A growing number of people are reporting a fear of holes. The reaction is so severe that even seeing photos of holes can set off a panic attack.
The condition is called trypophobia. According to the website Trypophobia.com, “Trypophobia is a weird kind of phobia and it can generally be considered as the fear of shapes. We are talking especially by the shapes created by nature.” Until recently, it didn’t garner much attention from scientists or doctors.
But now, a study in the journal Psychological Science attempts to explain the fear.
Researchers Geoff Cole and Arnold Wilkins of the Centre for Brain Science at the University of Essex based their research on images posted on Trypophobia.com. They’ve concluded that it is not the holes that these people fear. Instead, their brains associate the holes with danger. What kind of danger they sense, exactly, is still being studied.
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