Four years ago, my husband revealed one of his more peculiar qualities: He’s freaked out by the sight of sliced cantaloupe.
The melon seeds, all clustered together, make his skin itch and his stomach churn. Then he gets obsessed and can’t stop talking about it.
Research psychologist Arnold Wilkins at the U.K.’s University of Essex has been investigating the phenomenon, and he thinks he might know what’s going on. In images that set off this repulsion, the pattern of contrast is similar to that found in photographs of extremely poisonous animals — like box jellyfish, king cobras and Brazilian wandering spiders. Wilkins speculates that we humans are especially good at picking out these patterns because they help us spot dangerous animals that might otherwise blend with the background.
Read the whole story: NPR