You're afraid of spiders? Get in line. Nowadays, there are thousands of other phobias competing for attention, and while the biggies like fears of heights or open spaces still reign supreme, there are a multitude of others that fly under the radar. Here are just a few of the obscure phobias of the world that aren’t getting the attention they deserve.
- Metrophobia: A Fear of Poetry
Sure, there are plenty of high school students who break a sweat at the thought of analyzing a Shakespearean sonnet, but people suffering from metrophobia are downright terrified of poetry. The phobia can take several different forms—some people are frightened by particular poetic forms, while others are disturbed by certain topics. Treatment for metrophobia involves therapy focused on patients embracing the creative freedom allowed in poetry.
- Barophobia—A Fear of Gravity
What goes up must come down, and for some, that’s a terrifying prospect. People living with barophobia spend much of their lives worried about gravity and the effects that it can have on them. Some barophobics are afraid of falling and the role that gravity plays in the process, while others are worried that they might be crushed by gravitational force. Finally, some people dealing with barophobia have the irrational fear that gravity will stop working and they will float off into space.
- Lachanophobia—A Fear of Vegetables
While some picky eaters may claim lachanophobia when they don’t want to eat their broccoli, there are some people in the world who are legitimately frightened by vegetables. Some sufferers report nausea at the sight of veggies, but others can have full-blown panic attacks at the mere thought of chowing down on a bell pepper. Lachanophobia can have severe health effects, since sufferers are missing out on the essential vitamins and nutrients found in many vegetables.
- Aulophobia—A Fear of Flutes
While the rest of the world fell in love with the smash-hit “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic, people with aulophobia found themselves confronted with the terror that is Irish flutes. Some people suffering from this phobia are disturbed by the sound of a flute, while others can’t stand the sight. Regardless of the trigger, exposure to flutes can cause shortness of breath, perspiration, irregular heartbeats, and nausea.
- Trichophobia—A Fear of Loose Hair
You won’t find many people suffering from trichophobia at the salon or cleaning a shower drain because even the thought of loose hair can cause feelings of panic. This is a particularly debilitating phobia, since stray hairs are basically an everyday occurrence, and it often results in OCD-like cleaning rituals to keep the problem at bay.