In order to be considered having a phobia, you need to have a persistent and excessive fear of a certain object or situation for a period of at least 6 months.
This type of anxiety disorder might seem completely irrational to people who don’t suffer from it.
Unfortunately for many people, changing times and technological advances are actually creating a lot more rare phobias that didn’t exist a couple of decades ago.
We also have phobias that are evergreen and have existed since humans started walking the planet.
Phobias are divided into 3 categories, specific phobias that are related to a certain object or situation, social phobias that are related to the interaction with other people and agoraphobia which is related to a feeling of unsafety, usually when the person is outside of its own house.
Are you afraid of spiders or snakes? Those are common phobias shared by millions of people worldwide, so it isn’t added to this list.
The ones added are some of the rarest phobias people can ever have, so let’s check those out.
Also Read: 26 of the strangest traditions around the world that are being done today.
1. Heliophobia – Fear of sunlight
Without the sun, life on this planet isn’t possible. That makes fear of sunlight all the more irrational to people not suffering from heliophobia.
After all, what’s more enjoyable than waking up on a nice summer morning and feeling the sunlight on your skin?
You’ll find that people with heliophobia will do whatever they can to protect themselves from sunlight when going outdoors (like covering with clothing or using a sun parasol).
In the worst cases, people suffering from this phobia will not go out at all when the sun is out.
2. Pogonophobia – Fear of beards
Some people simply don’t like beards. Better yet, they absolutely hate them!
While the actual cause for this phobia is unknown, a person with pogonophobia most probably had an unpleasant encounter with a bearded person in the past or associates beards with bad hygiene or disease.
On the other side of the spectrum, we have pogonophiles, people who actually adore beards.
We can only hope that these 2 people will never meet.
3. Anthophobia – Fear of flowers
A park filled with beautiful flowers, an amazing red rose presented to you by your lover, endless fields of colorful flowers moving graciously in the wind…
You would think these are amazing things, right?
Not for somebody suffering from anthophobia, as they are actually afraid of flowers.
The cause of this phobia is most probably because of the association with either bees (and more specifically the sting of bees) or allergies.
4. Lachanophobia – Fear of vegetables
A very unpleasant and unhealthy phobia to suffer from is lachanophobia, which actually makes you cringe at the sight of vegetables.
It is believed that the cause of this unusual phobia starts in childhood when the child has had a bad experience with vegetables like choking on them or suffering an allergic reaction.
Either way, people suffering from lachanophobia will have to resort to other ways to get their daily dose of nutrients, as overcoming this irrational fear is nearly impossible.
5. Haphephobia – Fear of touching or of being touched
A very rare specific phobia is the fear of touching somebody or somebody else touching you called haphephobia.
This phobia is most probably caused by a trauma from sexual assault, with the person suffering from it referencing regular touches with the violent ordeal they had to go through in the past.
People suffering from this phobia have referred to the touch of somebody else as “burning like fire,” which clearly explains what they have to go through.
6. Xanthophobia – Fear of the color yellow
Another very strange phobia is the fear of the color yellow called xanthophobia. It makes the people suffering from it avoid everything that is yellow.
It’s clear to assume that the unfortunate people suffering from this weird disorder have a very difficult time going about their day in a normal way. Just think of how many places you come across something yellow.
Xanthophobia is one in the list and one of the least occurring of Chromophobias, which is the general name for fear of colors.
7. Chorophobia – Fear of dancing
We all had the feeling (well most of us I believe) of being asked to the dancefloor and being a little hesitant. That feeling is usually associated with the simple fact that you’re uncomfortable with something.
For people suffering from chorophobia, it actually means that dancing absolutely terrifies them and an intense fear hits them if that particular question would be asked. Better yet, they can even start to behave violently when pushed to dance by their peers.
It’s hard to understand where the fear actually comes from, but it has been associated with a strict upbringing in which dancing is considered a sin and the dance is associated with punishment.
8. Nomophobia – Fear of not being able to use your mobile phone
When technological advances come, so do new phobias. A phobia that didn’t exist a few decades ago actually exists today, which is the fear of not being able to use your mobile phone.
This can have various forms, such as the fear of losing your phone, the fear of the battery dying or even the fear of not having a good signal.
While this condition is pretty rare at the moment, we are positive a lot of people will be affected by it as newer generations are basically born with a mobile phone in hand.
