is the fear of Friday the 13th. A few poor people do suffer from this rather more strongly. They are badly affected between one and three times every year.
Fear of cracks in the pavement
Another one I couldn’t find an official name for. This is the phobia of stepping on cracks in the pavement and is normally coupled with the worry that the cracks will open up and maybe swallow you up or – in one of the more extreme examples I found – suck you into another dimension entirely.
This one is a fear of beautiful women – hard as that may be for most men to believe. It’s thought to be related to the rather more common social phobias where people are afraid of social situations.