Anatidaephobia is the fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you. (Seriously.)

Coulrophobia, or the fear of clowns, is a relatively common phobia, and usually present in children. The 'scary clown' has often been used in horror films, such as Ste. Coulrophobia has some celebrity sufferers- namely Daniel Radcliffe and Johnny Depp. Depp said of his clown fear: "it’s impossible, thanks to their painted-on smiles, to distinguish if they are happy or if they are about to bite your face off."

Hylophobia involves an irrational fear of wood, forest, or trees. It is often caused by exposure to films and fairy tales which involve scary woods in childhood. Many sufferers don't grow out of the phobia and any walk in a scenic setting can trigger anxiety. Hylophobes suffer extreme anxiety when they simply think about a wood.

Nomophobia describes the fear of being without cell phone coverage. The name was coined five years ago after researchers discovered the phenomenon. According to recent surveys, more than half of people in the UK suffer from it. The phobia is brought on by the fear of losing signal, running out of battery or even losing sight of a mobile phone.

Ombrophobes have an abnormal fear of rain which can cause severe anxiety attacks. It is thought to be triggered by a number of factors, including the fact that children are often told not to go out in the rain because it will make them ill. Rain is also often associated with depression.

Omphalophobia is the fear of belly buttons. Sufferers are afraid to have their belly buttons touched, or to touch another person's belly button. The fear is often linked with the belly button's association to the umbilical cord and a mother's womb. Omphalophobes can be repulsed just by seeing or thinking about a belly button.

Papaphobia, or the fear of the pope, is uncommon. It is closely related to Hierophobia (the fear of holy individuals or sacred things). It is also related to Hagiophobia which is an exaggerated or irrational fear or dislike of saints and holy things. The fear is often triggered by a trauma associated with the pope.

The term Pogonophobia has been used since the 1850s to describe a strong fear of beards. Earlier this month British Television host Jeremy Paxman accused the BBC of suffering from pogonophobia after he was criticised for presenting Newsnight with a beard.

Somniphobia comprises often irrational and excessive fear of sleep. Somniphobes may fear falling asleep because they associate going to bed with dying. It may also result from a feeling of lack of control or from suffering repeated nightmares. Somniphobics may also fear losing time while sleeping.

Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13. Many people are superstitious about the number 13 but few have a fully fledged phobia. It is closely associated with the fear of Friday 13. Sufferers take great care to avoid using, or doing anything related to the number.

Sufferers of Trypophobia fear objects with small holes. It is not yet considered an official phobia, although thousands of people are reported to suffer from it. According to new research trypophobics associate holes with danger. Examples of feared objects include honey combs, sponges and any plant with small holes in it. Symptoms of Trypophobia range from nausea and itchy skin to full blown panic attacks.

Turophobia is the fear of cheese. Patients usually associate cheese with a traumatic memory. From cheddar to mozzarella, turophobes often have to run away if they so much as see a slice of cheese. Some may fear only one particular type of cheese while others fear cheese altogether.

Sufferers of Uranophobia are afraid of going to Heaven. They fear the sky and the afterlife. It can be triggered in religious believers who fear the idea that they will be judged after life.

Xanthophobia may fear anything yellow, including the sun, daffodils and yellow paint. In its most aggressive form xanthophobic symptoms may even include an overwhelming fear of just the word yellow.

Do you have a strange or unusual fear?

 

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