Phobias, fears and terrors. Some of these reactions are evolutionary, yet others are steeped in media created mythos. They elicit a broad and varied response from the people they plague, some mild and others very extreme. Come join me as we explore the dark recesses of the mind that send chills down your spine and keep you awake at night.
1. Snakes – Ophidiophobia
They’re legless, slimy and some are venomous. Although crucial to any ecosystem as they are usually apex predators, if you ask any Ophidiophobe and they will tell you to burn them all with fire. Surprisingly, the fear of being bitten or eaten by a snake is so ingrained in the human psyche that some scientists believe snakes might have made us evolve quicker. Yes, humans’ predecessors were so scared of snakes that they evolved to avoid them.
2. Spider – Arachnophobia
Yes, there was a time in history, or in our evolutionary scale, that everything in nature was out to get us, from poisonous snakes, to venomous cacti, to spiders and their skin melting venom. Oh, you didn’t know that? There are spiders in the world that carry venom that will eat away at your skin. It’s the one in the picture above. Sweet dreams.
3. People – Agoraphobia
Agoraphobia makes people fear other people. In extreme cases, the Agoraphobe can lock him/herself in their house for months, paranoid that people will try to harm them if they venture out. In all honesty, they probably aren’t that far off from reality.
4. Heights – Acrophobia
This fear is understandable because even though you might come across a non-venomous snake/spider or a lot of people that have no intention of hurting you, falling from a certain height will usually have the same result: you in a puddle of blood, either horribly maimed or completely dead.
5. Fear of the Dark – Nyctophobia
No, this has nothing to do with the Iron Maiden song, but it is the constant fear that something’s always near (which happen to be lyrics from the homonymous song- I’m sorry but I couldn’t help it).
6. Thunder and Lighting - Astraphobia
Come on, it’s just a natural phenomena…which will kill you just as effectively as drowning (1 in 2 million), getting hit by an asteroid (a surprising 1 in 250.000) and giving birth to conjoined twins (1 in 200.000). Getting struck by lighting is the least likely of the three aforementioned at 1 in 3 million.
7. Fear of Flying – Aviophobia
You’re travelling at 610 mph at 35.000 feet in the air. One loose screw or distracted pilot and you will plummet to your untimely demise. What’s there to be afraid of?
8. Dogs – Cynophobia
They’re so adorable though…with their speed, agility and mouth full of teeth designed specifically to tear away at their prey’s flesh. Absolutely adorable.
9. Public Speaking
"Just imagine everyone naked" they say, "take deep breaths" they say, but the only thing that will make you feel better is running straight out of that amphitheatre with your arms flailing over your head like one of those advertising dancing balloon men.
10. Small Spaces – Claustrophobia
I’m sorry the image above almost made me scream and I’m not even claustrophobic. Not that everyone else loves small spaces, but these individuals have serious mental anxiety when dealing with tight, dark and confined space. And that’s yet another reason why you can be an astronaut.
Are there any other phobias you might want to add? Let us know in the comment section below.