Strangest Phobias In the World

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A phobia is classified as an anxiety disorder, or a fear that is above the normal accepted levels, focused on a particular object, or specific situation. In most cases these phobias make at least some level of logical sense, such as arachnophobia, which is the fear of spiders. Most people are not on good terms with large spiders, so it makes sense that a person might develop of a fear of them.

On the other hand, there are some phobias that really do defy logical sense. How a person can have an anxiety disorder over the sun, for example, is anyone’s guess, but just so happens to be real, and classified in the medical journals. It’s called heliophobia, just in case you were wondering. However, if you think the sun is an unusual thing to be afraid of, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Take a look at the top 5 strangest phobias that really exist.


A real, deep fear of time passing is something that is difficult to comprehend. Though, when doing a bit of research, it will be learned that Chronophobia is found mostly in two main groups; prison inmates and in the elderly. When looking at it from this angle, it makes a little more sense. In regards to inmates, it is a fear that they are trapped in a world where time doesn’t seem to pass. In the elderly, it is a sense that time passing means that the inevitable end is drawing near, and nothing can be done about it.

But still, one can’t help but question how anyone gets over such a difficult to identify fear once it has taken root. As an interesting side note, sufferers often develop a related fear of clocks, which makes a good bit of sense.


Phagophobia is classified as an anxiety disorder based around the act of swallowing. Those suffering from the ailment become so terrified of the simple act of swallowing food that they avoid it at all costs, often resulting in severe weight loss, and eventually malnutrition.

Interestingly enough, this phobia is entirely separate from anorexia; the perception that one is fat and needs to lose weight, and not considered to be related. At least not directly.

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Now we start getting into the really strange and inexplicable territory. Omphalophobia is a fear based around your own and others belly buttons. Understanding how such a phobia develops, and how it gets so bad that some sufferers refuse to even take of their shirts, even to get into the shower or bath, is probably something best left to the experts. The rest of us can only scratch our heads, and wonder what exactly went wrong.


This is perhaps the most interesting on the list, because although it makes no sense, it is probably something that everyone can relate to, at least on some level. Panphobia is described, in a nutshell, as a fear of everything. But that isn’t as simple as it sounds. The victims of this crippling, rather horrific phobia suffer from a persistent dread that something is wrong, with everything, all the time.

Or to put it another way, dreading some inexplicable evil that is ever-present, yet can’t fully be identified, and cannot be driven away. Those familiar with the works of HP Lovecraft might have an idea of this, given the term Cosmic Horror was coined in his short stories. Truly the stuff of nightmares, and a terrible thing to try and imagine.


Last we have the logical conclusion to the list. Phobophobia is, as you might have guessed from the name, a deep-rooted anxiety about developing a phobia. It might not make sense initially, but when reading the above-mentioned listed condition, you might get some idea of what this particular mental condition is based around. In fact, you might even say that the two are in the same ballpark. Either way, if you’re reading this list and don’t have one of the above, a breath of relief is probably in order.