Trypophobia — the fear of random, irregular holes — is a new one to me. I heard about it recently on Glow Up, the British Bake-Off of makeup competitions.
According to the leading authority on the pathology (cited below), “some sufferers start to cry or become very aggressive when encountering clusters on holes like lotus seed, honeycomb, and holes in the cheese or on coffee cream.”
I fortunately do not suffer from this fear, but I kinda get it. Scientists say it’s rooted in our instinctual repulsion toward disease. A plausible theory, since a cluster of bumpy holes resembles boils or growing bacteria.
Do you suffer from this malady? If so, you’re gonna HATE this Halloween wreath from Joann Fabrics.
The unsettlingly random holes in the wreath are lotus pods, prime suspect number one for traumatizing sufferers of Trypophobia.
How do you feel when you gaze into all of those EYES?
Anyway, get this: There’s a crazy website devoted to Trypophobia that simply MUST be a cruel joke of some kind (even crueler than blogging increasingly aggressive photos of lotus pods):
On it, you can access a free online video test to determine whether you are afflicted (the site warns you “may experience sweating, trembling, rapid heartbeat, itchiness, discomfort, nausea, aggression, vomiting, etc.” while taking it). It instructs participants to pause the video when they feel itchy and record how much time has elapsed. (Piece of advice: Don’t take the test. It contains disturbing images you cannot unsee.)
The site also features a list of possible triggers (from frog species to Mango worms), plus the most alarming Trypophobia-inspired horror art you could imagine:
So what’s the deal? Is Trypophobia even a real disorder? Is this creepy-ass “medical” website legit? Regardless, I think we’ve found 2022’s Coulrophobia.