Part of a series on Shock Sites. [View Related Entries]

Updated Apr 23, 2023 at 10:29PM EDT by Jill.

Added Mar 26, 2012 at 03:55PM EDT by Adam DeLand.

PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.

This entry contains content that may be considered sensitive to some viewers.

[Warning, content in this entry may be unsafe for you and can create a similar effect as gore or shock images. Please view with caution.]


Trypophobia is a pathological fear or revulsion of patterns containing clusters of holes, including bee hives, lotus seed pods and corals.


Breast Rash Photo

According to Snopes,[1] a photograph of a woman's breast with photoshopped lotus seed pod clusters began circulating via email as early as 2003. The image was accompanied by a a copypasta story about an anthropologist whose breast was infected with larva during an expedition in South America.

After anthropologist Susan McKinley came back home from an expedition in South America, she noticed a very strange rash on her left breast. Nobody knew what it was and she quickly dismissed it believing that the sores would leave in time.

Upon her return she decided to see a doctor after she started developing intense pains. The doctor, not knowing the exact severity of the case, gave her antibiotics and special creams. As time elapsed the pain did not subside and her left breast became more inflamed and started to bleed. She decided to bandage her sores however as Susan's pain grew more intense she decided to seek help from a more certified doctor. Dr. Lynch could not diagnose the infection and told Susan to seek the aid of one of his colleagues who specialized in dermatology whom was sadly on vacation. She waited for two weeks and finally was able to reach the dermatologist. Sadly, a life changing event was about to unfold during her appointment.

To Miss McKinley's surprise, after she removed the bandages, they found larva growing and squirming within the pores and sores of her breast. Sometimes these wicked creatures would all together simultaneously move around into different crevices. What she didn't know was that the holes were in fact, deeper than she had originally thought for these larvae were feeding off the fat, tissue, and even milk canals of her bosom. The holes were 5 cm deep. She was operated on and the larva was removed from her breast. Therefore always take a slight rash serious and have the eggs removed before it is to late. Cheers and may the creatures leave you in peace.


On May 5th, 2005, SocialPhobiaWorld[4] user holephobia submitted a post titled "Phobia of Holes," in which he invited others to share information about the phobia and linked to his now defunct Geocities[3] webpage Holephobia. On May 23rd, 2005, Margot Charlton of the Oxford English Dictionary's "Ask Oxford" service replied to a letter from Hole Phobia's webmaster suggesting that the phobia be named "trypophobia" rather than "trypaphobia."[2]

"I should perhaps point out that the "a" of trypa represents the ending of a Greek feminine noun, and would normally be replaced by "o" in a combination ('trypophobia')."


On March 7th, 2008, Urban Dictionary[7] user Tropphbiac submitted an entry for "trypophobia," defining it as "an intense, irrational fear of holes." On January 28th, 2010, YouTuber Stings2pee uploaded a video titled "Do You Have Trypophobia?", featuring video of a Surinam toad giving birth through holes in its back along with a slideshow of trypophobia images (shown below). In the first five years, the video received over 1.5 million views and 11,200 comments.

On July 25th, 2011, Popular Science[5] published an article titled "Is Trypophobia a Real Phobia?", which documented the history of the irrational fear noting that it is not included in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. On September 12th, the /r/trypophobia[6] subreddit was launched for posts linking to trypophobia-triggering images. On September 13th, 2013, the DNews YouTube channel uploaded a video about the potential evolutionary origins of trypophobia (shown below). On September 24th, BuzzFeed released a video containing several examples of trypophobia-triggering images (shown below, right).

Search Interest

External References

[1] Snopes – Breast Rash / 3-16-2007

[2] Geocities – Holephobia – Trypophobia

[3] Geocities – Holephobia (inactive)

[4] Social Phobia World – Phobia of Holes

[5] Popular Science – Trypophobia

[6] Reddit – /r/trypophobia

[7] Urban Dictionary – trypophobia

Recent Videos 8 total

Recent Images 24 total

Image uploads have been disabled for this entry.

View All Images

+ Add a Comment

Comments (250)

Display Comments

Add a Comment

Hello! You must login or signup first!