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22 Real Phobias That Most People Find Hard to Comprehend

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Inherent to the human journey is the omnipresent companion of fear, intricately entwined within the fabric of our existence. Whether triggered by the disconcerting presence of a spider or the sudden brilliance of lightning, fear stirs a profound response that reverberates through each individual. While certain fears find their roots in logic, functioning as essential survival instincts, others manifest seemingly irrationally, leaving observers bewildered by their enigmatic qualities.

Online users shared phobias that people never understand or find weird when they admit to them.

1. Glitter

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Every time you splash on some shine, remember someone somewhere would be scared of you.

An online user says, “I can’t stand it (glitter) on me. I get nervous when people have a fleck of it on their face, I stress at Xmas time because the s**t is everywhere.”

All that glitter is indeed not gold.

2. Jupiter, the Planet

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It may be 444 Million miles away from the Earth, but the giant ball of hydrogen and helium scares some people.

A user says, “A gas giant. With a core. And many satellites. It’s out there. It’s huge. It has hurricanes the size of our planet.”

3. Cotton Balls

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These fluffy little white thingies are scary to some people.

An online contributor said, “It’s not really a fear per se, but I get a nails-on-a-chalkboard skin-crawling cringy feeling at the thought of cotton balls tearing apart. If I open up a pill bottle and it has a cotton ball in it, I need someone else to take it out because if it catches on the rim and tears a bit, it will send shivers down my spine.”

4. Bye, Bye Butterfly

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Those colorful little bugs that are the epitome of beauty and grace give some people goosebumps, and not the good kind.

An online user narrates, “My girlfriend is terrified of butterflies. It’s 50% that they’re gigantic bugs, and the other 50% is the chaotic nature of their flight. The unpredictability of their movement really bothers her.”

OK, when you explain it like that, it’s a little disturbing.

5. Thick Utensils

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An online user says, “Eating anything with a thick-edged spoon. (I’ve) had it since my brain injury. (I’m) too embarrassed to tell anyone.”

They’re not alone in this phobia. Another user says, “I have no real reason, but I only use thin utensils! I don’t like thick ones. I truly don’t know what makes me feel this way.”

What’s the acceptable width of a fork and a spoon?

6. Fish

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An online user contributes, “Fish freak me the f*** out. I can handle them in fish tanks, but if there’s ever any around me at the beach, I can’t do it.”

Another user adds, “They are just slimy and go crazy spasmic when they’re dead. The eyes be staring into your soul.”

It’d have been better if fish had eyelids.

7. No Bun in the Oven

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It may be only a nine-month affair, but pregnancy is scary enough for some women.

A user states, “The thought of something growing and moving inside me makes me nauseous. Some women say that’s the best part of pregnancy, but the idea absolutely terrifies me.”

8. Wind Socks

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Why would anyone be terrified of a windblown giant sock? An online user tells us: “You never know what they will do next.”

Another user says they fear “Wind socks and wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube men.”

If it’s any consolation, they can’t run after you.

9. Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who’s Afraid of Them All?

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A user discloses that they’re afraid of mirrors. “Since I got jump scared as a 6-year-old, I’m afraid of mirrors. It’s more the fear of seeing something unexpected in the mirror. Not many get the causality if not explained.”

10. Closing Eyes in Water

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A user says, “I can’t close my eyes during shower or in a pool because I have no idea why my brain thinks I gonna get attack[ed] by a shark.”

Let’s blame the sharks but in a swimming pool?

11. Lady Bugs

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An online user says she’s always laughed at because they fear ladybugs.

It must be the polka dots.

12. Belly Buttons

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“Belly buttons freak me out, which people also find hilarious.”A user says.

“The belly buttons (phobias) are rational to a degree. Your belly button probably holds a few thousand kinds of bacteria not found anywhere else on the planet.” Another user explains.

Now a new fear has been unlocked.

13. Buttons

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“Buttons, I hate them, I won’t wear shirts or anything with them.” A user says.

Another user agrees with them, “I literally thought I was the only one. I think it’s part of my “fear of holes” thing; buttons just make me sick.”

Cute as a button? Not for this one.

14. Floating Balloons

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With all their colorful cheerfulness, why do you have to fear balloons? One user says, “I don’t like how they bob about.”

Fair enough.

Another contributor narrates, “I dated someone who was phobic of balloons, but specifically latex.”

15. Baked Beans

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“Baked beans. I can’t even look at a can of them. If someone is eating them in front of me, I need to leave the room.” Says an online contributor.

Would they survive in an apocalypse?

16. Escalators

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“Am I afraid of the big shiny moving stairs with incredibly sharp edges? Pardon me, I guess!” One user says.

The skill to get on and off an escalator is enough to induce fear.

17. I Won’t Stand Under Your Umbrella

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Did you know umbrellas can be scary? One user explains, “… All those sharp pointy bits at roughly eye height, and the way they open. It’s an irrational phobia.”

Having to go out on a rainy day is pretty unpleasant.

18. Can Potatoes See?

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A user says they are “100% being freaked out by potato eyes.”

19. Duck, Duck, No Goose

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Some animals can be terrifying, but guess what one online user is terrified of?

“I’m terrified of one animal. I’ll hold a venomous snake. I’ve swam with sharks. I’m the person in my household to deal with spiders. My limit? Geese. F*** geese.”

20. Masks

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An online user shares, “I don’t like masks; when I was younger, I wasn’t scared of them. It’s now that I am older I’m scared of them.”

Blame 2020.

21. Ctrl Z

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One user discloses their phobia: “Permanence, I’m scared of things that can never be undone.”

Aging will be difficult for them.

22. Fear of Washing

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Ablutophobia is a fear of water or washing. People with this phobia experience intense anxiety or panic when they come into contact with water or the idea of taking a bath or shower.


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