Word: TrypophobiaMore commonly known as the fear of holes, trypophobia is a word with both its etymology and experience rooted in the recesses of the internet.

Word: TrypophobiaMore commonly known as the fear of holes, trypophobia is a word with both its etymology and experience rooted in the recesses of the internet.

Etymology: From trýpa meaning “drilling holes” and phobos meaning “fear”.

Meaning: As with other phobias, trypophobia refers to an irrational fear—in this case, an anxiety or revulsion induced by holes, bumps or pockmarks clustered together. Barnacles, sponges and aerated soap foam are known stimulants of trypophobia. Other triggers include skin lesions and cheese graters, which bring on symptoms such as dread, itchiness and hot sweat.

Perhaps, as voids in solid mass, holes seem spectral in their inherent implication that something is missing—unless one follows the reverse logic of American minimalist artist Carl Andre. He thought of sculpture not as cuts in materials but as cuts in space formed by materials: “A thing is a hole in a thing it is not,” he once wrote.

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