A phobia is an extreme or irrational fear that someone may have towards a specific object or situation. The following AskReddit users share some of the most unexpected phobias that they have experienced or come across.
Source list available at the end.
My aunt has a phobia of bananas. If she sees/smells one, she has panic attacks. For her 40th birthday last year, my uncle made her a card with a pop-up banana in it. She opened it, fainted, and smashed her head on the floor when she fell. It was the funniest thing I’ve ever witnessed.
My ex (5-year relationship) was deathly afraid of touching or drinking milk. She once had a small bit of milk splash on her while putting some dishes into the dishwasher, and she literally fainted on the spot, landing on top of the open dishwasher door. Luckily for her, there were no utensils in the utensil rack in the front or she might have been stabbed or maybe just badly gouged by a spoon.
The weirdest thing about it was that she could get other dairy products (such as yogurt/ice cream) on her, and it would not affect her. Even though those products are mostly curdled milk. She also had no problem eating food that had milk as an ingredient such as instant mashed potatoes (which calls for milk).
My biggest question for her always was, “How are you going to handle getting pregnant and lactating? You are going to be carrying around two warm bags of milk with you all of the time and will most likely get a lot on you.” (She did plan on having kids).
I work with someone who is deathly scared of going over bridges.
This is rather unfortunate since we live in a part of the country which is VERY inconvenient to travel to and from without going over a big bridge to the north or one to the south.
She has to make a massive detour by going west to get pretty much anywhere.
My neighbor growing up was horrified of turning left in any way. She’d make a series of right turns to drive absolutely anywhere. On foot, she’d do this weird loop-like turn where she’d turn to her right and do a 75% circle to be able to go left. Other than that, she was completely normal and very cool.
My ex-housemate is terrified of balloons. Every party or event that we attend with balloons is a nightmare. She will literary run out of the room. I guess it’s because she expects them to pop every second. She also hates the feeling and the sound of rubbing one.
I’m afraid of cotton balls. It really only affects me when opening bottles of medication or during arts and crafts.
Anything related to the potential or perceived danger to my eyes. I cannot watch girls curl their eyelashes with that strange, torturous looking scissor clamp thing. Also, I fear getting a paper cut on my eye, so I make sure paper never gets too close.
Putting on clothes while being wet.
I’ve never heard of anyone else feeling like this, and my wife thinks I’m weird.
It takes me at least an hour to dry off after I take a shower before I’m comfortable enough to get dressed. Even wearing a towel immediately after getting out is difficult.
I have no idea what the problem is. It just disgusts me on a profound level.
I’m terrified of people touching the inside of my wrists and my kneecaps. I’m afraid my veins will explode or my kneecap will discombobulate. Yeah, it’s stupid… but still!
My mom won’t leave her hometown.
I have a daughter, and she came to visit me once, which apparently involved a lot of crying and pulling over to throw up. She won’t do it again.
Basically, if she is away from familiar surroundings, she sort of loses it.
Seaweed or anything that grows in lakes, ponds, etc. It’s so absolutely ridiculous, but I can’t help it. Anytime I’m in a boat and look at it or swimming near the weeds in a lake, I have a full on panic attack. Hyperventilating, shaking, and heart pounding out of my chest. Oddly enough though I have no problem if it’s floating or out of the water. I’ve tried to get over it. I’ve even gone scuba diving in a lake to try to condition myself to control freaking out.
My aunt is afraid of buttons. Wearing shirts around her makes her uneasy
Falling asleep with the closet door open. I’ve never gone to sleep with it open. I’m always afraid I’ll see something in my closet or something will come out.
I’m also scared of going up the stairs when it’s dark behind me. I always either run or walk up the stairs backward.
Vomit. Thinking about vomiting makes me panic. Being nauseous makes me panic. Being around a puddle of vomit or (God forbid) someone else vomiting makes me seriously panic.
I know a girl who is afraid of a collection of small holes. So pumice stones, sponges, and Aero chocolate bars are a no-go for her.
In elementary school, there was this one kid that threw up if you told him the pudding he was eating was cheese.
My girlfriend is terrified of fish. She won’t eat anything that comes from water and generally won’t go swimming in open bodies of water. She occasionally tries to but has panic attacks if a fish touches her.
I had a friend who was deathly afraid of “things that looked alive but were not” if that makes any sense.
I know a woman who is afraid to call people on the phone.
I can’t stand it when characters in movies or TV series get into an embarrassing situation. It’s totally unbearable for me, physically unpleasant.
I have to pause or cover my eyes. This makes watching situational comedy quite hard for me, which is a problem because I like to have a good laugh. The effect, however, ceases to show itself if I am more familiar with a character. For example, if it’s a long running TV series or a sequel to a movie I’ve already watched.
My housemate is scared of birds. She won’t park her car under a tree for fear of a bird pooping on it. I do the same, but my fear is spiders dangling down and racing across my windscreen when I’m driving.
I am not really scared of weapons or even sharp objects like knife, only needles. I feel a tanginess even when I think of a needle. It’s so small and can literally just get inside me without warning. I am really scared of needles.
Telephone. I absolutely hate when I have to call someone, or someone calls me. I sweat a lot when talking on the phone with anyone.
Flying insects creep me out.
I think they’re going to raid my ears or nose. Or just enter my eye out of nowhere. I even hate them buzz around me.
“Just leave alone you flying devil!”
When I was in kindergarten, I got a really bad paper cut between my pointer finger and my thumb. I went to tell the teacher and she yelled at me for interrupting her.
So I stood there dripping blood, waiting for her to finish her pointless conversation with her colleague.
My mother had a student who was afraid of peacock feathers. She wore a pin to school one day that had a peacock feather on it, and the kid absolutely freaked out and had to be taken out of the room by another teacher because she wouldn’t let my mother near her.
I am terrified of my heart beat. Hearing it to be exact.
If I can’t hear it I’m cool like nothing is wrong. If I get active or something else that gets my heart beat up to the point I feel/hear it in my ears, I freak out.
If I am laying in bed and I notice it I am definitely not sleeping for the next 2 hours until I calm down.
Once I almost completely broke down during an ultrasound of my heart. The tech turned the monitor and, “hey! check it out, its your heart!” Showed me the screen and turned on the sound. Jesus fuck that just wrecked me.
In case someone has this particular question, I have a completely healthy heart and resting heart rate. No tachycardia or anything. Just hearing it drive shivers up my spine.
Most people don’t know this, but I absolutely hate kissing. I find it disgusting. The mouth is such a dirty place. I also hate the sounds that come from kissing. The irony of this situation is that most of the girls that I’ve kissed have said that I’m awesome at it. Little do they know, I’m trying not to gag the whole time.