32 unusual phobias: Fears from A to Z

  • Check out our list of unique phobias, from a fear of clowns, known as coulrophobia, to a fear of teenagers, called ephebiphobia
  • These specific triggers can cause a reaction of annoyance or anxiety
Karly Cox |

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Phobias are overwhelming fears of objects, places, situations, feelings, or animals that can make someone feel a sense of panic.

If you have any phobias that prevent you from leading your fullest life, please seek help from a doctor or mental health professional.

You’ve no doubt heard of claustrophobia – the fear of being in a crowded or small space. You might have watched a documentary about Australia’s unique wildlife, and realised you have arachnophobia, the fear of spiders.

Living in Hong Kong, where so many people live in skyscrapers, it’s rare to meet someone with acrophobia, or a fear of heights. And while the announcement that Covid-19 vaccines will be available to teenagers is very good news, for some people, it might have triggered trypanophobia, or a fear of medical procedures with needles.

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But there are dozens of phobias that you may not have heard of, or even realised might be a problem for some people. Here are 32 of the irrational fears you might want to know about.

Achluophobia – Fear of darkness

Amaxophobia – Fear of riding in a car

Arachibutyrophobia – Fear of peanut butter

Arithmophobia – Fear of numbers

Ataxophobia – Fear of disorder or untidiness

Atelophobia – Fear of imperfection

Barophobia – Fear of gravity

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Batrachophobia – Fear of amphibians

Bibliophobia – Fear of books

Botanophobia – Fear of plants

Catoptrophobia – Fear of mirrors

Coulrophobia – Fear of clowns

Cyberphobia – Fear of computers

Dentophobia – Fear of dentists

Entomophobia – Fear of insects

Ephebiphobia – Fear of teenagers

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Genuphobia – Fear of knees

Glossophobia – Fear of public speaking

Herpetophobia – Fear of reptiles

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia – Fear of long words

Koumpounophobia – Fear of buttons

Leukophobia – Fear of the colour white

Mageirocophobia – Fear of cooking

Nyctophobia – Fear of the dark

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Octophobia – Fear of the figure 8

Ombrophobia – Fear of rain

Papyrophobia – Fear of paper

Phobophobia – Fear of phobias

Scolionophobia – Fear of school

Tonitrophobia – Fear of thunder

Wiccaphobia – Fear of witches and witchcraft

Zoophobia – Fear of animals