About 23% of Americans have been diagnosed with a phobia. Most commonly, people suffer from irrational fears associated with meeting someone new, speaking before a crowd, eating in front of people and other social factors, which is why the condition is often confused for shyness. However, a phobia is a serious disorder. Symptoms often include irregular heart beat, shortness of breath, trembling, dry mouth, sweaty palms and, often, full-blown panic attacks.
Still, some fears are so ridiculous that it’s hard to take them seriously and many are even hard to believe. The most absurd phobias affect only a few hundred people in the world, but make no mistake – they are very much real. Usually, people who have common phobias tend to be the ones to develop other, marginal ones. For instance, over 45% of everyone who has an irrational fear develops phobophobia – the fear of showing their fears to others.
How strange can these phobias be? Well, the fear of ducks didn’t make our list by a long shot, so we’d say they’re pretty strange. Each one is more bizarre than the next and selecting the top three was a huge challenge.