EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve got the quick list above, and more detail about the phobias below.
Phobias (experiencing irrational fears) aren’t as uncommon as you might think.
About 11 percent of people encounter a phobia at some point in their lives. Some phobias are more common (fear of spiders, sharks, drowning, or flying) and others are much more bizarre, like being afraid of colors (xanthophobia), trees (dendrophobia), or sitting (kathisophobia).
Phobias only become a real nuisance when they start to rule our lives or we experience physical symptoms from fear like chest pains, nausea, choking, or trembling. Some people have fears so heart-pounding they bring on severe anxiety attacks at the mere thought of them.
How do most of these phobias even start? Experts think they’re caused by a traumatic event from our childhood we may not even remember.
Below are seven weird phobias you’ve probably never heard of.
1. Fear of paper (papyrophobia)
This phobia affects people in different ways. Some are only afraid of blank paper, others of torn paper or wet paper. Actress Megan Fox has admitted to a fear of dry paper. This phobia can be especially difficult to deal with because paper is everywhere and very difficult to avoid.
2. Fear of wet wood (oneirogmophobia)
Does the mere sight of wet wood cause you to feel nauseous or make you break out into a sweat? You probably have oneirogmophobia. Sufferers from this phobia can’t use toothpicks, enjoy a Popsicle, or lick cake batter from a wooden spoon.
3. Fear of chewing gum (chiclephobia)
It may seem silly to you, but one of the world’s most famous celebrities, Oprah Winfrey, is afraid of chewing gum. She won’t even allow it in her studio. Winfrey traces her disdain for the chewy goo back to her grandmother who would save used pieces of chewed gum at the bottom of dinner plates or in kitchen cabinets. Yuck!