Fear of clustered small holes


I like the theory that this is learned association. See gory picture with holes, see inocuous picture with holes. You’re training your brain to get squicked out on the latter because you’re seeing the former.

Enjoy, I guess?

Wow, I thought I was the only one in the world who had this - and now I find out it’s a thing! Thanks!

Oh dear god, there’s a word for it! I’m not alone! Though why anyone would want to revel in the horror enough to click through that subreddit is beyond me.

Things with this sort of texture freak me out so much. This started when I was a kid and has never gone away. Once I received a gift basket of bath stuff, and it included a little pumice stone. I eventually had to take a hammer to it and pulverize the thing because those billion tiny holes were giving me the creeps.

I have something similar to this, but almost exclusively with lotus seed pods. I have absolutely no rational reason why, but whenever I see a picture of one, I instantly quiver out of fear and disgust.

Which coincidentally makes the lotus-pod photoshop-gore macro really…really fun. Just a blast.

I’m about 90% sure this is a joke, started either by the people at somethingawful.com or the /b/ crowd at 4chan.

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The vast majority of Google images for this are of human skin with weird stuff growing in the little holes. That’s not a fear of little holes, it’s a fear of weird stuff growing in little holes in human skin.


Kinda neat. These things don’t bother me at all, but it’s always fun to see the things that freak people out, and to try to divine the reason (if it’s divinable at all).

I remember in a thread last year about those tiny toy-sized Japanese food-making kits (y’know, with the wee packets of powder you add water to and mix up in order to make what looks for all the world like regular fast food… only tiny, and probably not actually edible), the YouTube videos about those kits were mostly silent except for the sounds of fingernails and tiny spatulas taptaptapping on hard surfaces, and some commenters mentioned that they found the sounds soothing. And I noted that such sounds are like fingernails on a blackboard to me, as is the sound of hard shoe soles walking on a polished stone floor in an otherwise quiet environment.

Why should that bother me? And why do other people find such sounds soothing? It’s pretty fascinating to me, and this trypophobia thing is no different. It fascinates me that a texture that just looks “grippy” to me would fill someone else with crawling horror.


I find it impossible to eat crumpets for this reason.

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Yeah, this will do nothing to help anyone with this affliction

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I actually think some clusters are cool… like the lotus seed pods. My grandma always had a couple in her house though, so maybe that’s why they don’t bother me. Anyway I don’t get the cluster fear but some of that reddit stuff was gross regardless.

The horror, the horror

afraid of small holes? you’ll feel right at home with my EX WIFE!

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you made the holes even more numerous and tiny!

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Wow, I had this irrational, I wouldn’t call it fear, but aversion to this very thing while I was a child. I’ve grown out of it since, but I remember, maybe when I was 6 years old, staring at a plate of eggs, sunny-side up, with little holes in the whites formed from the bubbling of the cooking process, and feeling an overwhelming sensation of, I’m not sure what to call it, artificiality, derealization, whatever the feeling was it was disturbing.

Every now and then I see examples of it and though I don’t experience that same disturbed feeling, I remember what it was like and wonder how odd it was. I can’t believe this is a shared experience!

I don’t quite agree: I’m not 90% sure it’s made up, just that 90% of it is made up. The internet has brought together doofuses like the posters on the above subreddit who masochistically collect pictures of horrible parasites, skin diseases, and shooped-up gore until the most innocuous biological textures give them flashbacks. I’ve heard enough pre-internet stories to believe that some folks have genuine trypophobia without influence from the Tubes, but they’re the minority.

And of course the trolls have gotten in on it, too. Seriously, people, you don’t see arachnophobes making websites like “Do spiders give you the creeping horrors? LOOK AT THIS GIANT COLLECTION OF FREAKY SPIDERS AND FIND OUT.”


I came here to say give me a break, but now I just want to shake the image of toad babies wriggling their way out of holes in their mother’s back. I may never eat injera again.

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Yeah, it freaks me out, only because that injera didn’t come out right.

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This absolutely 100% real. I have felt this way about these kinds of things my entire life. I always referred to it as hating “porous” things, but it really is focused on clusters of small holes of organic origin, especially if the holes have granules in them. I am comforted to see I am not the only one who feels this way, and to have a name for this feeling. I would describe it as a distinct jumpy-itchy-skin-crawling-feeling rather than a fear, but it absolutely RAISES MY HEART RATE and gives me a different sensation than normal disgust.

I am a registered nurse and have seen my share of hideous bed sores, gangrenous crotches, and eviscerated wounds. I have seen stool coming from such wounds and disimpacted stool from rectums with my gloved hands. Those things gross me out, but do not effect me the same as seeing a nasty lotus pod or a grouping of pimples or one the those disgusting suriname toads.

It also makes me feel like I want to pick at things or scrub/file them and somehow smooth and clean them. I don’t know about others who experience trypophobia, but cannot leave a zit alone on my body until it is popped and gone. EWWW.


Surinam. Toads.

Surinam toads.

fetches flamethrower