100 Weird Phobias That Really Exist

Posted January 7th, 2010 by Staff Writers in Health (No Comments »)

As a nurse, you come into contact with all kinds of bizarre and weird conditions on a daily basis. But just when you think you’ve seen it all, you’re going to face a new challenge that your formal nursing training didn’t prepare you for. In order to quickly and correctly identify underlying issues that are ailing your patients, you’ll need to educate yourself on some of the weird conditions out there. Our list of 100 weird phobias may help you when you least expect it.

Social Phobias

These anxiety disorders are triggered by certain types of people, relationships, and social situations.

  1. Venustraphobia: Also known as caligynephobia, this is the fear of beautiful women, and may be caused by low self-confidence or putting too much pressure on appearances.
  2. Anthropophobia: This phobia literally refers to the fear of people but can also mean the fear of having company.
  3. Aphephobia: This phobia causes people to feel afraid when touched.
  4. Autodysomophobia: If you have a bad or "vile" odor, you may trigger someone who has autodysomophobia.
  5. Deipnophobia: Dinner parties, dining and dinner conversation are all off limits for people who suffer from this phobia.
  6. Nomophobia: This modern phobia affects people who are very afraid of losing cell phone contact.
  7. Soteriophobia: Some seriously independent-minded individuals may have soteriophobia, or the fear of becoming dependent on someone else.
  8. Sociophobia: Those who fear being judged by society suffer from sociophobia.
  9. Gamophobia: It’s not just an excuse: some people actually have a valid fear of getting married.
  10. Syngenesophobia: While there are certainly jokes about scary stepmothers or in-laws, this phobia refers to the fear of all relatives.
  11. Ecclesiophobia: The fear of church and going to church is called ecclesiophobia.


Many people are afraid of snakes, rats or bats, but these phobias represent the fear of more random animals.

  1. Ornithophobia: The fear of birds — especially pigeons — is referred to as ornithophobia, and is actually a fairly common phobia.
  2. Lutraphobia: While some people think they’re cute, others are afraid of otters.
  3. Equinophobia: The fear of horses is also called equinophobia.
  4. Zemmiphobia: It certainly sounds frightening: zemmiphobia is the fear of "the great mole rat."

Natural Environment Phobias

Wind, the Northern lights, and even flowers are just too stressful for people with the following phobias.

  1. Aerophobia: Those with aerophobia — the fear of drafts, air swallowing and airborne diseases or germs — may wish to wear face masks, especially in public.
  2. Pteridophobia: For some, being near ferns is too frightening.
  3. Anthophobia: Most people are happy to receive flowers, but anthophobia refers to the fear of them.
  4. Ancraophobia: The fear of wind is also called anemophobia.
  5. Heliphobia: Nighttime hours come as a relief for those who are afraid of sunlight.
  6. Auroraphobia: Those who are afraid of the Northern Aurora lights have auroraphobia.
  7. Chionophobia: Instead of hoping for snow, those with chionophobia must dread it.

Personal Phobias

People who have trouble dealing with certain aspects of their own character or appearance suffer from these phobias.

  1. Spectrophobia: Those who are too afraid to look at their own reflection in a mirror have spectrophobia.
  2. Athazagoraphobia: Athazagoraphobia is the fear of being forgotten, and also the name of this blog.
  3. Gelotophobia: Those who fear being laughed at — and actually evaluate social situations for "signs of laughter and ridicule" — suffer from gelotophobia

Physical Objects

From red lights to knees, here are some weird phobias involving physical objects and body parts.

