Like those in the picture above.
Technically it’s called trypophobia and, according to a recent study, it may result from the visual features of certain poisonous creatures (Cole & Wilkins, 2013).
The study found that around 1 in 7 had some trypophobic reactions.
The lead author Geoff Cole explained:
“We think that everyone has trypophobic tendencies even though they may not be aware of it. We found that people who don’t have the phobia still rate trypophobic images as less comfortable to look at than other images. It backs up the theory that we are set-up to be fearful of things which hurt us in our evolutionary past. We have an innate predisposition to be wary of things that can harm us.”
Should your fear of holes be getting the better of you, then use a classic psychological technique: desensitisation.
That means looking at lots of pictures of holes.
Apparently it worked for Dr. Cole.
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
Image credit: Keith Williamson