9. Turophobia – Fear of cheese
Another strange and highly uncommon phobia is turophobia, which simply means the fear of cheese.
Ever said “Cheeeeeese…” when taking a picture? Don’t do it when somebody with turophobia is around because sometimes it can even go as far as getting a mild panic attack when hearing the world cheese.
One thing is clear, turophobes will get cold sweat if you ever happen to order them a pizza as the sight of molten cheese absolutely freaks them out.
Another strange phobia is the fear of one’s navel. This can either be their own belly button or the belly button of someone else.
Some people suffering from this phobia might simply dislike the way belly buttons look, or might get a full-blown panic attack when somebody touches his or her belly button.
This is another phobia that probably has its origin in childhood through a bad experience causing trauma which is later in life associated with belly buttons.
A navel piercing is out if the question, that’s for sure.
11. Coulrophobia – Fear of clowns
Pogo the Clown, John Wayne Gacy’s clown character, or Stephen King’s Pennywise the Dancing Clown character also portrayed in the recent “It” movies can both be the cause of a phobia called coulrophobia.
While clowns are meant to make children happy, they can be the cause of a very unusual phobia which reflects in actually being terrified for clowns.
Currently, the phobia isn’t listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s categorization of disorders, and even though rare, it’s clear that the panic attacks following merely seeing a clown in action is terrible for the people suffering from coulrophobia.
12. Papaphobia – Fear of the Pope
While papaphobia is a specific fear of the Pope, there are also more general phobias called hagiophobia which means a fear of Saints or Holy things and Ecclesiaphobia which means the fear of anything related to the church or organized religion.
Clearly, papaphobia is the rarest but can result in panic attacks, shortness of breath and nausea at the mere sight of the Pope.
When suffering from papaphobia, visiting Rome and more specifically the Vatican should be scratched from your bucket list.
13. Arachibutyrophobia – Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth
Peanut butter is naturally sticky, so when eating it, it’s pretty easy for it to stick to the roof of your mouth.
Whenever this happens to somebody suffering from the nearly impossible to pronounce arachibutyrophobia, it can cause serious anxiety and severe panic attacks.
Luckily, this phobia is very easy to cure: Suffering from arachibutyrophobia? Simply avoid peanut butter at all costs!
14. Uranophobia- Fear of heaven
For most religious people, going to heaven is the ultimate goal of life. It fills them with a sense of joy that they will be able to spend eternity with the loved ones in the presence of their creator.
For some people who have a firm belief in this concept however, the mere thought of an afterlife creates deep fear and severe panic attacks. This phobia is called uranophobia.
The cause of this disorder is most probably the fear of being judged before entering the eternal paradise.
15. Triskaidekaphobia – Fear of the number 13
We all have a superstition here and there, and being wary of the number 13 is a very common one. The movie “Friday the 13th” probably didn’t help in that sense.
There’s something called the “Judas Theory” which would explain the fear of the number 13 in general, which suggests Judas was the thirteenth sitting at the table with Jesus during the last supper, and he is the one who ratted him out.
Regardless of why the number 13 is considered to be unlucky, t’s not that common that people suffer from Triskaidekaphobia and are terrified with everything having to do with the number 13.
16. Hylophobia- Fear of woods
Fairytales during childhood are supposed to be fun and making a child go to sleep. Some stories, however, have bad elements in it including bad things happening in the woods.
People suffering from hylophobia appear to have taken the fairytales, which usually have a happy ending, the wrong way and a specific trauma involving woods can be the cause of triggering a panic attack in their later years.
When people suffering from hylophobia enter a forest or even an even small place with a lot of trees, it can trigger a severe anxiety attack.
17. Phobophobia – Fear of phobias
The phobia of all phobias is called phobophobia. We didn’t think this sentence would make sense, but for some people it does.
Phobophobia is quite rare and isn’t a phobia that falls into one of the 3 categories that define all other phobias. It’s more tied to general mental illness and anxiety disorders as there isn’t something specific triggering the phobia apart from being afraid of the feelings that other phobias create.
Apart from the fear of effects phobias create, people suffering from this disorder also fear developing phobias, making it similar to the people suffering from hypochondriasis, which is the fear of getting an illness.
This one concludes our list as it’s definitely one of the rarest and strangest phobias people can ever have.