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Understanding Fear of Holes – Trypophobia

Trypophobia is a severe dread of small holes. This phobia makes people feel queasy, disgusted, and uneasy when they observe small, tightly packed holes, such as a honeycomb. This fear of holes can be triggered through seeing items or images such as strawberries, coral, scabs and lesions, pomegranates, spotted animals (leopards, Dalmatians), foam, sponges, honeycombs, and even pebbles.

Some people only respond to irregularly shaped holes, whereas others feel uncomfortable with tightly packed holes of any size.


The major symptom is revulsion or disgust, but not usually terror. Skin crawling, chills, goosebumps, gagging or nausea, sweating, increased heart-beat, dizziness, shaking, panic, and general unease are other possible symptoms.

Possible Causes

Scientific research has not found a reason for trypophobia. However, there are some theories:

Evolutionary: Some researchers believe the dread stems from an intrinsic aversion to poisonous or hazardous creatures.

Visual: High-contrast colors and particular graphical layouts have been discovered to cause trypophobia in people.

Spectral Properties: Trypophobic pictures of king cobras and blue-ringed octopuses may cause an unconscious threat detection reaction.

Another explanation is that trypophobia evolved to avoid germs or infectious diseases, as many persons with the fear respond to pictures of rashes, scabs, and other skin disorders.

red cherry fruits on clear glass bowl

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