Strangely common phobias

Phobias come in many forms but one that particularly fascinates Dr David Yusko, an American US psychologist who specialises in treating phobias, is trypophobia, an intense, irrational fear of irregular patterns or clusters of bumps or holes.

While the phobia is not recognised in the DSM-5, Dr Yusko, who works in the department of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, says it is starting to attract interest.

Researchers published the first study of trypophobia about four years ago, and found that “although sufferers are not conscious of the association, the phobia arises in part because the