We asked you about your weirdest phobias

What on earth is trypophobia?

You’ve all heard of the people who are scared of heights or frightened of injections, but what are the seven weirdest phobias at Warwick University? 

Ichthyophobia – fear of fish

Second year English student Alick McCallum suffers from Ichthyophobia, more commonly known as a fear of fish. It’s not so much fish themselves that scare him though – it’s the actual notion of them being eaten as food.

Intensely disgusted by the look and smell of dead fish, he finds it difficult not to run out of the kitchen if someone eats a tuna sandwich.

When asked whereabouts in his psyche this fear stemmed from, he said: “I’m not 100 per cent sure, but I do remember getting lost in a fish market in Barcelona when I was younger. The smell has never left me.”

And it’s true, he stinks of fish.


He’s got 99 problems, all of which are prawns

Trypophobia – fear of an irregular pattern of holes

Shannon Lee, a Business student, claims to suffer from this disturbing phobia. Any weird pattern of holes will panic her, but those found on skin shock her the most.

She said: “I just can’t handle looking at them. They’re insanely creepy and make me want to claw at my skin.”

Ornithophobia – fear of birds

It’s difficult to empathise with Biomed student Olivia Kenny, who suffers from a fear of pigeons. Not all birds. Just pigeons. Very often referred to as rats with wings, hatred can be understood, but a phobia?

She said: “I just don’t like how they walk and the way they stare at you, it spooks me out.”

We can imagine Olivia also struggles in zoos and the outside world.

Porphyrophobia – fear of the colour purple

From someone paranoid about eating food to someone who clearly struggles in Pop, first year Politics student Matthew Kirby cannot stand being around objects that are purple.

He laughs: “I can’t really remember why, I presume something happened in my childhood that fucked me up big time.”

Feeling uncomfortable when faced with big patches of the colour, the SU is clearly a big no-no for Matthew.

purple drink aye

Just a normal glass of purple minding its own business

Pteronophobia – fear of being tickled (by feathers)

Of course no-one really enjoys being tickled (apart from the masochists out there), but what is it like to have a genuine phobia of it? Just ask fourth year German student Lucy Gorman, who simply detests the sensation so much she regularly has to warn her friends to keep away.

She said: “I’ve actually thrown up from being tickled a few times now, it’s hell. My ex thought it was a joke.”

Probably explains why he’s now an ex.

Saltomaphobia – fear of tomato ketchup

Finally, and with another food related terror (seriously, what is wrong with you all), second year student Phillip Lawson admitted that he had a mild phobia of the popular sauce.

He said: “I can handle people eating it near me, but if any gets on my food I’m done. It’s not so much the taste that puts me off as the way it looks and its consistency.”

Someone clearly isn’t a Heinz fan.


Some say Phil just needs to Ketchup with the times

Arachibutyrophobia – fear of food getting stuck to the roof of your mouth

We’ve all been through that brief moment of panic where we think we’re resigned to a life with half a mouth and a speech impediment, but Maths student Ben Parker takes it a step further. He lives in constant fear of being unable to remove sticky food like peanut butter from the roof of his mouth.

He said about the phobia: “I can’t have a meal without having a drink next to me to wash it down. Even thinking about having gum or something stuck there is making me feel sick.”

Seven weird phobias, or just seven weirdos?