TRYPOPHOBIA is a pathological fear of holes, particular those that are clustered together in a pattern. Trypophobia was coined in 2005 and derives its name from the Greek τρύπα (trýpa) “hole” and φόβος (phóbos) “fear”. According to Cole and Wilkins (2015) trypophobia is a “fear of holes” in which “Sufferers report aversion to visual stimuli comprising particular configuration of holes. The stimuli are usually clusters of holes of any variety that are almost always innocuous and seemingly pose no threat” (p. 3). The phobia itself claims many sufferers although not currently recognized by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), or any other scientific literature. Sufferers of trypophobia call themselves trypophobes. The shock factor that some of these images give to you are absolute debilitating to others. Trypophobes come from all walks of life from all around the world and have varying levels of trypophobia. Many individuals never know they are trypophobes until their first exposure to a trypophobic image. Amazingly enough we are continually amazed at how many visitors divulge to us that they never knew they had this phobia until only recently.
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Trypophobia has long been attributed as an artificially created hoax since it does not meet the DSM’s criteria of significantly interfering with a person’s normal routine (Fern, 2015); However, speak to anyone that suffers from this fear and the phobia is all too real. Only as recently as 2015 has this phobia garned some well deserved academic research. Some of this research speculates that trypophobia may be an exaggeration of our tendancy as human beings to avoid dangerous circumstances, as a result of clustered instances of these holes (Howarth & Diels, 2013). This Darwinian argument states that the aversion to these instances of clusters of holes occurs were a survival mechanism that innately led primitive humans to have a predisposition to fear these clusters of holes as they may pose a potential threat. Still other arguments focus on the spatial frequency of patterns and their ability to provide a phobic stimuli through as an optic response (Cole & Wilkins, 2015).
Why trypophobia exists is a question we may never answer as it effects different people with varying frequencies of fear. Whether this is your first exposure to these clusters or you are a repeat visitor just in it for the feel welcome to our site.
Cole, G., & Wilkins, A. (2015). Fear of holes. Psychological Science, 1-18. Retrieved from http://repository.essex.ac.uk/7734/1/2013-210.pdf
Fern, B. L. (2015). Hoax categorization. Peak Campus: Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman. Retrieved from http://eprints.utar.edu.my/1550/1/IB-2015-1102695-1.pdf
Howarth, P., & Diels, C. (2013). The 4th international symposium on visual image safety. VIMS.
- 60We desccibe the phenomenon with videos and images. Images containing clusters of holes are presented in an arrangement that claims to rank the likelihood they will induce fear. Early images in the series include fruits such as oranges and pomegranates. Then, clusters of holes with a possible association with danger…
- 51Arnold Wilkins and Geoff Cole of the University of Essex's Centre for Brain Science were the first scientists to investigate trypophobia. They believe the reaction is based on a biological revulsion, rather than a learned cultural fear. In a 2013 article in Psychological Science, Wilkins and Cole write that the…