18 Weird Phobias That Sound Ridiculous, But Are Very Real

Think your biggest fear is bad? Check out these strange phobias that might surprise you!

Published August 22, 2023

What are weird phobias? Most of us have heard of claustrophobia and arachnophobia, but are people really scared of things like the color yellow and asymmetrical objects? Turns out these funny phobias are not only real, but they can also be pretty eccentric!

For those who are looking to find out more about these frighteningly funny fears, we explore some of the strangest phobias out there!



Who knew that birthday parties could be so terrifying! Clowns scare more than half the population, but did you know that there are individuals who also have a crippling fear of balloons? For most, it is an anxiety around these floating globes popping, but for others, the signature smell, feeling, and even the sight of bright ballons can be debilitating.



A fear of... belly buttons? The innies and outies of this strange phobia have not been extensively researched, but it is believed that the piercing panic that plagues some people when they see or touch a naval is associated with prior trauma.



Ever feel like someone is watching you? Turns out that some people have a real fear of being observed by ducks, constantly. While you may be thinking "what a bunch of quacks," this weird phobia actually has a logical explanation.

Fears occur after negative experiences. Just like when someone is attacked by a dog and develops a fear of canine creatures, when a person is bitten or chased by a big bird like ducks, geese, or swans, it can lead to fowl feelings about these feathered foes.



This weird phobia is actually quite easy to understand because horror movies like Annabelle and Chucky have turned dolls into literal demons. These scary movies are actually one of the triggers that causes a fear of dolls.



Agyrophobia is the fear of crossing the road. There has to be a chicken joke in here somewhere, right? Okay, okay, we know this is nothing to cluck at, so let's just get to the other side of this phobia. Like all other fears, this agyrophobia likely stems from experiencing or witnessing a traumatic accident while crossing a road, bridge, or other thoroughfares.

This seems silly, but when you think about it, being hit by a car while crossing the street, seeing a bridge collapse right before or after walking across it, or being in a wreck while driving through a busy intersection would make anyone fearful.

Fast Fact

While on the topic of chickens, we have to let you know that those individuals who fear these birds have alektorophobia.



October is a very spirited time filled with fun tricks and treats, but this month has to be a very difficult time for those who suffer from phasmophobia. Health experts are a bit boo-wildered over the cause of a fear of ghosts, but it turns out that supernatural beings spook some people all year long.

We only have to assume that the folks who suffer from this fear spend a lot of time in the living room on Halloween night.



Did you know that people actually fear peanut butter getting stuck to the roof of their mouths? Seems a bit nutty, but it is actually quite understandable when you hear the main triggers — choking and allergic reactions.

As someone who has experienced their throat closing up, I will tell you that the idea of eating the food that caused my allergic reaction is debilitating. When you suddenly lose the ability to breathe, life becomes scary quite quickly. Many people with severe allergies fear other foods that could bring a similar reaction.

Fast Fact

The Centers for Disease Control notes that peanuts are one of eight food groups that account for most serious allergic reactions in the United States. This makes a fear of this food, and the foods it comprises, much more comprehensible.



Yes, that actually is a word. Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is, ironically, a fear of long words. More specifically, it is a fear of mispronouncing complicated terms. It seems far-fetched, but when you consider that 75% of people have a fear of public speaking, the worry of misspeaking when reading actually seems normal.

Fast Fact

This interesting phobia is pronounced hi-puh-paa-tuh-muhn-strow-suh-skwipt-a-lee-ow-fow-bee-uh!



A fear of thunder and lightning seem quite logical, but a fear of rain? For crying out cloud! I guess if you were the Wicked Witch of the West you might be a bit of a pessi-mist about water falling from the sky, but what causes everyone else to be fearful of this weather phenomenon?

Turns out that those who have been swept away by flood waters, seen the devastation that hurricanes can bring, and even those who have been in accidents due to heavy rain events are most prone to developing this fear.



You can bet that people who suffer from pogonophobia will be steering clear of any lumberjack competitions! A fear of beards may not appear to be a hairy thing to haunt you, but apparently, some people associate this facial feature with "homelessness, poverty or illness."

Others see it as something dirty. Since many phobias overlap, it is unsurprising that someone with germophobia would fear things that could be seen as unhygienic.



Turns out one man's trepidation is another man's treasured cure-all! A fear of beards may plague some, but these seem like a solid solution if you have a fear of chins. No clue for the reasoning behind this strange phobia, but we can only imagine the anxiety that comes when you have this fear and see double!



Ho no! If you have a fear of beards, I guess it is no shock that Father Christmas might give you a fright! Don't get me wrong, some of those mall Santas do seem a bit sketchy, but how could you be afraid of jolly old Saint Nick?



If you ever wondered why someone would want to go to outer space, the answer might be that they have barophobia. What better way to escape your fear of gravity than to go to a place where it doesn't exist?

Now you may be questioning how someone can fear something that they cannot touch, taste, smell, hear, or even see, but the Cleveland Clinic states that this fear is associated with the "worry that gravity will cause a fall that leads to serious injury or death. Or they fear that gravity may topple a heavy object onto them."



I'm a fern believer that knowledge is power, and apparently people with pteridophobia have not taken their time to do their research. This funny phobia is an extreme fear of ferns. Turns out, health experts believe this trepidation is rooted in the fact that these individuals are misinformed about these plants and believe that they could be poisonous or dangerous in some way.



This ridiculous-sounding phobia is a fear of ketchup. How can you be fearful of a condiment? I have no clue, but I have actually met someone who had this funny phobia. She never could explain why she felt this way and all other tomato products seemed to be fine, but every time we went to a restaurant, we had to remove this staple sauce from the tabletop before she could sit down.

Need to Know

This weird phobia is pronounced mor-tu-use-qu-us-fow-bee-uh!



If you believe in the supernatural and you meet someone with selenophobia, you could have found yourself a werewolf! This weird phobia is a fear of the moon or moonlight. Ironically though, this fear stems from superstitions about the moon, so you might develop this fear as well.



Another funny phobia that is a bit more rare is a fear of buttons. Supposedly, this fear can be related to texture or the idea that these clothing accents are dirty, but either way, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that this could greatly alter the way someone dresses.

Take Steve Jobs, for instance. That signature turtleneck was not just a style choice. It was also a way to keep away from the buttons he feared! However, Jobs went a step further — the iPhone was also the first phone to stray away from buttons and started the touchscreen movement!

Need to Know

This interesting phobia is pronounced com-pu-na-fow-bee-uh!



A fear of fear itself? Yes, this is a real life phobia. People who have this anxiety disorder fear normal things like haunted houses, small spaces, and public speaking, as well as common activities that could cause some form of stress, like a job presentation or taking a test.

Everyone Is Afraid of Something


It's important to remember that while many of these strange phobias sound funny to you and me, they are very real concerns to the people who are plagued by them. When someone voices a concern for something, it's always best to look at the big picture to figure out what the reason behind this seemingly irrational fear may be.

Remember, you likely fear something as well, and while it may be a common phobia, you probably feel the same way about it that others feel about these weird phobias.

18 Weird Phobias That Sound Ridiculous, But Are Very Real