  1. Selenophobia: Selenophobia is the term for the fear of the moon.
  2. Asymmetriphobia: If you’re afraid of mismatched socks or asymmetrical objects, you have asymmetriphobia.
  3. Aurophobia: Most people would be ecstatic to have the chance to find gold, but people who suffer from aurophobia are petrified of it.
  4. Ereuthophobia: The fear of red lights is called ereuthophobia.
  5. Genuphobia: Knees can cause great irritation and fear in people with genuphobia.
  6. Automatonophobia: The fear of human-like figures, like dummies or wax figures, is called automatonophobia.
  7. Atephobia: Visiting ancient Greek or Roman ruins would be a nightmare for those with atephobia, or the fear of ruins and old buildings.
  8. Aulophobia: Aulophobia refers to the fear of flutes.
  9. Dextrophobia: People with this phobia do not like having objects situated to their right.
  10. Linonophobia: Though it’s useful, string is the cause of anxiety for people with linonophobia.
  11. Papyrophobia: Paper is the cause of great anxiety and even fear in people who suffer from papyrophobia.
  12. Domatophobia: One wonders where people with this phobia — the fear of houses and being inside houses — live.

Ideas and Concepts

Certain intangibles cause a lot of anxiety and irritation in some people, even seemingly harmless ideas like depth or newness.

  1. Tachophobia: Anyone who suffers from tachophobia — the fear of speed — may be afraid of riding in cars or trains.
  2. Xerophobia: The fear of dryness is also called xerophobia.
  3. Arithmophobia: Arithmophobia means to the fear of numbers generally, but can also refer to the fear of math, numerals, certain numbers, calculations, and/or calculus.
  4. Bathophobia: This obscure phobia refers to the fear of depth.
  5. Cainophobia: Sometimes called cainotophobia, this is the fear of anything new.
  6. Macrophobia: Doctor’s offices and holiday shopping trips must be nightmares for people who suffer from macrophobia, or the fear of long waits.
  7. Hagiophobia: Holy figures and holy things or ideas are feared by people with hagiophobia.
  8. Sophophobia: Those who are afraid of learning anything new have sophophobia.
  9. Barophobia: While it’s common to have a fear of flying or a fear of heights, others have a fear of gravity, or barophobia.
  10. Rhabdophobia: This anxiety disorder means several things: the fear of magic and a magic wand, being beaten by a rod, or being very harshly criticized.
  11. Symbolophobia: Figurative and symbolic ideas can become a legitimate phobia for some.
  12. Chronophobia: The fear of time is referred to as chronophobia.
  13. Mnemophobia: The fear of memories is called mnemophobia.
  14. Philosophobia: It can be a challenging subject, but for some individuals, philosophy is legitimately terrifying.


Sitting, standing and walking are sore spots for people who suffer from these and other phobias.

  1. Ablutophobia: Ablutophobia is the fear of washing or bathing.
  2. Amaxophobia: The fear of riding in cars is referred to as amaxophobia, and can cause problems especially for those living in suburban areas.
  3. Agyrophobia: Even if there are no cars around, some people still suffer from the fear of crossing roads.
  4. Chorophobia: Weddings, prom, and parties must pose lots of problems for those who suffer from the fear of dancing.
  5. Ergophobia: If you miss a day at the office, you could try telling your boss that you’ve suddenly developed ergophobia, or the fear of work and/or functioning.
  6. Kyphophobia: Being in the stooping position causes too much anxiety for people with kyphophobia.
  7. Mageirocophobia: Cooking is a source of anxiety for people with mageirocophobia.
  8. Scriptophobia: A common phobia is the fear of speaking in public, but scriptophobia is the fear of writing in public.
  9. Sitophobia: The fear of eating is called sitophobia, and can become very serious.
  10. Basiphobia: Those who are too afraid to walk or stand because of the possibility of falling have basiphobia.
  11. Cathisophobia: Conversely, this is the fear of sitting down.

Group or Race Phobias

These prejudicial phobias are the result of the fear of random groups of people.

