Fear Of Holes: What You Need To Know About Trypophobia

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If the sight of a cluster of holes makes you feel uneasy, you aren't alone.

Even though trypophobia (the fear of small holes) isn't recognized as a mental disorder, researchers say 16 per cent of people have this fear.

Triggered by things like sponges, condensation, honeycombs, lotus flowers and even soap bubbles, trypophobia can cause anxiety and nausea in sufferers.

trypophobia
Lotus flowers are one of many trypophobia triggers.

But you're probably wondering how you can have a phobia that doesn't really exist. Well, researchers from the University of Essex suggest the fear of hole clusters is linked to a fear of some dangerous animals which share the same visual characteristics. "Although sufferers are not conscious of the association, the phobia arises in part because the inducing stimuli share basic visual characteristics with dangerous organisms, characteristics that are low level and easily computed, and therefore facilitate a rapid nonconscious response," Geoff Cole, the study's lead author noted.

According to Google trends, trypophobia has been a frequently searched topic since the late 2000s. In 2015 the search term spiked after model Kendall Jenner revealed she suffers from it.

Check out the video above to learn more about this common fear, including why Photoshop might be to blame.

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