Trypophobia is awful, it’s unspeakably awful. And you almost certainly have it.
I mean, at least you do if this picture made you recoil in horror. It made me recoil in horror so much that I can barely look at it. When I read about this on Buzzfeed I was so relieved to realize that I was not the only person who cringes a bit at the sight of aerated chocolate.
While it’s not a technical phobia, trypophobia refers to people with an irrational fear of holes, pods and circles closely grouped together. Popular Science did an interesting article where they noted:
“Evolutionarily speaking, almost all of the things that arouse a strong disgust-reaction–spiders, mice, blood, vomit–are things that could have been triggers for fear of illness.” Perhaps the same could be true for little holes, especially in natural objects where they seem particularly out of place. I suspect that we’re disgusted by pockmarked objects because they don’t look quite “right”; these perceived deformities signal danger, which we manifest as revulsion. But then again, a fear of asymmetry (another form of things looking not quite right) in some people with obsessive-compulsive disorder is not associated with disgust, Antony says. Perhaps holes, particularly in organic objects, subconsciously remind us of the symptoms of contagious illnesses that affect the skin, such as the rash or blisters associated with measles and chicken pox, respectively. All of this, of course, is speculation, and just goes to show how little we know about trypophobia.
If you want to test the degree to which you have it (don’t pretend the arm photo didn’t make you recoil) here is a video! I have to go to the bathroom and scratch myself all over, now!