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. This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-Two Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 45 Words Unheard On the pitfalls of pronunciation. Arts & Culture Issue 43 Signal Boost How status anxiety drives culture. Arts & Culture Issue 42 The Language of Home How weird words forge new friendships. Arts & Culture Issue 39 Half a Notion A reassessment of ambivalence. Arts & Culture Issue 38 Memes of Communication A conversation about digital folklore. Arts & Culture Issue 36 Designated Drudgery How to take a load off.