Metaphysics & Psychology
Scientists discover 'fear of holes'
By T.K. Randall
September 9, 2013 · 31 comments
Crumpets are a common trypophobic object. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Gordon Joly
A previously unrecognized phobia of objects filled with holes could be a human survival instinct.
A peculiar new phobia known as trypophobia has emerged following research by British scientists this week. The fear typically involves an irrational aversion to objects that are clustered with small holes such as crumpets or even bubbly chocolate bars.
Having mostly gone unrecognized as a phobia until now, researchers surprisingly discovered that as much as 16% of the population could suffer at least some aversion to holes. The study was led by Geoff Cole from the University of Essex who discovered that he too suffered from this affliction after being shown a coin with holes drilled through it when he was at school. "I felt a bit nauseous and had to sit down," he said.
Cole believes that the phobia could be a natural survival instinct because objects of this nature share several of the visual characteristics of poisonous animals. "When a trypophobic individual looks at an image, there's a part of their brain - an old evolutionary part of their brain - that's trying to tell them, 'Be careful,'" he said.
Source: The Star
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