I’ve always been fascinated by the study of phobias. I’ve often wondered; What came first? The actual phobia or the name of the phobia? I would imagine that the phobia would have to surface before it could be named. Here are the 8 oddest phobias I came across. There are tons more and they make for some very interesting reading. I think naming phobias would make a terrific trivia game!
8. Alektorophobia – Fear of Chickens
Photo Credit: Krista Strandy
I could see how this fear could arise in someone who was attacked by a chicken when they were a small child. I have a rooster who occasionally jumps at me with his spurs out, but only when he thinks I’m endangering his two little hens. I’m not really scared off by my rooster, since he’s a short stocky guy and can barely jump up past my ankle. That’s why I wear tall rubber boots! Alektorophobia also refers to a fear of anything to do with chicken in general, such as getting food poisoning from eating it.
7. Barophobia – Fear of Gravity
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I found this phobia on a list, but couldn’t find anything suggesting how it would come to be. I can’t imagine having a fear of gravity. How would a person with this phobia function on a daily basis, seeing as gravity is unavoidable here on Earth? I’d be interested to know just how many people are actually affected by this phobia as well.
6. Chronomentrophobia – Fear of Clocks
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This phobia not only refers to clocks in general, but also to time itself. I can think of a few people who might unconsciously have this fear. One of them refuses to wear a watch or look at a clock. Another one dislikes being told to be somewhere at a specific time. The third person never seems to know what time it is and doesn’t care to know either. I vaguely remember reading a book about a person being afraid of clocks that were in the walls of a house. Maybe this person had chronomentrophobia!
5. Dendrophobia – Fear of Trees
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I think I had a mild case of this after watching the movie Poltergeist when I was a child. Remember the scene where the tree busted through the window and snagged the little kid from his bed? It makes me shiver to even think about that scene. I’m not sure if falling out of a tree would cause this phobia to arise. I would think that a fear of heights would come from that type of situation. It is an odd fear and it would be a very difficult one to deal with for a person living in the woods.
4. Genuphobia – Fear of Knees
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A person with this phobia might fear the knees of others, their own knees, or both. This phobia could arise in a person who was told his/her knees were ugly or if someone grew up in a household where knees had to be covered at all times, possibly due to personal beliefs about how women should dress. I wonder how many people go into cold sweats at the sight of knees.
3. Levophobia – Fear of Objects to the Left Side of the Body
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Supposedly, this phobia is somewhat related to the fear of left-handed people too; Sinistrophobia. However, people with sinistrophobia don’t always have levophobia as well. I’m not sure what type of traumatic event could cause this odd phobia. I would think this fear would pertain to stationary items, such as an object placed on a table or something like that. It’s been noted that this fear is typically displayed in right-handed individuals.
2. Pogonophobia – Fear of Beards
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It’s a good thing I don’t suffer from pogonophobia or my husband and I probably would never have met my husband. I’m curious about who displays signs of this phobia more often; men or women. I could see it developing in either sex. Some men might have a fear of growing a beard, due to being ridiculed about facial hair being present when they were younger. On the other hand, women who have had a bad experience with a guy’s beard might begin to fear them.
1. Scolionophobia – Fear of School
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I bet a kid somewhere has made a claim of having this phobia. I’m actually surprised one of my own kids hasn’t found this phobia definition and used it to see if they could get out of going to school, at least for a day. I would think that this particular phobia would be the result of one or two underlying phobias as well, such as a fear of being around people, the fear of germs, or even the fear of public speaking.
While the 8 oddest phobias I mentioned above are all supposedly valid, it was difficult to find actual documentation on all of them. It would be interesting to find out if they were discovered in only a handful of people or if there really are quite a few individuals who suffer from these odd phobias. What are some of the strangest phobias you’ve heard about? Do you know anyone with a phobia of some sort?
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