Top ten strangest phobias

OK, so we're no medical authority on the matter, but since hearing about Julia's button phobia on The Panic Room, we've been wondering what other sort of weird fears exist out there. Here are the ten strangest we've come across...


#1 Geniophobia - Fear of chins

In at number one is a big ol' fear of chins. Round, square, pointed or dimpled – geniophobics can't stand any of them.

#2 Pteronophobia – Fear of being tickled by feathers

We're not sure how many people are likely to encounter this sort of situation on a regular basis, but it's one to be wary of for any romantics with seductive ideas.

#3 Ergasiophobia – Fear of work

This isn't the latest way to pull a sickie from the office – it's a genuine phobia that can actually come from being depressed (and not just being depressed on Monday mornings). Don't try and pull a fast one on your boss.

#4 Ithyphallophobia – Fear of erections

This phobia could (literally) make your sex life flop. However, it might come in handy on those nights when you've used "I've got a headache" one too many times.

#5 Cacophobia – Fear of ugliness

We have our suspicions that this fear might primarily affect celebrity children accustomed to being around the world's most fabulous and beautiful people. Mixing with us mere mortals after that would understandably be a shock to the system.

#6 Epistemophobia – Fear of knowledge

There is now a valid excuse for not watching the news. If you've ever been greeted with a completely blank stare when you bring up world politics or climate change among friends, take pity. They might not just be ignorant, but actually suffer from epistemophobia.

#7 Vestiophobia – Fear of clothing

This could well be a front for nudists anonymous to come clean without offending the minds of right-thinking society. It's a medical condition, don't you know?

#8 Ablutophobia - Fear of washing or bathing

Encountered someone very smelly? Perhaps you're just standing next to an ablutophobe. Do not approach with water and soap...

#9 Fear of antique furniture

Perhaps it's no surprise that the celebs are at the heart of some of the strangest phobias. Billy Bob Thornton keeps well away from antique furniture and once told Sky News: "I get creeped out and I can't breathe and I can't eat around it."

#10 Anablephobia - Fear of looking up

Picture this - you're in the park and hear some birds flying overhead. You look up and open your mouth to remark on their activity when one drops its excrement into your mouth. Bet you don't think those anablephobes are so crazy now, do you...