Trypopobhia is described as ‘fear of holes’ and while some people may attribute it the uneasiness felt after looking at diseases that manifest in circular pattern, many others would just feel aversion to any round, everyday object. If you happen to know anyone who gets restless after seeing something as regular as coffee bubbles, consider it to be a class case of trypophobia. Experts believe there is science behind the same.

Experts suggest that such people may attribute these objects to parasites and infectious diseases that manifest in circular pattern. People are evolutionarily predisposed to respond to clusters of round shapes because these shapes are also found on poisonous animals, like some snakes and the blue-ringed octopus. History of infectious disease and parasitism may also trigger an exaggerated sensitivity to round shapes, noted Tom Kupfer of the University of Kent, Britain.

The study was published in the journal Cognition and Emotion and involved close to 300 people with trypophobia and 300 university students without trypophobia. Both the groups were exposed to 16 cluster images half of which represented cluster-patterned diseases and the other eight images were circular objects like seed pod et cetera. While the images of various diseases were found unpleasant by all participants, only those with trypophobia found random circular objects unpleasant.

This finding supports the suggestion that individuals with trypophobia experience an over-generalised response, to an extent that even an image of bubbles on a cup of coffee can trigger aversion in the same way as a cluster of tics or lesions.

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