Nokia’s New Smartphone Is Triggering People With Trypophobia

There are many common fears that people suffer from. Arachnophobia, a fear of spiders, and nyctophobia, a fear of the dark are among the most prevalent. But another that many people may not even know about that about 16 percent of the population suffers from is trypophobia, a fear of clusters of holes.

When Nokia unveiled its new smarthphone, the Nokia 9 PureView, they clearly did not take trypophobia into account. The phone features a cutting-edge camera, with five lenses as well as the light and infrared sensor. Unfortunately, the company decided to cluster these around one another, and people suffering from trypophobia are already freaking out, according to Metro UK.

After photos of the phone were first released, trypophobics took to social media to share just how uncomfortable those seven little holes on the back of the phone are already making them.

“Stay off the internet, the trypophobia Nokia phone is real,” one person wrote. Another added, “What was Nokia thinking? Have they never heard of trypophobia? Ew.”

One man explained his reaction to seeing the phone.

“The Nokia Pureview 9 is triggering my trypophobia. Those camera lenses are creepy and make my skin crawl.”

One user called it the phone a “trypophobia test,” while another thought it would be funny to see how many people were bothered by the little cluster of black holes on the phone.

Unfortunately, for most people suffering with trypophobia, it’s not going to be as simple as just not buying the phone for themselves, as others in their immediate environment might still make the purchase and decide to use the fancy new camera on them.

Dr. Geoff Cole, a senior lecturer at the University of Essex’s Centre for Brain Research, explained exactly what could happen in that scenario.

“When a person takes a picture of you, the camera on this phone could fall roughly at a distance and alignment which could trigger a trypophobic response.”

People who have trypophobia are prone to suffer from anxiety attacks when something triggers the fear, which means that having that trigger so readily available in people’s pockets could become a real problem for them. Stella Lourenco, a psychologist at Emory University, stated that some people suffer with trypophobia so badly that they literally cannot stand to be around anything that triggers them.

One explanation for the fear is that it’s actually triggered by a disgusted response, rather than a genuinely fearful one. This is because small holes or bumps in a close pattern could be associated with infection, infestation, and decomposition.

Another explanation is that the pattern of holes or dots are similar to those found on dangerous and venomous animals, which would mean there is an evolutionary basis for the fear that warns humans to stay away.

Whatever the exact cause of the fear, Nokia can count on at least 16 percent of the population to be avoiding their new phone at all costs.