There are many rare phobias that some people suffer from. A phobia is an anxiety disorder characterised by an irrational fear of a stimulus (a situation, an object, a place, an insect, etc.).

The person suffering from a phobia does everything possible to avoid that stimulus that causes him/her discomfort, and this avoidance behavior can even interfere with the normal functioning of his/her daily life. From fear of clowns to fear of the number 13, there are many strange and unexplained phobias.

Knows the rarest phobias that exist

The following is a list of the 15 rarest phobias that exist , although it is possible that there are other phobias that are not yet typified and that may have a smaller incidence in the population.

1. Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia: fear of the number 666

Those who suffer from hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia feel an irrational fear of the number 666 and avoid things related to this number, such as a building in which the number is clearly displayed, a license plate of a vehicle or public transport with that number. The origin of this phobia is linked to Satan or the Antichrist, so it is more common for people who have been raised in Christian families to suffer from it.

2. Xanthophobia: fear of the color yellow

Among the rarest phobias, xanthophobia is irrational fear of the color yellow . Anything containing yellow causes great anxiety for people suffering from this type of phobia. The sun, yellow paint, or even the word ‘yellow’, produce symptoms of anxiety in xanthophobia.

3. Turophobia: fear of cheese

People suffering from thixaphobia cannot see or smell a single piece of cheese . Whether it is mozzarella, cheddar or roquefort, the cheese gives them a feeling of intense discomfort. This is due to a previous traumatic experience, usually in childhood. It is undoubtedly one of the rarest phobias known.

4. Crematophobia or Chromatophobia: fear of money

This is one of the rare phobias that attracts the most attention. Crematophobia or chromatophobia is the irrational fear of money . For these people it becomes very complicated to go to the supermarket or buy a bus ticket. Some cremophobes are afraid of the corrupting power of money and others may have suffered trauma caused by money. It is important not to confuse the fear that some people feel for touching notes or coins that have been touched by other people, since in this case it would be fear of germs (misophobia or germophobia).

5. Somniphobia: fear of sleep

This phobia causes an irrational and excessive fear of the act of sleeping . People who suffer from this phobia feel panic at the thought that while they are sleeping something terrible is going to happen to them, such as that they will stop breathing and die. The cause may also be the fear of having nightmares because of having suffered them repeatedly before. Obviously, this phobia is linked to insomnia.

6. Coulrophobia: fear of clowns

The image of a clown produces panic, fear and distress to the person suffering from coulrophobia. Although it is common for this phobia to be perceived as something funny by people who do not have this fear, the subject who experiences the clown phobia or coulrophobia can even trigger significant anxiety attacks.

To read more about coulrophobia you can visit our article:

7. Ombrophobia: fear of rain

Like most of the rarer phobias we have described, this phobia is very little known. People suffering from ombrophobia have an uncontrollable fear of getting wet with rainwater . These people can become extremely obsessive as long as they do not get wet, which leads them to idolize objects used to protect themselves from water such as umbrellas, raincoats or awnings.

8. Hypopotomonstressesparoidiophobia: fear of long words

It refers to the irrational fear of pronouncing long and complicated words , so the person suffering from this phobia will avoid mentioning this type of term. Often this phobia is accompanied by social shyness and fear of being made a fool of. Due to the complexity of the word used to describe this phobia, the words sesquipedaliophobia or largsofobia are currently used.

9. Omphalophobia: fear of navels

This phobia refers to the fear of seeing or touching one’s own or another’s navel . These people have serious conflicts when bathing because they cannot look at or touch their own belly button. The physiological symptoms that occur range from irritability, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, feeling of anger along with rage, as well as a feeling of total helplessness. Without a doubt, one of the rarest phobias.

10. Hilophobia: fear of trees

It refers to the fear of bushes, trees and forests . It is usually developed in young children, as it is linked to the fear of movies about enchanted forests, where witches or evil monsters can be found.

11. Triscaidecaphobia: fear of the number 13

Triscaidecaphobia is the irrational fear of the number 13. Those suffering from this anxiety disorder avoid any object or thing that contains the number 13. On the other hand, the phobia of Friday the 13th is called parascevedecaphobia.

12. Papaphobia: fear of the Pope

Papaphobia is the fear or dread of the Pope (the Holy Father of the Vatican, head of the Catholic Church) or of anything related to him. Some experts think it is part of the phobia of the sacred or of saints. In any case, it is enough to stay away from the Holy See so as not to reach worrying levels of anxiety.

13. Uranophobia: fear of heaven

People suffering from uranophobia feel fear of heaven and life after death . It can develop in believers who think they will be judged at death. This is one of the rarest and most complex phobias to treat, as no habituation therapy is possible.

14. Pogonophobia: fear of beards

This phobia was discovered in 1851, and refers to the irrational fear that many people feel towards beards , especially towards the longest and most populated ones. Although beards do not pose a danger to people’s health, pogonophobes feel fear and nausea when they see someone with facial hair.

15. Tryphobia: fear of holes

Those who suffer from this phobia manifest real panic, nausea and cold sweats when they see small holes and together or things that contain holes . For example, a beehive or the holes in a brick.

Bibliographic references:

  • André, C. (2006). Psychology of fear. Fears, anxieties and phobias. Barcelona. Editorial Kairós.
  • Bourne, E. J. (2005). The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook, 4th ed. New Harbinger Publications.