Biologically speaking, developing a phobia is as easy as experiencing a traumatic event and consistently relating that event to something (often arbitrary) that was present when the event transpired. So while it’s possible for someone to develop an irrational fear of almost anything, one wonders how the afflicted parties of some of the following strange phobias manage to successfully function in their everyday lives:
Strange Phobias: Barophobia
Barophobia, or the fear of gravity, can manifest itself in a few different ways. An individual plagued with this crippling phobia is frightened that the pull of gravity will eventually crush them, or alternatively, that gravity will cease to exist and they will simply float off the face of the Earth. Strangely, a valid type of treatment for this phobia is listed as “exposure therapy”. We’re not sure how such a therapy would appear, exactly, but we would imagine it would look a lot like pure existence.
Strange Phobias: Geliophobia
Geliophobia is the fear of laughter, and can be experienced by hearing others laugh, or by one’s own laughter. As with many phobias, symptoms vary in intensity – ranging from shortness of breath or rapid breathing to extreme anxiety, nausea, and uncontrollable shaking.
Strange Phobias: Caligynephobia
Unlike Raj from the Big Bang Theory, who is thought to be suffering from gynephobia (the fear of all women) caligynephobia is the distinct fear of beautiful women; at least the ones the sufferer deems to be beautiful. Some have a constant fear, while others respond fearfully to more direct stimuli. We can’t imagine how caligynephobiacs would fare at a Miss America pageant.