  1. Bolshephobia: Some people are afraid of meeting or hearing about Bolsheviks, and their disorder is called Bolshephobia.
  2. Apotemnophobia: People with amputations cause fear and anxiety in those who suffer from apotemnophobia.
  3. Walloonphobia: This disorder refers to the fear of Walloons, a group of people of German and Celtic origin living in Belgium.
  4. Parthenophobia: Those who are afraid of virgins and young girls suffer from parthenophobia.
  5. Ephebiphobia: This term refers to the fear of teenagers.
  6. Pedophobia: Children are actually frightening to people with pedophobia.
  7. Dutchphobia: Some people believe that the Dutch are upsetting, perhaps because of their traditional costumes.
  8. Heterophobia: Homophobia is a well-known, though controversial, phobia, but heterophobia refers to the fear of heterosexuals.
  9. Transphobia: The fear of transsexual or transgender people is called transphobia.
  10. Hoplophobia: The fear of people who own firearms is called hoplophobia.
  11. Iatrophobia: Those who are afraid of or discriminate against doctors have iatrophobia.

Sickness and Injuries

The fear of particular diseases and injuries are outlined in this list.

  1. Albuminurophobia: This very specific phobia refers to the fear of kidney disease.
  2. Aeronausiphobia: Phobialist.com describes this phobia as the fear of vomiting due to airsickness.
  3. Amychophobia: People who suffer from amychophobia — the fear of scratches — are probably very protective of themselves and their skin.
  4. Anklyophobia: Some people are actually afraid that their joints will stop working, and this fear is called anklyophobia.
  5. Blood-injection-injury type phobia: This odd phobia group includes trypanophobia (the fear of injections); hemophobia (the fear of blood) and the fear of invasive medical procedures.
  6. Body dysmorphic disorder: Also referred to as BDD, this body image disorder causes people to imagine that they have or will develop physical deformities.
  7. Ataxiophobia: The fear of not being able to use your muscles properly is called ataxiophobia.
  8. Injury phobia: If you’re afraid of being injured, you have injury phobia.
  9. Syphilophobia: One hopes that having a fear of syphilis would inspire more responsible romantic encounters.
  10. Chemophobia: Those who get too carried away with organic diets or going green may be at risk for chemophobia, a condition that refers to the fear of all chemicals and preference for natural elements.
  11. Rhypophobia: People who are afraid of defecation have rhypophobia, and are at risk for other health problems.

Truly Bizarre Phobias

In this list, you’ll find some of the weirdest phobias out there, from the fear of purple to the fear of constipation.

  1. Allodoxaphobia: If you like to voice your thoughts on a particular subject, you may want to stay away from people with allodoxaphobia, or the fear of opinions.
  2. Porphyrophobia: The color purple causes some people to be very afraid and develop this condition.
  3. Arachibutyrophobia: If you’re desperately afraid of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth, you have arachibutyrophobia.
  4. Blennophobia: Unless you’re in a science fiction movie, you probably won’t come into contact with slime, but some people are afraid of it anyway.
  5. Cardiophobia: Although the heart is your lifeline, some people are afraid of it.
  6. Coprastasophobia: Some people are actually terribly afraid of becoming constipated.
  7. Didaskaleinophobia: If you’d rather skip class, just claim this phobia, which refers to the fear of going to school.
  8. Nomatophobia: This phobia refers to the fear of names.
  9. Lipophobia: The fear of fats in food may be blamed on the red meat scare of 1977.
  10. Hormephobia: Hormephobia refers to a person’s fear of experiencing shock, which is probably made more likely after an anxiety attack.
  11. Sesquipedalophobia: This term refers to the fear of long words, and seems like a cruel joke.
  12. Phobophobia: This condition is described as a rare disorder and refers to the fear of having a phobia.
  13. Hellenologophobia: Confusing, highly technical terminology — including Greek terms — make those with hellenologophobia anxious.
  14. Cymophobia: It’s understandable that some people might be afraid of waves, but this phobia also refers to the fear of "wave-like motions."
  15. Pteronophobia: The idea of being tickled with feathers is upsetting for those with pteronophobia.
  16. Optophobia: Opening one’s eyes is just too stressful for some individuals.

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